Fashion Notes: The Straw That Broke the ‘Camel’s’ Back

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Unless you’ve been living under a rock, or have no interest in, or association with fashion (in which case I suppose you wouldn’t be reading this), you already know that camel is the new black. It’s been decreed the color of the fall season and the ‘it’ item for fall is the camel coat. Michael Kors, a designer who has perfected the art of reinterpreting classic wardrobe staples each season, has always had a fondness for the color, using it frequently as his base. Even his run of show is traditionally encased in a camel colored paper folder (and it was this time as well).


Various incarnations of camel have been seen on show goers all through the week (there have been camel colored sweaters, jackets, raincoats, trench coats, leathers, pants, shoes, bags, and furs), and they were there in force at Michael’s wonderfully upbeat, 10 am spring show yesterday morning held at The Theatre at Lincoln Center. (His run of show cited his inspiration as the Sunshine State of Mind, and “Here Comes the Sun” was playing in the background; it was an homage to iconic pieces perfect for both the beach life and the city). Quite frankly, the venue was swarming with camel clad show attendees, and it’s a safe bet that a good many of them were wearing Michael’s camel pieces. The woman sitting next to me, a heavily tanned blonde, was wearing a popular number: a very simple and elegant camel suede fitted knee length shift dress, and the woman opposite me had on a dark camel sleeveless dress, a camel toned fox shrug, and was carrying a camel colored leather satchel, all of which I assume came from one or more of Michael’s collections.


MK did not forego camel for spring; renaming it ‘peanut’ (it showed up in the form of a slouchy leather trench coat, a double face plonge trench jacket and skirt, and shirtdress). However, the show began (like many others) with great pieces in optic white (white is the new black for spring); and Michael went a step further and even slip covered the chairs in white fabric. In addition to white and peanut, there was a lot of natural hemp, pebble, sky blue, cloud, and midnight (with touches of daffodil, iris, grass green and zinnia – the least successful of the brights). Michael was another designer to endorse LONG (skirts, coats, dresses, pants), and while there were some fitted sweaters and jackets, he seems to love an eased up, slouchy, proportion. I kept thinking of Lauren Hutton, as I watched the models who looked naturally beautiful, healthy, happy, and comfortable thanks to comfy flat or low wedge sandals, many wearing jaunty bucket/crusher hats. It was truly all about great American sportswear (daywear really), and though the daffodil jersey toga dress looked appealing, the evening portion almost seemed to be forced, an afterthought

Tory Tory Tory


Speaking of camel, Tory Burch showed many great camel pieces for fall, and for her spring 2011 installation held right before Michael’s show, there were still some remnants (a camel cotton trench was shown over navy and white seersucker pants and a striped top and an orange silk peasant top was paired with a below the knee length a line camel leather skirt). Like elsewhere, she was in a much ‘longer’ mood than in the past, with skirt lengths falling from below the knee to the floor; but there were also shorts and pants. None exaggeratedly wide, as in the crisp white gold buttoned blazer paired with matching classic trousers and a black and white awning stripe gold buttoned blazer and matching pant). There was lots of statement making bold gold jewelry including bib necklaces and large gold hoops. The handbags were terrific (like the canvas and leather and all leather satchels); and the footwear of choice was a gold leather sandal on a very high wood heel.

Charlotte’s Nest


Phillip Lim used a quote from Charlotte Gainsbourg on the front page of run of show: ‘She walks crooked and paints her eyelids blue…dandie-lion, I wanna go there too’ which was held at the cavernous Park Avenue Armory. His camel coats were some of the best of last season and he was still feeling for the hue. Instead of heavy coats, he substituted knitwear: there was a blush pencil stripe halter layered over a camel back drape sweater and worn over an apron paneled skirt, and a camel knitted trench cardigan layered over a sable silk bustier blouse. He also used related shades like sable, nude, taupe, and tan. Here, the skirt lengths were just above the knee and there were shorts as well as trousers (shown as part of a chic suit), and narrow pants. Some of the best looks were late day and evening, and utilized lace or overlays, among them a knee length piped trench, and several nude and black patterned lace panel dresses. Texture, surface interest, and embellishments were part of the scenario, as exemplified by the dove and black tri paneled gown with lambskin paillettes and rhinestone encrusted panels worn with a blush lambskin neck scarf and the dove tri panel gown.

A Blass from the Past


The late and great Bill Blass was a known classicist and camel (the color and the fabric) always figured prominently in his collections (especially for fall). This morning, there was an informal installation of Bill Blass spring 2011, now designed by Jeffrey Monteiro. While there was no camel among the 27 pieces on view, there were some noteworthy pieces that interpreted trends seen elsewhere (especially where lace, sheer, and see thru were concerned). Among then: a navy double cotton suiting jacket paired with a grey striped top and off white pants; a sleeveless ivory fringed textured beaded top shown with a red/orange double cotton suiting pant; an ivory jacket piped in black lace shown over a sheer black blouse and gray knee length skirt; a white point d’esprit blouse layered over a black point d’esprit bandeau worn with white trousers; a black lace over nude side draped cocktail dress; a narrow red point d’esprit gown that capitalized on the peek a boo trend that is showing up all over.

They ‘nailed’ it

Essie, the popular and ubiquitous nail polish brand we all know and love, partnered with Mercedes Benz Fashion Week this season. Last Friday and yesterday, they set up a mini nail salon and took appointments for free manicures throughout the day. There were two manicurists on duty and one could choose from 4 colors- a dark tan shade, an almost black color, a very very dark, almost black red, and a bright red, called Fishnet Stockings. As it turns out, my manicure from last week was already ‘gone’ and I needed a manicure, so I availed myself of this convenient service, choosing the Fishnet Stockings. It took less than 15 minutes for a filing, manicure change, oil treatment on my cuticles, and then a quick stop at a drying station right behind it. Now, that’s what I call a wise idea!

-Marilyn Kirschner

Beautiful Hair

The Original Moroccanoil Oil Treatment is a favorite with hairstylists from New York to LA. It is instantly absorbed into hair and strengthens and conditions without leaving any oily residue. It also reduces drying time. Last night, guests at the Zang Toi Fashion Show received a bottle of Moroccanoil in their goody bags to take home.

The Original Moroccanoil Treatment

-Rhonda Erb

Rhonda Erb

Rhonda Erb writes about fashion, travel and lifestyle from a New Yorker’s perspective in Better Bets. A self-confessed Instagram addict, her work has also appeared in such publications as Runway Magazine. Follow her at: Instagram: @betterbets Twitter: @betterbetsny tumblr:

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