| New York Fashion Week Blog
Day 8: Wednesday, September 12
Thirty-nine shows and eight days later, we’re down to the last day of New York Fashion Week. We’re finishing off with two of the most iconic American fashion designers—Donna Karan and Tommy Hilfiger.
Demi Moore is here at Donna Karan. Every show Demi has attended this week has been a madhouse of photographers scrambling to get her picture. She’s certainly the hot celebrity ticket this week. Karan’s collection was beautiful, with safari-inspired pieces and long fluid evening gowns she’s known for.
Tommy Hilfiger was the last show of the week. It’s a bit of a celeb grab with Diane Kruger, Emmy Rossum, Rosario Dawson, Michelle Rodriguez, and some hip-hopper’s I don’t recognize in the front row. I was surprised at how much I liked Hilfiger’s collection. It carried a more sophisticated and mature feel that is not always synonymous with the Hilfiger label. Most of the pieces were navy or white and I especially loved the dresses that had architectural shapes—most with low cut backs. The shoes were great too—studded heels, which continues to be a trend for spring 2008.
It’s hard to believe, but another season’s over. Standout collections this week were definitely Proenza Schouler and Marc Jacobs. Key trends so far are colour, transparency, menswear, layering and safari/military-esque touches. Put away your “it” bags because the accessory for spring is a killer hat, as seen at most shows.
That’s it for now. I’ll be blogging to you from Paris next season. Can’t wait! Stay cool and stay stylish.
Day 7: Tuesday, September 11
It was hard getting out of bed for the shows this morning, especially after last night’s late end, but one must persevere for the sake of fashion.
Today was filled with things to look forward to: Marc by Marc Jacobs, Calvin Klein, Tory Burch and Zac Posen, to name a few.
First stop was Monique Lhuillier, a bridal gown designer who branched into ready to wear like so many others—Vera Wang being the most successful. Lhuillier is a go—to label for celebrity photo shoots and when I need to add a touch of sophistication to any photo shoot. Today’s show was classic and beautiful—just what I expected.
Marc by Marc Jacobs was next. Thankfully this show started on “fashion” time—that means 40 minutes past the posted time on the invite. It was cute and young, just as Marc by Marc should be. The retro 70’s—inspired clothes took the spotlight this afternoon, as there was no celebrity hoopla.
Then I was off to check out Bruce, a smaller, more independent label that was hugely popular with fashion insiders but shut down for a few years. This was the second season since they resurrected the label.
Calvin Klein was the next big ticket. It was a very pretty show—American sportswear Zen if you will—with very clean, minimalist silhouettes and pale colors.
Zac Posen had the most interesting front row—with Demi Moore, Lucy Liu, Bette Midler, Martha Stewart, and Serena Williams. Absolute chaos encircled Demi. It’s no wonder these celebs breakdown and go mad. This was an interesting show, as it appears the Amish were his inspiration. I could envision many of the outfits out on the prairies somewhere.
One more day to go!
Day 6: Monday, September 10
It’s the final leg now. Marc Jacobs was up to his old antics and left the crowd waiting-the show was two hours late! It did not start until 11 pm.
And what a celebrity frenzy! Posh was there (as usual, the photographers went crazy for her), along with Sheryl Crow, Courtney Love, Mischa Barton and Flare cover girl Elisha Cuthbert. They had dance music blasting-I’m guessing in an attempt to distract the crowd and keep them hyped.
Jacobs created the entire show backwards-him coming out first, then the finale, followed by individual models. Not sure the crowd really got it; however, the clothes were amazing. In classic “Jacobs” fashion, electric colour combinations, party dresses and quirky accessories with purses on top of a purse-you have to see it to get it-graced the runway. I actually forgot about the long wait for a few minutes, until the harsh reality of finding a cab downtown at midnight hit me.
Earlier that day at Carolina Herrera, classic pieces were heightened with a bit of volume and dresses in tailored menswear fabrics were featured. Sadly, Renée Zellweger -her biggest Hollywood supporter-wasn’t in the audience.
Helmut Lang, the label resurrected by Habitual jeans designers, was shown in an intimate presentation, where a show took place every half-hour. This was the most “Helmut Lang” the label has looked in a long time. Think edgy, androgynous, avant-garde details, and asymmetrical cuts. The only colour they showed was an electric blue-I loved it.
