Thursday, February 16, 2012

Day 7 MBFW: Fashion Loses a True Icon

HEAD’S UP: Can you believe it's Fashion Week already? That respite between September and February seems very short, especially since press registration notices started arriving during the crush of the holiday shopping season. In any case, Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week New York has returned for the Fall 2012 edition. At VEVLYN'S PEN, we are going to do things slightly different this season. I still endeavor to provide a roundup of the best, worst and most interesting Yours Truly witnesses, from trends to sightings to the rather unusual/bizarre.

The change will be most apparent in show coverage. Where before I was doing a sort of "best of," I will tweak that this season and focus on what truly inspires me. Why the change? Simply put, I have grown weary of watching far too many collections that lack imagination because too much attention has been paid to the bottomline. If nothing inspires me, I will tell you so and tell you why. Let the games begin ...

Day 7
(SOME of the players at the tents and elsewhere): Anna Sui, B Michael America, Elie Tahari, Jeremy Scott, J.Mendel, Michael Kors, Joanna Mastroianni, Levi's, Marchesa, Milly by Michelle Smith, Nanette Lepore, Nomia, Philosophy, Ports 1961, Proenza Schouler, Reed Krakoff, Rochambeau, Suzanne Rae, Vivienne Tam, Whitney Eve

ZELDA Kaplan
took the hands of Yours Truly and placed them in hers. She looked at me with great compassion and informed me that I am too young to be so worried.

Zelda Kaplan dressed in her trademark African-print garb before the start of the Joanna Mastroianni show. Photo by Jason Kempin/Getty Images.

We were at a New Year's Eve party a few years ago. Instead of enjoying myself as she was, I was on a tear about this, that and the other. She gave me to know in no uncertain terms that I should not spend my precious moments in this life fretting about things over which I had no control. Of course, I am aware of this. At the time, though, I rarely acted as if I did. I have since tried to heed this advice with more vigor.

I am thinking of the fashion maven, nightlife veteran, cultural ambassador and women’s rights activist because she died yesterday at the ripe young age of 95.

Zelda was sitting front row at the Joanna Mastroianni show. According to a guard, right as the show was starting, she complained of not feeling well, fainted and was taken away by guards. An ambulance would eventually arrive to take her to hospital where she was later pronounced dead. Most in the audience did not realize what had happened. It is shocking because Zelda was so vital. She is also the type who would not prattle on about her various ailments. In the words of Mame Dennis, Zelda lived! lived! lived! She’s a sterling example for us all.

For Fall 2012, Milly by Michelle Smith does a lot of experimentation with fabric. Photo by Mike Coppola.

At the risk of sounding crass, it was a good way to go, participating in something she loved. Like in the theater, the show went on. Zelda would not have had it any other way.

More on Day 7 of Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week New York later, including comments about the JM show (see video above), Vivienne Tam, Milly by Michelle Smith and others.

On Deck today, Final Day: Adrienne Landau, Adrienne Vittadini, Bill Blass, Calvin Klein Collection, L'Wren Scott, Ralph Lauren, Saint Wobil, Stephen Burrows, Strut: The Fashionable Mom Show.

Visit http:// to learn more about Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week, including show information and videos.

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