Don’t think of it as losing a Kendall and Kylie, think of it as gaining a Savannah and Sadie. For evening wear designer Sherri Hill’s Fall 2015 show held Thursday night at the Plaza Hotel there was still much star power present in the Grand Ballroom, both on and off the runway. The two S’s are none other than Savannah Faith Chrisley of USA Network’s “Chrisley Knows Best” accompanied by her dad Michael Todd Chrisley, as well as Sadie Robertson of A & E’s “Duck Dynasty” accompanied by her mom Korie Robertson.OK, so they’re not quite Jenner/Kardashian’s but just give them some time in the big city and they’ll get there!
First of all, let me say that I was slightly unprepared for the scene I encountered in the Plaza lobby. So many millennials milling about in sky high heels and seriously sparkly party frocks at 5PM seemed slightly obscene. One particularly tall girl in a black and gold strapless cleavage enhancing mini set her crystal encrusted clutch down on the lobby center table and proceeded to knock over a huge urn filled with flowers. I must say she had extremely fast reflexes though and managed to quickly scoop it up, however not before copious amounts of water stained the oriental carpet. Carmen Dell’Orefice elegantly strolled by, white hair and white blazer flashing, and continued to make her way to the third floor ballroom. After a deep breath I decided to follow her there.
|Third from the left: Maddie Ziegler, my new style icon!|
The room outside the ballroom was just starting to fill with more heavily made up and lightly dressed PYT’s (do we still use that phrase?) posing on the step and repeat including Miss USA and Miss Teen USA. I spied Rob Shuter of “Naughty But Nice;” the last time I saw him he was following Countess Luann de Lesseps around at her shopping channel clothing launch event. It turned out that he was her “walker” this evening too, as I found out when they sat together in the front row of the ballroom next to Carmen. The Countess looked stunning as always in an amazing black evening dress that definitely wasn’t from her home line nor do I think it was from Ms. Hill’s as it was suspiciously unadorned by anything clear and shiny. Across the runway, on the other front row sat 12-year-old Maddie Ziegler from “Dance Moms” recently seen accompanying and dressed like Singer Sia at the Grammy’s (she dances with Shia LaBeouf in Sia’s video and performed at the Grammy’s) with 13-year-old actress Clare Foley of “Gotham” and “Orange is the New Black.” Ziegler as Elle Magazine’s NYFW correspondent she has had one busy week See: Elle article . Nice product placement with the ELLE clutch! A few seats over I also spied Kelly Hyland, mom of Paige and Brooke, all of whom left the show last year. Carson Kressley and MSNBC’s Thomas Roberts rounded out the list of notables for the evening.
If you’re not familiar with Sherri Hill don’t be ashamed; this is niche dressing. She started her own line in 2008 after a 12-year stint at Jovani, known for prom and pageant wear. Hill gained recognition when various Miss America, Miss USA, and Miss Universe contestants won titles in gowns that she had designed. The Sherri Hill brand now has over 800 stores selling the brand in over 30 countries. She has dressed young Hollywood for the red carpet including Selena Gomez, Carrie Underwood, Miranda Lambert and Bella Thorne. Her star really rose in 2011 when Kendall walked in the show during NYFW along with Miss China and Miss USA. In 2013 both Kendall and Kylie joined Miss Universe 2008 in walking the runway for the spring collection.
At about 5:40PM the ballroom went dark and the show began. Thirty-four evening wear looks were shown mostly in jewel tones and most studded with rhinestones, crystal and all matter of bling. There were velvet mermaid silhouettes, ostrich feathers, high slits, heavily beaded bodices with silk taffeta overskirts, nude illusion side panels, cut-out backs, plunging necklines, lace, jewels, beads, pearls and more crystals; sometimes all on the same dress! I realize that pageant/prom is its own market/price point and can’t be compared to some of the high-end evening wear designs I had just seen at Fashion Week however it was shocking to my system, nonetheless. Looks 34 through 44 were from the exclusive preview of the Fall 2015 Bridal Collection. The first bridal look must have been for a second wedding; it was way too sex-ay for a first, but it received cheers for its beaded fringe over a nude illusion Swarovski crystal bodice. Carmen let out a whoop for Look 42 which was the only pant ensemble; a midriff bearing lace beaded top with liquid beaded extremely form-fitting pants.
|Carmen Dell’Orefice in Tahari Window Display|
Although Carmen wore sunglasses and drank from a straw in a water bottle (aren’t straws supposed to give you wrinkles?) she was busy shielding her eyes and turning around during the show as the intense light reflecting off of the blingety-bling-bling was all just too much. I realized that the 83-year-old had to have had an extremely long day as she spent the earlier part of it posing at a presentation at the Elie Tahari show along with a stuffed zebra in the store window. Unbelievable! At the end of the show, after Ms. Hill took her quick sortie on the runway and ducked backstage, Carmen started yelling “Sherri, Sherri, Sherri” until finally she decided to take matters into her own hands (or legs) and walked briskly backstage to get the shy designer. They both embraced on the runway, everyone held their iPhones aloft, snapped and then it was over, 20 minutes after it had begun. I wonder where all the fabulously overdressed young girls went afterwards. Was there an after party at an ice cream shop?