Anna Sui rocked it out with a 70’s punk meets 30’s bugle-girl vibe. The models sported short neon wigs and everything from floral frocks to black PVC. This is definitely for the fashion eclectic or the rock’n’roll crowd, as demonstrated by the front row, where Lisa Marie Presley sat (fresh off of Oprah’s show) with daughter Riley.
Day 5: Sunday, September 9
We’re past the halfway mark here at New York fashion week. It seems that menswear and prints are the leading trends on the runway and thankfully celebrity mob scenes at fashion shows are so yesterday.
I had an action packed Sunday. Early morning I was heading over to the West Village for the DKNY show. It was a fun and familial vibe as a lot of editors and NY trendsters brought their little ones to the show. I love the West Village, it’s got great shops and restaurants and my favourite spot Magnolia Bakery-the red velvet cupcakes are my fave!! And yes, I have already indulged.
After that it was back to the Bryant Park tents for the Peter Som show. I thought this was one of Peter’s best shows. He showed some great metallic brocades that managed to feel modern and some beautiful graphically cut summer dresses. Sure to be bridesmaid favourites.
Michael Kors was a huge scene-Jessica Simpson was led by her bodyguard from backstage just before the show. It was too packed to spot any other celebs. Michael’s shows follow a formula of luxury, jet-set and easy-to-wear. Lots of colour and print but it was quintessential Kors. I love this show for the model casting. Favourites like Carmen Kass and Erin Wasson give a healthy, womanly balance to all of the younger faces.
The Derek Lam show took place in an old industrial building on the edge of the West Side Highway. Somehow they made this location luxe and cozy with wall to wall draping. I loved it because it felt very intimate. Lam channeled the seventies this season with a range of looks from boho to lingerie-inspired glam-it reminded me of Hugh Hefner in his infamous robe.
And back to the tents it was for Diane Von Furstenberg-you can see how the traveling itself gets exhausting. I gave in and wore flats all day. The DVF show was at the main tent so it was another huge see-and-be-seen affair. What I loved most about this show was the music-it was happy and fun and just made you want to dance! Speaking of music, Mika has been a runway fave on the soundtracks here.
I was really bummed to learn we weren’t getting a ticket to Philip Lim-the hottest young thing right now. His line is super cute and priced substantially lower than “designer” lines so he’s on the must-have list of every young “it-girl” and fashion lover alike.
My long day wound down at Narciso Rodriguez. Julianna Margulies of ER fame was sporting the best accessory-a hot boyfriend. She’s been a long time fan of Narciso’s; as have Rachael Weis and the Seinfeld’s-yes Jerry accompanies his wife to every show. Narciso was to true to his clean and architectural style-some of the best pieces were the volumized coats. I loved the bright purple he showed too-hope to see more of it as the season goes on.
Day 4: Saturday, September 8
It’s day four and New York’s sweltering heat is making it hard for this fashionista to keep cool. The challenge: What do you wear in 100 degree weather when you’ve packed your much anticipated fall pieces? That sweater dress I brought just isn’t going to fly!
It was another busy day with key shows like Rodarte and Ralph Lauren’s 40th anniversary.
I started the day at Phi—a relatively small collection owned by Susan Dell of yes, Dell computers. It’s a smart collection that’s getting increasing hype and the press reaction was very enthusiastic.
Then I was off to support another expat designer Claude Morais at Ruffian. Getting cabs after the shows is absolute madness, fighting against the clock to get all the way across town in ten minutes. Not to mention fighting against the hordes of other show spectators trying to get the same cab. The Ruffian show was at the National Arts Club in Gramercy Park, a very old school men’s club type location. Cool vibe, but no air con???!!!!!!
Next it was Rodarte. I’ve been anticipating this show with lots of excitement. I love these two sisters from California—Kate and Laura Mulleavy. They are one of the few designers in a world of commercial friendly fashion that really take risks and make art out of clothes. I did suffer for fashion today as the 500-plus crowd sat in a sweltering non-air-conditioned warehouse. I was hoping I wouldn’t melt away before the show started. It was worth it though. The show was brilliant—the clothes looked like puffs of cotton candy in sweet pastel colours—and I loved the combination of the overly sweet clothes with the toughest studded high heels I’ve ever seen. The Rodarte girls design the shoes themselves for Christian Louboutin, most of them with inch-long spikes that look like claws protruding from the shoe. Crazy!!
After a big bottle of Evian I was running off to Noir, a little known European label, and then back to the hotel to wash off the sweat and primp up for Ralph Lauren’s big 40th anniversary to do.
