RSVIP: Notes from the Tents at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week--Part I
The sexiest scene RSVIP noted was backstage at the Tommy Hilfiger show on Sunday, right, where the well-known new youth models, Arizona and Jordan, among many others, had their hair wetted as jugs of water were poured over their heads into a large plastic trash can backstage before they began drying their own tresses.
Luxist took our first front-row seat Thursday, February 10 at 10 a.m. Jennifer Love Hewitt's boyfriend got his first taste of Fashion Week when he was seated behind her in the second row at BCBG Max Azria. Ouch. Models wore high boots. And Azria and his designing wife, Lubov, sent much sheer down the runway. In fact, they foreshadowed many of the trends of the season, mixing fur with tan. The song "Sixteen Shades of Black and Blue" described a subtle turn in coloration toward the end of the show, right.
Shadows of trees opened the Perry Ellis show at 11:00 a.m. Friday, below. The male models were Jude Law-handsome. They wore pinstriped pants with sweaters and vests or a sweater with no shirt.
And they finished the show in long underwear and sweater shirts that read "Perry Ellis." One would have guessed that the cable-knits were a yuppie throwback; but, no, oddly enough, cable-knit is a fashion trend this season. Women are wearing ball gowns with big cable-knits and coats with sandy cable-knit sleeves. Go figure.
Jason Wu, who showed on West 22nd Street at 1:00 p.m. that day, designed his collection after photos by Robert Polidori which depict the restoration of Versailles. RSVIP was in good company beside Luxist's own Carrie Coolidge, who takes sensational photos, and a few rows back from Anna Wintour and the Vogue minions. Sleeked-back hair and frilly lace collars with some sparkle gave models a 17th-century grandeur, deconstructed, according to Wu.
The models walked on a jagged trail of framed mirrors, which caused one model to skid. Blame Kate Middleton, but royal purple was another trend. Wu showed a Middleton-blue shoe. The faces of some models were draped in lace. Wu brought a regal elegance to the collection beyond his years.
Racing in a cab from the West 22nd Street to the south corner of the tents at Lincoln Center, RSVIP miraculously managed to catch the Rebecca Taylor show 20 minutes later by entering backstage. Taylor also captured numerous trends of the season, for example, sequined flowers attached to the dress. A similar floral look was also revisited in her print fabrics. The model's long coifs were crimped in the back like Jodie Foster's hair in "Taxi Driver." So noted: large necklaces are a trend.
Michelle Trachtenberg and the pop star Eve graced the front row of Rebecca Minkoff's collection at 3:00 p.m. On the runway, models wore big hats and blown-out hair with some frizz, above, like Louise Roe, the Brit fashion journalist, also in the front row, who mentioned after the show, that she loved the hair.
Unfortunately, RSVIP was glued to an aging fashionista in the front row wearing a baseball cap with large dark glasses on top of the visor and a colorful fur helmet over it better suited for the Arctic. She got so excited over one look she reached out to congratulate the model--a no-no. Minkoff did florals and ruffles, animal prints, and this season's ubiquitous capelet. Meanwhile, Sean Lennon and Charlotte Kemp Muhl performed live with groovy trumpet reverb. Minkoff's clothes had a sumptuous, salable quality, as if Michael Kors had decided to do downtown luxury.
At 6:00 p.m., Nicole Miller, left, showed a cable vest. Her tux vest had leather arms. She did a great number of art-school geometric shapes, nod to the Russian Suprematists. If you're buying it, the trend is clothes that are a patchwork of different fabrics. A Persian lamb coat by Miller, for example, had fabric sleeves.
Cynthia Rowley's collection on Friday at 7 p.m. opened through a patchwork of velvet curtains. In the front row, Julia Stiles wore a tangerine dress with holes punched in it. And Rowley showed a sparkling rust fabric, a look we saw at several shows--patches of sequins, Capri pants, and the jump suit, another trend.
Saturday, the Jill Stuart show, which was slated for 11:00 a.m., didn't launch until 11:40. Stuart's models had the unhappy-on-purpose look, or perhaps the shoes were tricky (one model fell hard on Christian Siriano's runway). Stuart did sparkling pants and a tux overcoat, and she mixed in sweaters and much fur as well as a pleated sheer skirt.
