February fashion week which officially began Thursday February 7th and runs through Wednesday February 13th has exploded onto the winter scene with some notable trends. Firstly, there are fewer designers showcasing their wares as the prohibitive expense of a fashion show has ceased to make sense for the bottom line of companies; Joseph Altuzarra, Marchesa, and Thom Browne were all no-shows. Smaller and virtually unknown designers such as “Dirty Pineapple,” “Priscavera” “Chromat” and “Claudia Li” dominated the landscape. These companies whose revenues are minuscule compared to the large fashion houses quizzically expend money on shows from which they receive little publicity.
There were a couple of houses that continued their collections but failed to have the usual after-party including Tom Ford, Jeremy Scott and Marc Jacobs — in the past these after-parties received more press than the show itself. Many fashion houses keep out the undesirables by keeping their show a secret including Tory Burch, Brandon Maxwell and Proenza Schouler. Tom Ford started the week off on Wednesday February 6th with a show that featured both men and womens’ clothing. Ford is still able to attract the largest amalgam of celebrities which included Odell Beckham Jr., Karlie Kloss, Joe Alwyn, Patrick Schwarzenegger, Courtney Love, Victor Cruz, and Cam Newton-for Tom Ford this was a meager showing. The clothing was signature Tom Ford with few surprises and music that was unsuitable for the clothing. Ford showed the clothing once and didn’t have the usual recap of the collection at the end -I was relieved having seen enough. The next evening Ford held a dinner with a select group of his most important clients some of whom had flown in from around the country.
Many of the Ford attendees headed to the amfAR gala Wednesday evening which was being held at Cipriani Wall Street and contained a bevy of supermodels including Heidi Klum, Alessandra Ambrosio, Lais Ribeiro,Valery Kaufman, Candice Swanepoel and dozens of others. Kim and Kourtney Kardashian also graced the event as well as some Housewives whose names I won’t mention. Guests then headed to club Socialista at Cipriani and to Up & Down for the after-party. AmfAR which was heavily backed by Harvey Weinstein used to attract the likes of Beyonce, De Niro, and DiCaprio but is now a haven for models and reality stars.
Some of these same models appeared at the Thursday morning Ralph Lauren Spring 2019 show held at his Madison Avenue store which he transformed into Ralph’s Cafe. He showed his usual black and gold ensembles with some wide legged white pants and some sequins in the mix-nothing gimmicky or exciting. The company which reported net growth of 5 percent compared to last year is hoping to entice a younger customer into wearing the none-too-hip Ralph. Unlike brands like Gucci, Balenciaga or Valentino that have attracted a younger base by emblazoning the clothing with their brand names Lauren chooses a more understated and obviously less effective approach — sticking to the same old designs without any outer concern that the customer would drop thousands on a simple black pantsuit.
A designer who received an effective bang for his buck was Francesco Ragazzi the Milan guy who heads the “Palm Angels” brand which has caught on among celebrities. On Friday he showed for the first time in New York and luminaries French Montana, Gunna and Alexander Wang sat excitedly in the front row as strobe lights and encased sculptures graced the runway. Ragazzi gave an interview in which he admitted, “When I design a collection I always think about a celebrity”-add him to our celebrity obsessed culture.
Thankfully, there was some levity to the week as Alexander Wang held a lively party which he planned the week before at the Rainbow Room. While many guests danced enthusiastically inside there were hundreds of others waiting in the freezing cold as the venue was filled beyond capacity. Another venue that was similarly shut down on Saturday night was the Tiffany’s “Modern Love Photography Exhibition” held at Industria Studios. If you waited long enough to view the exhibition you were able to socialize amidst the likes of Kendall Jenner, Nina Agdal and Emily Ratajkowski.
Sunday was no less busy as Tory Burch started off the afternoon at Pier 17 with her floral print dresses in full lengths and multi-colored puffer coats — nobody does wearable better than Tory. Many attendees then headed to the party at the Diane Von Furstenberg store on Washington Street which was hosted by Derek Blasberg, Von Furstenberg and Selby Drummond and gathered the likes of Nicky Hilton, Barry Diller, Karlie Kloss, Huma Abedin and Mark Guiducci. Opening Ceremony also hosted a massive Asian themed party in Chinatown which featured Asian candies and snacks, Asian drinks and an Asian band as Justin Theroux and hundreds of others looked on in amazement at this spectacle created at 50 Bowery.
Finally, Philipp Plein also held a competing party at his townhouse on East 71st as he gets ready for his massive “Dinner” fashion show at the Pool Room on Monday evening. The list of exciting events continue as Naeem Khan, Zang Toi, Dennis Basso, Marc Jacobs, Zimmermann and Anna Sui will entertain crowds in the upcoming week so stay tuned!