RSVIP: Notes from Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week--Part II
Kiefer Sutherland and his delightful gal pal, Siobhan Bonnouvrier, a fashion editor at Allure, were squeezed into one corner. Author Simon Doonan and his boyfriend, Jonathan Adler, the interior designer, chatted with Kelly Ripa and Mark Consuelo. Iman, looking as youthful as the first day she arrived in New York, stood catty-corner beside designer Tory Burch.
Linda Wells, Allure's alluring Editor in Chief, later seated beside the Beckhams at dinner, dinged her glass and made a speech about "loving" her 20th-anniversary cover girl, Victoria Beckham. Did RSVIP mention that the steaks were enormous and delicious? Fun fete.
At 3:00 p.m. on Monday, February 14 at Monique Lhuillier, RSVIP sat directly behind Julia Stiles, who had managed to change into a second purple dress in one morning, "Don't judge me--I couldn't resist," she told Luxist over one shoulder.
On the runway, Lhuillier showed a red floral number that would make some starlet simultaneously blend in and stand out on the red carpet at an award show. The animal print ball gowns, right, made a spectacular ending to the show.
RSVIP did not get a luxe seat at Theyskens for Theory at noon on Monday. In fact, we were pushed up against a brick wall while thin, white loudspeakers blared from behind.
That said, the clothes, at a price point likely lower than when Theyskens designed for Rochas, still exuded a rich French elegance. His bright red cable-knit sweater had a full collar that matched the model's red lips. Coats draped beautifully. There was an exacting Euro fit unexpected on this side of the Atlantic.
Designer Chris Benz, who has a rainbow of color in his hair, has been spending time in Savannah lately, teaching at the art school. During his 4:30 p.m. presentation, he informed Luxist that he finds Savannah thrift stores inspiring.
To his usual Palm Springs color palette, he added the subdued fall colors of Savannah. Pilgrim hats and thrift-store layering worked magic on his wispy models, who were transformed into hipsters. Benz doesn't miss.
Pamela Rowland, at 5:00 p.m., opened her show with a cloud-covered Asian landscape. Her fur cuffs looked like muffs. Big, billowing dresses looked as if they had been created from rice paper. RSVIP doesn't mean to indicate that "Real Housewife of New York" Ramona Singer has had any work done, but with her face screwed up to study the collection, she did resemble a Picasso.
Betsey Johnson's loud show at 6:00 p.m., left, was a wake up call for sleepy fashion editors. Bright animal-print stockings injected color and fun. And while everyone is doing floral this season, Johnson mixed in large cloth flowers and bright animal-print coats.
As usual, Marc Jacobs staged the biggest production, right. The designer upholstered a behemoth backdrop and three-story columns on the runway at the 26th Street Armory in white vinyl. A mirrored runway and mirrored stadium benches reflected the "A Clockwork Orange" padded-asylum feel.
On Valentine's Day, Fergie and Josh Duhamel, held hands across the broad runway from Anna Wintour and Martha Stewart, who was snapping pictures.
Beginning at 8 p.m., hammering drums gave the Jacobs show military energy.
Models wore berets like coffee pot tops. Like a case of measles, polka dots first popped up on stockings. Skirts were made of large, sequined disks. Then blouses had that look, followed by disk-covered suits and plush purses with dots.
The show was a tour de force of small circles, which covered turtle-like peplums, plush collars, hats, gloves, and dresses. Dots and more dots were done alternatively with restraint and then excess. Jacobs managed to elevate the polka dot to art. Yup, he's done it again.
In a season when flowing dresses, fur, and sparkle are omnipresent, Badgley Mischka, at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, took that moment to shine, left. And they offered those fashionable highlights with a mastery as they have been flogging these looks for years. Their layered black sheers had a bat-like lightness that would do Morticia Addams proud.
The thundering drums at Diesel Black Gold sounded live. The Black Gold celebrity front row included Keri Hilson, Vanessa Hudgens, and Gossip Girl hunk Chase Crawford.
The Diesel Black Gold show wasn't about jeans, but rather showed a kind of hippie shepherd chic, with suede jackets and leather pants stitched up the side. While Diesel shows can appear to be catalog-like, this one offered up wearable clothes for rich Hippies.