But Friday at noon, Prabal Gurung stood out from all previous shows, taking current trends to glamorous new heights--the designer hails from Katmandu, only 200 miles from the Himalayas. Gurung showed more colorful fur, right, more thoughtful feathers, and bows on sheer. Boa-like flounce graced models' shoulders and arms, and they wore streaks of color in their hair. His dresses were sultry-sensational.
By 6 p.m., Kim Kardashian was swarmed by press in the front row at Charlotte Ronson. Kardashian decamped before the show started, heading south to catch a New Jersey Nets game, according to friends. Her new boyfriend is Net Kris Humphries, and we hear she's been hanging out at malls in New Jersey and even met Snooki, a breakout star of the "Jersey Shore" reality show, at a game. Ronson, whose sister Sam, the DJ, famously dated Lindsay Lohan, did military colors. With blonde and pink hair, some models looked like Swedish military police. Hot. Ronson also showed metallic copper sweaters and florals. The models' punk stockings had round holes evenly distributed. She did a chunky, hip patterned sweater. And while her clothes usually look as if they're for models only, this season, she may have been reaching out to international cool girls. Fun.
Scenery change. At 7:00 p.m., G-Star Raw opened their show with a panorama of a snowy bridge in Central Park. Rosario Dawson, left, brought her mom, far left, who is similarly effervescent. Also in the front row, socialite Tinsley Mortimer sat with her boyfriend, Brian Mazza, who is best known for handling the door at Axe, a Southampton nightspot where he once caught the eye of the pop star Rihanna.
G-Star is known for its jeans and showed interesting jeans skirts and capelets but also included variations on a computer-print military camouflage. The male models had much product in their hair. Men's pants were big and baggy with suspenders as wide as seat belts.
At 10:00 a.m. on Sunday, Derek Lam was celeb-free. Serious fashion editors hate being crowded by lensmen who stalk celebs before the shows. The orchestra music during Lam's show had a Philip Glass-style repetitive nature. On the runway, Lam showed red leather arms, fur sleeves, and a shining gold blazer. His leather took on the shape of fencing gear. Coats had peplums that created an insect-like thorax. It was a tight show with long, flowing dresses, accomplished . . . of a piece.
At 11:00 a.m., Lela Rose had placed Rose McGowan, with bright red lips, in the front row next to Brittany Snow, right. McGowan told RSVIP that she'd partied with Zac Posen until 6:30 a.m. and then had to get up at 8:30 a.m. to make the show, demurely offering that she was "still tipsy."
Lela Rose did a '50s-style abstract print, moving into a broader Pollock-like abstract. One skirt was black-and-white flounce. And an all black flounce skirt, tight at the knees, sparkled. The museum-inspired art fabrics elevated the designer's game.
Calvin Klein put together a starry front row at their Menswear show on Sunday at 2 p.m. on West 39th Street. Joe Jonas and Zac Efron (both with hair cropped short), Kellan Lutz (of Twilight fame), and Jack Huston were broad shoulder-to-shoulder in the front row.
Some puffy shirts and sweatshirts on the runway looked like baseball gear. Maroon, red, and bright blue stood out from the usual black, gray, and taupe colors of the collections' de rigueur skinny suits.
At 4:00 p.m., Diane Von Furstenberg, a child of the disco era, decorated her runway with tall, thin prisms, like the edges of mirrors, right. Oddly, the reflective poles, spaced at angles across the runway, created a hall-of-mirrors effect that practically had famous guests, including Fergie of the Black Eyed Peas, Molly Sims, and Barbara Walters, tripping.
Models on the runway wore bolero hats, oversized prints, ruffles, a cat suit with a black heart pattern, and a long fur vest that took one back to the VIP room at Studio 54.
Backstage at Tommy Hilfiger, at 8:00 p.m., Hilfiger met with the press while designer Peter Som, his collaborator, quietly prepped the show.
Staging was elaborate, with a patchwork of Oriental carpets on the runway, left, and groups of brass chandeliers tied together overhead with rope. Som gives a fashionable twist to the standard Hilfiger Prep. As "Brown Sugar" blared on the speakers, cable-knit sleeves were matched with plaid skirts. Leather pants fit tight. Som matched sweater capelets with cargo coats and beautifully tailored suits for women. There were silk pajama dresses. And Rosario Dawson sparkled in the front row.