Friday, September 18, 2009

FIN: Spaniard. Rains. Whimsy. Cashmere.

From the Spring 2010 Trias collection. Photo courtesy of Getty Images.

HEAD'S UP: The plan each day of Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week is to give a roundup of the best (and worse where applicable) and most interesting Yours Truly witnesses, from shows to trends to sightings to the rather unusual/bizarre. Mind, this won’t be a comprehensive list simply because I can’t be everywhere. But depend on it, I’ll do my best. Drum roll, please …

The end: Expected, yet surprising. Some confusion and rather quite a bit of rain at times. Holly likes the rain. It's very democratic and hardworking. But soft, too, like downy. And a few moments when art, architecture and beauty took a slow stroll.

The Players (tent)
Allude, Isaac Mizrahi, Trias, Chocheng, Argentinean Designer Collections, Tommy Hilfiger

The Players (elsewhere)
Ralph Lauren, Norma Kamali, Calvin Klein threeASFOUR, Phi, Stephen Burrows

Ralph Lauren's – The designer's empire has not experienced the reverses that many have in this Great Recession, yet he has the economy on the brain. This preoccupation might speak to his compassion for the less fortunate or his savvy as a businessman/artist or his great relief, or all/none. Regardless, Lauren’s spring collection is an ode to the engine of the economy, that is working people: farmers, cowboys, pioneer women. He trades in the polos that have come to symbolize the leisure class who don’t work for money but rather has money work for them. Instead, he favors the overalls, prairie skirts/dresses, button-down collar/less shirts, worn-weary jeans, vests, caps, bandanas and pocket watches that symbolize the Great Depression proletariat – the group that works very hard indeed for, alas, very little money.

Lauren’s worker may be downtrodden but the clothes are upwardly mobile, the mannish navy suits with pocket watches that have rich, gold chains and spectator pumps, in particular. But the designer’s aspirations get a little too big for their breeches in a few evening pieces that are too decorative and smell a bit too, too much of money. That overreaching, notwithstanding, any Depression-era family – say “The Waltons” – would be delighted to have the designer dress the daughters in silhouette-flattering dresses paired with denim jackets or vests with pinstriped pajama shirts that double as dresses or slightly deconstructed jackets in black with denim overalls or the addition of a denim cap/fedora or cowboy hat, especially with the whites socks and dark brown/black brogans. And for the barn dance on Saturday night and church on Sunday morning, why not a chiffon pajama shirtdress and white silk vest? Perhaps, the sky blue overall pants in satin and/or an overall gown in stain?

Allude – Founder/designer Andrea Karg’s body-conscious frocks – how about those hot hot hot! pants – are crazysexycool. And daring. To be sure, many of these getups are for the size 0s, 2s and 4s of the world, the ones endowed with few curves and no junk. But take heart, all ladies regardless of their size and shape can let the cashmere go to their heads. A la AK, wrap the noggin in a scarf, arranging the excess fabric in a neat chignon on its crown.

Isaac Mizrahi — The designer’s show titled “Astaire Case” employed stairs, small soundstage, rain machine, man with an umbrella and golf cart. The models had to walk a gantlet to get to the end of the runway. Huh? Was IM channeling “Singing in the Rain,” Hollywood or a life of leisure? It was an enigma wrapped in a mystery, albeit a charming one ... Isaac, we will buy the jaunty tulle skirts, chiffon blouses, beaded dresses, the in-living-color b&w dresses/gowns and even that Lucite cuff and the lobster thingy. But, Dahling, we’re just not buying it (the vision).

Georgie Baddiel – Chatted to the SuperMod and Uptown Girl backstage following the bewildering Mizrahi show. Understandably, she was tired after walking for IM, her pal Phillip Lim and Chado Ralph Rucci among others. It is normally her custom to retire to her pad in the Bronx after such busyness. “I love it there because the people are so friendly,” she said, comparing them to the folks in her native Burkino Faso. And many don’t know who she is, allowing her leave to have the run of the place unruffled. But there is no rest for the weary. GB was due on an afternoon plane across the pond for London Fashion Week. Her services are required by House of Holland et al.

The Argentinean designers who each led their procession of models after the close of the final show, not after the close of each individual show. The postlude had the feel of a parade/carnival Olympics. Naturally, the besotted crowd showed its appreciation with thunderous catcalls, whistles, yells, and a partial standing ovation.

Vanity Fair/Hermes – The soiree was at Spin, the Gramercy ping pong joint partly owned by Susan Sarandon. Herself was there, by the way, looking every inch the hostess with the mostest in a sleevless shift and pumps. Meanwhile, I talked much trash and backed it up with victories at the tables after more than a decade’s absence. It was a good bridge between the close of a supercrazybusy week and a reintroduction to my supercrazybusy life.

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