RSVIP: Target Turns Standard Hotel into a Starry Close Encounter
The hip and successful, if downscale, fashion purveyor rented all the rooms on the south face of the architecturally spectacular hotel that straddles the High Line, a set of defunct railway tracks turned into an above-ground park in Manhattan's Meatpacking District. For one night only, Target transformed the rooms of the hotel into a Spielberg-worthy light, fashion, and dance spectacular.
"It's a really fun twist on a traditional fashion show," explained Trish Adams, Sr., Vice President of Merchandising, Apparel and Accessories for Target. "Yes, we rented the hotel, we booked the rooms, and it is a fashion show and light show choreographed to music with 66 dancers working in the windows of the hotel rooms with a runway show at street level."
For celebrities such as Mary-Louise Parker of "Weeds" fame, "Gossip Girl" hunk Penn Badgley and 30 Rock's Katrina Bowdin, grandstands cushioned with yellow pillows were built across the street from the edgy-stylish Standard Hotel Biergarten. And a tower modeled after the hotel was added as a runway for models wearing Target fall fashion.
But, do the glitterati even shop at Target? Apparently, yes. "I shop there for the entire family," admitted Nina Garcia, a judge on "Project Runway," now pregnant with her second child. And as for Garcia herself, "I love Liz Lange," she said, referring to the queen of maternity wardrobe, who designs that entire Target department.
Penn Badgley had on a black shirt by Dolce and Gabbana, short chinos, and Hugo Boss shoes. "Back in the sixth grade," he said, "Target was a big deal for me. I've always gone there for the staples--white T's, underwear, dishwasher detergent. I wore the Mossimo shirts and jeans . . . and the Cherokee boxers." Too much information? OMG, no.
"I've been shopping on the Target Website a lot recently," said Bowdin, a fashion plate. "They have everything. I got this little bookshelf, some candles, a serving platter."
"I have a lot of respect for the collaborations that Target has done with my favorite designers," chimed in Roxie Olin of the MTV reality series "The City." "Proenza Schouler, McQueen . . . Zac Posen. One of my friends has the McQueen sweater. . . I should go steal it."
No steal but still likely to fly off the racks when it debuts during holiday 2010 is Justin Timberlake's William Rast line which has developed leather and denim for Target. "The leather coat will cost close to $200," said Adams. "That price is at the higher end for Target, but we wanted to deliver on the authenticity of the line."
On paper, the light show at The Standard, by Bionic League, sounded facile, with each room used as a single cell that could either change color and/or strobe. But, in person, the computer-generated chessboard effects and strobing Target targets were executed with artful timing.
The glass tower on stilts became an update of the light show in "Close Encounters of the Third Kind," with model dancers in Target clothes throwing open white curtains in tandem and changing into Day-Glo skeleton suits. Lines of red lights strobed like police sirens, go-go dancers gyrated and then they kicked like Radio City Rockettes. In darkened rooms, shadow figures waved green-light sticks shaped like giant tears, which moved like amoebas against the glass.
The lighting was so spectacular, it was difficult to focus on the fall fashions displayed by Merona, Mossimo, Converse One Star, Xhilaration, and Liz Lange on the multilevel catwalk. The Target designers featured much layering with denim, plaid, grays, military jackets, hoodies, and double-breasted coats with distinctive cuts.
At the end of the show, film studio executive Harvey Weinstein and his wife, fashion designer Georgina Chapman, known for her Marchesa line (Jennifer Lopez, Anne Hathaway), appeared like well-known deer caught in headlights. They were suddenly hemmed in by the departing throngs, a river of young fashionistas pouring back out into the steamy cobbled street.