The RL show was waaaay uptown at the top of Central Park at the Conservatory. Leave it to Lauren to make this an uber-stylish event. At the gates you entered through 20-foot tall arrangements of pink hydrangea and a row of white-gloved (and cute) waiters greeted you with caviar canapés and champagne. The tent was beautiful, covered in sisal carpeting and white pillows lined along all of the seats. In the distance I could see the spectacular set up for the VIP dinner being held later that night—unfortunately it was celebrities, high-society and top New York and International fashion folk only, but it looked magical with tables set up in the middle of the park with glittering candles and chandeliers hung from the trees.
And then I was off again—all the way downtown to the hipster Lower East Side to attend a party for the Rodarte girls. It was a small affair at Freeman’s, a hot spot located in the back of Freeman’s Alley. It was so laid back, most people spent the night outside in the graffiti covered so-cool-its-grungy alley. As I looked around I thought to myself, “This is so New York.”
Day 3: Friday, September 7
Well, this was a fashion-filled day. Starting bright and early at Ports where an African themed collection had Canadian singer turned fashion photographer Bryan Adams attention. Oh, Buffy the Vampire Slayer herself Sarah Michelle Gellar was seated front and centre. Vera Wang was a stellar show, managing to carve out a style for herself and seamlessly carry it through season after season. I loved it! She’s definitely a critic favourite.
Meanwhile, at Max Azria, Carrie Underwood had the photographers in a tizzy. Who knew American Idol would make you a fashion show darling?
Another great show was Thakoon. This relatively new designer has quickly made a mark for himself and is getting acclaim—not only from the highest of fashion royalty, a.k.a. Vogue, but from A-list celebrities like Kate Bosworth, who was seated in the front row. Rumour has it she’s writing a special diary for Vogue which would explain why she’s always sitting between two Vogue editors. Margherita Missoni and Joy Bryant were also there.
The final and most sensational show of the week so far was Proenza Schouler. With Demi Moore and Kyra Sedgwick in the house, the two young guys brought out an absolutely exquisite collection. I don’t know how they do it but they have this deep well of inspiration and creativity and continue to outdo themselves season after season. The show took place at the Park Avenue Armory—the first indication of the duo’s military-inspired collection. But what made it new were feminine touches like the feather adorned pieces and dresses that looked like they had been dipped in gold. Absolutely brilliant. This was the kind of show that gets you all ramped up and inspired by fashion again, which is no easy feat to a room of jaded, seen-it-all fashion editors.
Day 2: Thursday, September 6
Seems NY fashion week is off to a slower start this season, but that’s okay by me because as of tomorrow the pace will ramp up a hundred fold. Not to mention that New York City has been hit by a taxi strike. Getting a cab here is a challenge on a regular day, so you can imagine. I’ve had to share with strangers and last night I had to take a bicycle rickshaw. Not exactly a driver, but oh well.
The highlight today was definitely Jeremy Laing’s show. The Canadian designer had me beaming with patriotic pride. Not only were the clothes absolutely gorgeous, but he managed to attract all of the right people. Major press and buyers, including those from the infamous Barney’s, New York were there. I’ve always believed in Laing’s talent, but now it looks like the rest of the industry thinks he’s a rising star too.
The most chaotic show today was Badgley Mischka. A 700-plus crowd and celebrity sightings like Teri Hatcher (she’s in their fall campaign) made for a buzzing vibe.
Today’s downer: being turned away at Alexander Wang. After getting all the way downtown, an invitation wasn’t enough to get me in to the much-hyped show styled by uber-model Erin Wasson. Turns out the Fire Marshall showed up and started putting a cap to the number of people allowed in the modestly sized venue.
Day 1: Wednesday, September 5
The first day of New York Fashion Week is about to wrap up. Just waiting at Gwen Stefani’s Lamb show. The scene is chaotic, as one would imagine a celebrity designer show would be. Gavin’s here with baby Kingston, along with P.Diddy. Or is that Sean Combs now? I can’t keep up. The odd front-row sighting is Boris Becker.
It was a rather quiet start to the week. The most interesting clothes were off the runway at smaller intimate presentations. Rachel Roy, hip hop mogul Damon Dash’s beautiful wife, was a standout today. Her collection raised the bar and the vibe was very nouveau riche with Dom Perignon free flowing and an air of ghetto fabulousness.
The scene at the Bryant Park tents is quite amusing. People lined up outside waiting to see who’s coming and going-hoping to get a celebrity sighting. Must be disappointing to just see packs of fashion editors in their impractical heels and it-bags.