Mercedes Benz Fashion Week in New York City --which is as exhausting as it is fun --was something that we truly found to be a mix of crazy and conservative (with a touch of Blizzard Nemo dashed in). The catwalk craziness was fortunately balanced out with some lovely events given by celebs in town for the shows but promoting their own projects. Here’s a look at some of our favorite shows during these few days (we’ll get to the parties in part 2 of our report later this week).
|Finance Foodie Outside Lincoln Center|
One of my favorite presentations was by Brooks Brothers--both for their traditional line and Black Fleece by superstar designer Thom Browne. The exciting news was that the traditional line had all the classics and then some including 1920's-inspired nightwear that singlehandledly invents the little black dress and at a reasonable price point. On the more conservative side of things, we discovered as we toured the BB showroom in their midtown offices that they are indeed the ones that Scottish and Scottish-Americans get their kilts made from (they have access to tartans of all Scottish family names, which is impressive) and they also have collegiate logo comfy slip-on slippers--so if you want to impress a date with Yale logo slippers, go right ahead! The Black Fleece collection included many suits done in the Thom Brown signature style--jackets and pants and inch or two shorter than the norm and very fitted. He mixed and matched famous Brooks Brothers plaids from the vaults--as many as four in one ensemble--but in the same collection, his trademark medium grays were used on more than a third of the collection. Browne also used high-end double ply cashmere on as many pieces as he could, and there were plenty of lacy details actually done in cashmere on the women's cocktail attire, especially around the necklines.
Ok so I have to admit, I love fashion week for all the glitzy and glam clothes but my main reason for attending is to scope out all the celebs who sit front row. One show that never disappoints in terms of star power is Dennis Basso. Also known as the King of Fabulous Frocks and Furs, Mr. Basso celebrated the 30th anniversary of his company by producing a collection inspired by the socialites of yester year (think Babe Paley, C.Z.Guest, etc.). However, it was actually his front row that was the most alluring for me. The collection of alligator leather and chinchilla furs was lovely but I really spent 80% of show watching frozen faced Joan Rivers (LOVE her and yes I am a Joan Ranger!), makeup faced Joan Collins (who was in town to promote her new book – more on that later this week), still skinny Star Jones and former jail bird Martha Stewart (who is pushing 70 years old but still is as classy as the fox on her coat).
|Front Row at Dennis Basso|
One thing I noticed this season was the large number of Asian models being casted for shows (at Herve Leger there were at least 5 Asian models on the runway) as well as Asian designers presenting collections. One that falls in the latter category is Monika Chiang. Ms. Chiang’s namesake collection, launched in 2011 and backed by boyfriend Chris Burch (aka the ex-Mr. Tory Burch), showcased a lot of sexy body hugging leggings and sheer tops that are quite the juxtaposition to the Westchester mom set that favor.
I spent most of my time at the Lincoln Center shows while Anne went around town, but one off-site show I managed to catch was LA based Kimberly Ovitz. Before the show started, I was invited backstage to watch the models get ready. The Aveda team was doing the hair - slick hair accented with asymmetrical corseted ponytails - which was inspired by Ms. Ovitz's collection of space agey pieces that "explores the human psyche and innate defenses found in animals and insects". This was one of the darker and moodier shows of this season (even the venue it was held in was industrial) - but made a bit brighter when I spotted Anna Wintour and CAA founder Michael Ovitz (the designer's father) in the front row.