What’s a nice Jewish girl like me,doing in a place like this?

 The eve of the Jewish New
Year’s coincided with the first night of Mercedes Benz Fashion Week this year,
creating quite a stir, more than its share of conflicts, and a lot of
controversy. All of which of course, makes for good copy. The subject even made
the cover of The New York Post on Thursday, and they handled it the best, thanks
to their catchy cover lines, “Fash Hashana”, Faith and Fashion Clash. Inside,
their coverage of the “controversy” continued with “The Jewish Guilt Group,
Conflict is He-brewing as Fashion Week falls on Rosh Hashana!” They listed
Jewish designers (such as Yigal Azrouel)who changed their usual timeslot to
accomodate the timing of the holidays, and mentioned fashion professionals and
bloggers (like The Man Repeller’s Leandra Medine) who were skipping the first
few days for religious reasons.
BCBG Max Azria black & white tuxedo jumpsuit

I myself decided to cover a
few shows, including the Max Azria BCBG 10 a.m. show, held at the Tents at
Lincoln Center. It was all about “urban edgy”; “traditional silhouettes and
tailoring techniques deconstructed and reconstructed”; “practical functional
fabrications”; the play of hard and soft, and masculine and feminine. The color
palette was light (lots of white, off white, bone, pale blush, light chambray,
khaki), but it was counterbalanced with plenty of black, and the use of an
artistic abstract watercolor print, and the emphasis was on a relaxed fit and an
eased up, flyaway silhouette. In general, I found myself thinking that the best
pieces were as always, the most simplified. As I sat there, I asked myself,
“What’s a nice Jewish boy like Max Azria,doing in place like this?” Why is
he at Lincoln Center and not at temple? Of course, it’s none of my
business. It’s all personal and one has to do what feels right for them.
(Suffice it to say that if this had been Yom Kippur, the most solemn day on the
Jewish calendar, it would have been a different story for me). A little later,
I bumped into Ellin Saltzman,who admitted that she would not be going to temple
anyway, so why not go to the shows? Makes sense to me.

 Speaking of which  the fabulously talented fashion illustrator Gladys Perint Palmer, known for her irreverent caricatures, has just come out with a new book, “Adam & Yves”, Highlights of fashion history, which contains 216 pages and 190 illustrations,  (http://www.firefallmedia.com/). There was a book signing yesterday afternoon held at the Courtyard at Mercedes Benz Fashion Week at Lincoln Center, and many people lined up to buy the book, and have it personalized by Gladys herself.

Getting back to religious symbols and symbolism, they have long figured into the vocabulary of fashion and there have been a number of fashion brands whose labels have referenced religion. For example, who can forget the now defunct Imitation of Christ? And nowadays, there’s True Religion, the popular denim brand, which seems to be all over the place. On Sunday, the Avant Garde group Three as Four will be showing their collection, dubbed Mer Ka Ba, (a school of early Jewish mysticism), at the Jewish Museum on upper Fifth Avenue.  And through the years, some have even tried to equate great fashion moments with having a religious experience. Let’s just say, I didn’t find religion, nor did I find myself in the middle of a major religious experience yesterday (there’s always tomorrow and hope spring eternal), though there were some nice clothes here and there.

Richard Chai Love white navy black striped cotton nylon patchwork t- shirt

In addition to BCBG, I saw
Richard Chai Love, who proved that there IS still life after the iconic black
motorcycle jacket (which became ubiquitous both on and off the runways
especially after the opening of “Punk: From Chaos to Couture” which is now
closed). His, in collaboration with well known leather manufacturer Andrew Marc,
were shown for both men and women, and he wisely steered away from the
traditional and predictable black, opting instead for versions in white, red,
and ink. They still managed to look appealing, especially when juxtaposed over
long chiffon skirts, or full high waisted trousers that resembled skirts. There
were some graphic, nautical inspired ink and ivory striped knits that looked
cool and fresh, several several interesting prints, and he favors a very full
long pant that resembles a skirt.

Richard Chai Love grenadine cotton and nylon double breasted blazer
and silk shadow stripe trouser skirt

Actually, a grenadine (vibrant red) cotton
nylon double breasted blazer and matching long trouser skirt stood out not only
for the color, but the exaggerated, slouchy proportions that recalled the late
Perry Ellis. He is on my mind as of late because a biography, “Perry Ellis, an
American Original”, written by  Jeffrey Banks, Erica Lennard, and Doria de la
Chapelle, with a forward by Marc Jacobs, is set to be released on October
22.   I knew Perry, as I was his editor at Harper’s Bazaar, (I actually brought
him to the attention of then fashion director Carrie Donovan), and as such,
was interviewed and asked to contribute my thoughts and recollections. I am
looking forward to reading it

 And it’s always interesting
to attend design competitions, such as the sixth annual Supima Design
Competition held yesterday afternoon at The Studio at Lincoln Center, because
they can predict the future of fashion. The work of 8 design students, all of
whom used the “world’s finest cotton” was presented (5 outfits each), and the
winner was announced by Rachel Zoe at the end. It was Morgan Selin from the
Rhode Island School of Design, and her inventive creations, (all in shades of
blue), included a corduroy knee length dress in midnight blue with foiled
fabric; a denim gown with woven blue bodice and silver foil skirt; and a twill
dress in an ombre of slate to midnight with dyed bias strips.

– Marilyn Kirschner

On & Off the Runway


All in Good Fun

Desigual, the casual
clothing company based in Spain, brought its signature brand of contemporary,
colorful style to the New York Fashion Week runways Thursday with their debut
showing at Lincoln Center.  In an effort to convey a Mediterranean vibe with
their Spring/Summer 2014 collection, Desigual’s design team, which features the
legendary Christian Lacroix, showed looks ranging from vibrant florals to
geometric black and white prints.  The male and female models were lively and
uninhibited on the runway, exemplifying Desigual’s beliefs in “Lust for living
well, feeling free and dressing expressively.”  They even provided a little PDA
for the audience, which included actress and model Isabella Rossellini, seated
in he front row. 

Opening Night

Fashion icon
Patricia Field served as the host of a benefit evening to kick off New York
Fashion Week on Thursday night at the Empire Hotel.  The event was a
collaboration between GBK Productions, a gifting and special events company, and
Fashion Group International, a professional organization for the fashion
industry.  The two-hour cocktail party raised thousands of dollars in support of
student scholarships for the LIM Fashion Education Foundation.  LIM FEF Board
Member, Michael Palladino said, “I am thankful for the support of our mission to
offer scholarships and educational enhancements to LIM College students as they
pursue their studies and enter the business of fashion.”

Guests at the event included Fashion
Group International members, socialites, and celebrities including Bravo reality
stars Sonja Morgan and Nancy Pearson.
The Daily Bet by Rhonda Erb
 Haupt Charcoal Blue Plaid Shirt


This is no lumberjack shirt. It was
designed in Germany and is made of a special cashmere touch, polyester and
viscose fabric that is ultra soft and comfortable.


Available at: http://shop.schuyler4.com,


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: betterbetsny.tumblr.com

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