Monday, September 13, 2010

Glorious Fusion of Color/Shape/Texture

Custo Barcelona, above, explores dichotomy and geometry for Spring 2011. Photo from Getty Images.

Just like last time, 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 …

Day 4
(SOME of the players at the tents and elsewhere): Derek Lam, Lela Rose, VPL, Simon Spurr, Malandrino, DKNY, Rebecca Taylor, Elise Overland, Herve Leger by Max Azria, Diane Von Furstenberg, Carmen Marc Valvo, Cynthia Steffe, Y-3, Trias, Designer‘s Collective, Thakoon, Custo Barcelona, Tommy Hilfiger, Vassilios Kostetsos

His program notes say the Spring 2011 collection is “quintessential CUSTO.” In some ways - namely exploration of color - yes. For Spring, he explores the dichotomy that is ornamentation and functionality. An overarching theme is music festivals.

The result is an extraordinary tête-à-tête between colors bright and colors muted; textures hard and textures soft; volume and streamlining. What a wonderful ode to geometry! - another element that informs the show.

Here’s an opportunity for CB to lose all discipline and present something loud, proud and cartoonish. He did not fall into temptation. Instead, he overlays a white satin boat neck shift w/cap sleeves with taupe fringe. On the hem he uses sequins. He shows the dress with a three-quarter-inch white skinny jean w/a charcoal geometric design. Both pieces can be worn separately. Even with color he exercises control as in the sleeveless multi-pink/green striped shift. It has trapezoid-shaped strips of floral patterns strategically placed about it and fringe on the hem. Over it is a red/white striped cardigan with a blue floral motif.

The various dichotomies are palpable, comprehensible and wowderful. He only seems to confuse on one or two points. Take the men’s jacket, pants and jewel-neck shirt trio. The b&w stripe/tye-dye pattern comes across as more old-school prison stripes than music festival garb or as geometric commentary, unless the meaning is that the shortest distance between two points is a straight line.

- “This is the way I came out for the show and this is the way I am going back in,”Andre Leon Talley bellows at the guard.

The Vogue editor-at-large had moments before left his place on the front row of the Diane von Furstenburg show to go backstage by way of the door behind the last row of seats. Apparently, the guard had strict orders to not let anyone re-enter through that door.

“I’m trying to work here,” ALT declares, scattering several DVF minions about in search of someone who can override the guard’s orders.

“You obviously don’t work for Diane,” he gives the guard to know. “I came through this door with Anna Wintour and I am returning this way,” he declares, smoothly dropping his supervisor’s name.

It became too painful to continue to witness such an unfortunate episode. I left to enter backstage through the mouth of the runway, which is where the guard politely asked ALT to enter. When I came back after my wild-goose chase for pictures of the hot sandals, I exited where the guard was standing.

In answer to my query, he indicates that he is OK. “He’s a big man,” says he of YouKnowWho. “He has fame and money, but he’s not happy ... He will die a painful death.”

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