HEADS UP: It's early September and that means one important thing in the ragtrade: fashion trade shows. To that end, Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week New York Spring 2015. As we at VEVLYN'S PEN endeavor to bring some interesting fashion news to our dear readers, we don't mind changing with the seasons. One small tweak this season, each day one (perhaps two) designers/labels will be singled out for particular notice. That will be the main story (in more than 50 words). Elsewhere, our commentary will remain unchanged. We will continue to put emphasis on the truly inspirational on the runway and will only do a “best of” when it suits in 50 words or less. On some days we will provide a “snapshot” and so on. Finally, we will continue to do the off-runway bizarre, unusual and generally noteworthy. Thank you for your support!
(SOME of the players at the tents and elsewhere: BRANDON SUN, CUSTO BARCELONA, DEREK LAM, DESIGNERS' PREMIERE, HOOD BY AIR, NANETTE LEPORE, PORSCHE, PUBLIC SCHOOL ROLANDO SANTANA, THAKOON, TIM COPPENS, TRACY REESE, VICTORIA BECKHAM, VIVIENNE TAM)
THE dress with an enchanting floral print on its top, black on its skirt and red panel at its waist is perky.
The blue floral dress with orange cut-outs has verve. Here we are at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week New York, the Vivienne Tam Spring-Summer 2015 show. It is informed by decorative treasures from the Ming and Qing dynasties that reside in the Forbidden Palace. Vases and such bearing exquisite floral designs and motifs; whatnots that are lacquered up. Exquisiteness and craft, all.
Yet there is a disconnect. Something is lost in translation on this runway. This collection lacks a specialness, unlike Custo Barcelona, but more on that later. The music is heavily techno and the clothes tend toward zen. Ying and yang. Not a good match here.
From the Custo Barcelona Spring-Summer 2015 collection. Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images.
The prints are beautiful, and of course, the garments are well-constructed. Yet, something is off (or is someone behind on her sleep?). The last gown – blue and white floral that is in its natural habitat on a grand vase, or gown – is quietly beautiful. Demure, even.
One likes SS 2015 at VT but with elusive caveats.
MILLENNIAL MISCHIEF, OR IS SOMEONE TOO OLD FOR THIS _ _ _ _?!!!
“Did he send you over here,” Big, Beefy Guy demands to know from Yours Truly and her Wingwoman as I open the door – and he stays my hand – to enter the Lower East Side bar, Max Fish. He is referring to his colleague, also a BBG, who'd pointed us toward the door when we inquired about the whereabouts of the refurbished haunt.
“Yes,” I say. He releases my hand, I open the door and we sweep inside, quickly hustling ourselves through the crowd of hipsters here at the Frank 151 x DKNY afterparty, celebrating the issue of the quarterly cultural rag, sponsored by the fashion brand. We're hurrying and scurrying before BBG No. 1 checks out our story and hauls us back outside and to the back of the long line of people waiting to go inside.
DKNY sponsored the latest edition of Frank 151. Photo by Yours Truly.
It appears that we are off to a good start. After we settle our gear in a seat that just opened up next to an acquaintance, Wingwoman goes to the bar for some liquid refreshment and returns with a cocktail for her and a beer in a glass for me.
I introduce her to my companion and the three of us quickly chatting amicably. Then, a little bit of hell breaks loose. CRASH! BANG!! BOOM!!! Our table is upset and glasses and beer fly, giving the three of us a premature shower. The cause of this commotion – a tall drink of water with a baby face and light brown hair– is profusely apologetic. Profusely. So profusely that he does not understand that I am asking him to replace my beer. Finally, comprehension dawns. “If you replace my beer, all will be forgiven,” I promise.
He smiles sweetly and off he goes. And he does return with beer, apologizes again, and decides that it may be better not to try to dance wildly with his girlfriend while standing between the bench and our table in a space that is about two-feet wide.
All is well that ends well, right? My little party returns to chatting, only to have to suffer through a few aftershocks.
Aftershock No.1: Curvy Six-foot beauty in red hot pants is go-go dancing right in front of us. She is close enough to give anyone of us a lap dance.
Aftershock No. 2: Five-foot beauty, a tiny thing who is an acquaintance of six-foot beauty, somehow manages to stand behind her friend but in front of us. Her rear is so close we can bite it. Finally, I can stand it no longer. Quite apart from me, my left hand pushes her forward. She reacts like scalded cat, calling me a dog of the female variety and stomps off. Good riddance.
Aftershock No. 3: A guy is smoking a cigarette of dubious origin until maybe he has had enough of it. Yes, they is smoking inside an establishment in Manhattan. Maybe the Lower East Side has different rules. He attempts to put the cigarette out on the table. I suggest the floor or going outside. I don't think he even hears me.
Aftershock No. 4: Random handsome guy who we strongly believe has had a little too much of something, drunk-sits next to me. Or should I say partly on my right leg, then he puts his arm around me and Wingwoman. By now, I am speechless.
Aftershock No. 5: Mya, a late 1990s and early 2000s R&B, is performing now. Everybody wants to see. By now, the bench around us is populated by fans who are standing on the bench. Video guy appears and is standing right next to where I am sitting, so absorbed in recording that he does not realize that he is partly standing on my leg. I jump up like a scaled cat, nicely informing him once upon a time about three seconds ago he was standing on me. He is profusely apologetic.
By now, I decide that I can't stand this any longer. I have no choice but to stand – on the floor. That's when I see a snake sprawled across my purse. Before thinking, I was about to throw the critter across the room, that is until I realize that it is a skateboard resting on my purse as if it is a blanket. I haul it under the table. The infernal thing belongs to Video guy, I learn soon enough. I didn't even bother to tell him where he dropped it.
Aftershock No. 6: By now, Mia is on her third song. The Hot Young Think in the Black Gown, who has been standing on our table, is now swaying. As Mia gets toward the end of her song HYTitBGM is ramping up for a full dance-on. Meanwhile, the glasses on the table are shaking as if the earth is quaking. The closer she gets to what is about to be a go-go dance, I tap her on the arm and suggest that it may not be a good idea to do that level of dancing on the table, which is full of glasses.
Several performers stepped up to the mic last night during the Frank 151 x DKNY afterparty at Max Fish. Photo by Rachel Kapur.
“Did you buy this table,” she asserts (it was not a question).
“No,” I reply, “ but the glasses are going to break and our drinks are here.”
Looking down on the table. “Oh.”
I look her in her glassy eyes, my expressions saying, “Even you see the problem, right.”
“I guess I should probably get down,” she reasons.
She extends her hand and I take it as she steps down from the table, nearly toppling it and everything else on it.
“I love her so much,” HYTitBGM says of Mia.
I nod in understanding.
The moral of the story: In the United States, the under-30 crowd is … has a certain je ne sais quoi.
On Deck today, Day 5: 3.1 PHILLIP LIM, ADEAM, ANGEL SANCHEZ, CAROLINA HERRERA, GEORGINE, LELA ROSE, MILLY BY MICHELLE SMITH, THE ROW, PALTER DELISO, PEANUTS WORLDWIDE, REEM ACRA, TAORAY WANG, THEORY, TOMMY HILFIGER, THE WHITE SPACE, YEOHLEE, ZAC POSEN
Visit http://www.mbfashionweek.com/new-york to learn more about Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week, including show information and videos.