Upon taking my seat at Lela Rose on Sunday morning, I looked up and noticed an attractive young woman clad in all black, wearing an eye catching chunky, multi strand bead and wood necklace, her waist wrapped obi style in a wide striped satin sash. I quickly realized it was Chelsea Paskvan, the woman I met Sunday at Andy & Debb, whose card I took, and who I blogged about. Apparently, she will be at the tents every day wearing something fabulous of her own design. A walking ‘model’ for her line of accessories. Once again, her contact information should you be interested in finding out more about her: firstname.lastname@example.org
As for the Lela Rose show. it was certainly an upbeat way to start the day. Her show notes promised the “notion of an enchanted forest and all its magical creatures, and a kaleidoscope of colors” (which it delivered), in addition to the layering, inventive texture, pattern, and fabric mixes, which have come to be a signature of this popular label. Ms. Rose was adept at mixing tweeds with plaids and stripes with checks, as well as mixing day for night, by adding subtle touches of shine through sequins and the use of antiqued spun gold. Nothing seemed forced or overdone, and it made a statement. I particularly liked the way sporty shapes were transformed into something special, through the use of unexpected fabrics, inventive mixing, and layering (a big trend on the runways thus far and which looks especially relevant at the moment). These were wearable yet special pieces and the overall effect was young, modern, and effortlessly glamorous and except for 5 thinly belted long dresses at the end, everything was short and leggy.
My favorite looks include the gray tweed belted ‘explorer’ jacket with funnel neck and cropped sleeves, layered over a ribbed cashmere sweater and plaid felt skirt; the moss green ribbed cashmere belted trench coat worn over a dragonfly silk dress with gold embroidered top; the forest green tweed down quilted vest paired with a plaid silk tulle cocoon skirt; the group of wide horizontally striped sequined tank tops and tank dresses in shades that mimicked nature; the fuchsia silk and wool short strapless dress layered over thick gray nubby tights; the black and white plaid paperweight taffeta one shouldered gown belted with a narrow glittery belt; and the spun gold strapless belted gown. By the way, all the shoes used on the runway were by Lela Rose for Payless.
One good idea this yesterday morning was a showing at the Promenade, one of the venues located within the Bryant Park tents, which combined the forces of three designers (three for the price of one and very cost effective these days). However, only one, Mara Hoffman, who showed last, truly stood out thanks to her crowd pleasing languid silk jersey and chiffon printed dresses, graphic astral tapestry short cape coat in black and white paired with black and white striped leggings; winter white wool fringe wrap thrown over ‘native’ printed leggings; and a group of black jersey separates adorned with massive gold studs. That said, it doesn’t mean the first two designers had nothing of note.
First up was Nicholas K who presented his 43 piece ‘grunge’ (for lack of a better word) collection for men and women. While there were some very wearable and covetable cropped leather and shearing jackets bomber and motorcycle jackets, most often paired with muted plaid shirts and faded army green cropped trousers (some in Jodhpur shapes) …things did get a bit repetitive and I kept asking myself…haven’t I seen that before?
This was followed by Sergio Davila who cited inspiration from the “Royal Heart” days of Spain’s 19th Century Vice Royalty for his gender bending men’s (and some women’s) collection. It was not until the show was almost over, that the ‘royalty’ idea made any sense at all, and it was only seen on the guys: an elegant and timeless pale camel mohair short coat; an olive green pinstriped fitted suit in light wool paired with a fitted dress shirt and cotton and lurex scarf; a black wool quilted jacket worn with olive wool pants and embroidered cardigan; a diamond quilted black vest paired with a sheer embroidered sweater, window pane light wool pants and leg warmers; and a black sequined with gold striped cardigan that seemed like something Elvis might like if he were still with us (or in any case…something one of us gals might actually want).
All I can say is that it’s a good thing the practice of showering show goers with goodie bags has not completely disappeared, even though companies are tightening their belts at the moment. At Lela Rose, we were given a little bag that contained ‘lifesaving’ cosmetic staples (which come in mighty handy, especially during Fashion Week when you have to look picture perfect since you might be ‘snapped’ by any number of photographers). Among them: a small tube of Borghese Curaforte Moisture Intensifier cream; a pack of 10 ’Hollywood’ oil blotting tissues (which promise to remove the shine from your face quickly); Peptide’s Eye ‘Depuffing’ Eye Serum (to rid of those unsightly bags which become more pronounced as you stay up all night editing); and Stila’s Smoky Eye, the original patent pending ‘The Talking Palette’ which literally talks to you and tells you how to how to use the product when you ‘press here’. Unfortunately, once it starts gabbing, it doesn’t stop until it’s programmed to do so, which proved a tad embarrassing when I tried it out while sitting at quiet Kinko’s and everyone around me was trying to concentrate on their work on the computer. I got a lot of mean stares but it did make me smile.
And speaking of ‘don’t look a gift horse in the mouth’, I know I should be thankful for any freebee that comes my way, but still, what’s up with this season’s Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Official Gift Bags? Yikes! Not only are they disappointing with regards to the contents therein, but the bag itself (normally something in neutral black, white or tan) is an embarrassment: I’m talking about cheap, hot pink vinyl emblazoned with ‘Barbie’. Just what a chic, grownup, sophisticated editor wants to tote around…NOT!
As day three of Fashion Week got underway, I felt a bit underwhelmed with the collections that showed thus far. But, I was baited with anticipation as Diane von Furstenberg’s presentation grew nearer. I knew it would be a big event in terms of celebrity; however, I was more interested in the clothes. The tent was hectic as usual and it was somewhat of a battle to maneuver through all the cameras on the runway to get to my seat. I passed by Rachel Zoe (wearing what looked like a gorgeous Burberry feathered coat from last Fall) and Molly Sims. Tim Gunn and Heidi Klum posed at the opposite end of the catwalk for hundreds of photos and Simon Doonan was chatting nearby while Diane Sawyer and Fran Leibowitz sat quietly in the front row. Also perched up front were Anna Wintour, Andre Leon Talley, Suzy Menkes, Hal Rubenstein, Robbie Myers, Joe Zee, Ann Duong, and Diana Ross (settled next to Barry Diller).
After the lights were dimmed a couple of times and we were all asked to take our seats, an announcement followed pertaining to those seated upfront. “Please uncross your legs.” In other words, please don’t trip the models. Everyone complied and the show was underway. A sped-up, “house” version of George Michael’s “Careless Whisper” thumped through the speakers and immediately drew in the crowd. Models cruised by wearing oversized knit caps decorated with pom poms in various colors and sizes, resembling fireworks. This season’s collection, called Nomad, is all about comfort. The fabrics and yarns are soft and luxurious, the colors are soothing and the silhouettes are feminine and flattering to the body, but never constricting.
Perhaps it’s the extremely cold winter we’ve been dealing with, but I found myself longing to leave the tents wrapped in one of Ms. von Furstenberg’s cocoon coats which she featured in all types of rich and opulent fibers such as metallic tweed, plaid mohair, bonded lace and embroidered knit. Velvet, wool, cashmere and fuzzy knits were combined with or treated with prints (leopard mainly), plaid (soft, blurred effect), jacquard (Navajo and Mongolian patterns), embroidery and appliqué. Sequins and metallic jersey managed fit in somehow and looked fresh and chic when mixed with nubby and fuzzy knits.
“It’s a modern nomad and constant traveler journeying from place to place, from morning to night, finding freedom in layers and in pieces that work together.” This is how she describes her concept and inspiration. “Wherever she goes, she belongs… her clothes are her friends” – Diane von Furstenberg. This quote defines the Fall collection perfectly. As the last model vanished from the catwalk, Diana Ross’ “Upside Down” blasted through the tent and Ms. von Furstenberg took her victory lap accompanied by Nathan Jenden (DVF’s creative director) who stayed a step behind her clapping. She veered off to hug Ms. Ross and to give her husband a kiss, then continued down the runway leaving with another fabulous collection behind her.
After dealing with all the hustle and bustle of the tents, it’s refreshing to attend an event off-site… or so I thought. Bryan Bradley showed his Fall Collection last night at the New York Design Center on Lexington Ave. Although the space was quite dignified, it wasn’t the best venue to accommodate a fashion show. After I checked in, I was informed that they were over-crowded and had no more chairs available, so they handed me a “standing” card. Annoyed, I suddenly longed to be back at the tents. “Isn’t Erin Fetherston showing in the Promenade right now?” I thought to myself. I scanned the room and spotted Paper Magazine’s Mr. Mickey, Bill Cunningham, Hamish Bowles and a very pregnant Kelly Rutherford (Gossip Girl). After standing for twenty minutes, I decided to sit in an empty chair and wait for the show to begin. I waited a bit longer, and a bit longer. The chair next to me remained vacant. Finally, the music started – it was 7.45pm. “Who does this guy think he is,” I wondered. “Marc Jacobs?”
Bradley served up a cornucopia of prints, colors and fabrics to create sobering ensembles; some of which were hits and some of which were misses. I think the concept “less is more” is applicable to this collection as I found the more simplistic pieces to be successful and the overdone styles to be less so. Some pieces were impeccable, such as a solid blue, strapless dress draped and gathered into a rosette shape on the front. An elegant, iridescent, plum fitted jacket over black pants was a classically tasteful look but, the flirty, leopard printed dress worn with the tiny cable knit shrug stood out as if it accidentally attended the wrong show. I happened to love the moss green hoodie trimmed in orange, paired with a shimmery- printed, short, flouncy skirt, as well as some of the tapestry coats but I felt, as a whole, the collection was disjointed.
Daily Bets :
Passport Panty and Cami Set
For the fashionista on the go: The Passport Panty and Cami Set is packaged in a faux croc passport cover so that it can be discretely carried in your purse or carry-on. Each set is made of a comfortable sheer mesh fabric. The size range includes Jump Seat (extra small), Window (small), Middle (medium), and Aisle (large).
Buriti Baby by The Body Shop
The Body shop has a new skin care line to pamper your baby’s skin. The products feature buriti oil, which is used throughout South America for its skin softening properties. The new line includes a body butter, body wash, body lotion, massage gel, and shampoo.
The Body Shop