Max and Lubov Azria design three shows every season, a nearly impossible feat. But for Hervé Léger, at 2:00 p.m on Tuesday, they created their most luxurious version of that line's standard bandage dress. They had little gold and, alternatively, black buckles woven into the thin bandages of elastic fabric sewn together to make the dresses. The shiny hardware added an expensive flair. Lubov and Max deserve top honors.
At Michael Kors on Wednesday, at 10:00 a.m., "I Feel Love" blared on the runway. Kors displayed a disco style far more opulent than the original days of the throbbing beat. Anjelica Huston wore dark glasses in the front row, and Bette Midler mentioned that her wardrobe wasn't nearly so Halston back in the day but that the collection did bring her back. There were thin disco belts, wintery disco furs, and a droopy rust disco silk pantsuit. Everyone felt love.
Jeremy Scott, at 1:00 p.m. on Wednesday, at Milk Studio, is often the most fun show of Fashion Week. This season did not disappoint. On every front row seat, he offered up his white Swatch watch with detachable plastic angel wings. And he also gave out a large bag that he created with Longchamp, covered in a print made from a photograph of thousands of pills.
The models' hair, right, had colorful Pippi Longstocking ponytails sticking out of the sides of their heads. A tank top opened the show with the Coca-Cola logo on it with the word "God" replacing with the word "Coke." A question mark replaced the "S" in a Superman logo. There was a pill dress and pill tights. Scott lampoons trends. He is the master of the hit-and-run logo.
"Bodyguards out of the way," yelled a photographer ready to shoot the 3.1 Phillip Lim show, left. When Lim touches on trends, he has a lighter hand than less skilled designers. Leather sleeves were a single brush stroke. A long skirt draped beautifully into a point on one side. His two-tone pants refer back to the 1950s but also look to the future. Lim's collection is cohesive and beautifully draped.
Bodyguards out of the way, indeed; no one wants to miss Lim's work.
Georgina Chapman's Marchesa line is so popular that by showing up 20 minutes late, RSVIP had to push past thousands to see it on Wednesday afternoon. The collection was based on a 1946 version of "Great Expectations," specifically Miss Havisham from that film. And Chapman created exquisite left-behind-at-the-altar decay. A red lace dress looked as if it had been borrowed from Miss Havisham's table setting. A model draped in black sheer resembled a ghostly Havisham herself. And the silver white tulle wedding dress would be a bit of modernist perfection for Kate Middleton when she heads to the altar.
Fergie of the Black Eyed Peas, not the royal, attended the Anna Sui show at 6:00 p.m on Wednesday. Inspired by a Ballet Russe exhibit in London, Sui infused her collection with a bold pattern a la Russe. Furry cat hats with whiskers and a leopard stole added the perrfect Czarist touch.
At noon on Thursday, the last day of Fashion Week, Issac Mizrahi offered up cake on silver platters to celebrate. Young gents in white coats held up silver trays with cake smoothed with pale green frosting. On the runway, models walked beautifully groomed poodles with their fur frosted in pastel shades, including pink, right, and blue. No one creates a witty show like Mizrahi. Cakes carried by buff waiters in the show matched floral prints. Yum.
Kate Bosworth, Kerry Washington, and Zoe Saldana of "Star Trek" and "Avatar" fame formed the front line at Calvin Klein Collection, wearing bright spring colors on Thursday at 2:00 p.m. But on the runway, softer willow and mud tones, gray and white for winter, prevailed. Designer Francisco Costa gave the season's flounce and silver and gold shimmer, the house's minimalist touch. Quiet kudos.
Meanwhile, there was nothing quiet about Naeem Khan's jewel of a collection. He showed a fun Rorschach print, a floor-length dress in an abstract paisley gone mad. His sparkle dresses outshone other designers. And the beautifully draped pajama dresses, bedecked in delicate gilding, would be a gem in any social gal's wardrobe.
Finally, on Thursday, long after the 8:00 p.m. start time, designer Gwen Stefani showed L.A.M.B. The runway opened with a military feel. Models with big blond hair wore sheer camouflage. A kind of Rasta vignette came next, with all African-American models. They were followed by Brit-styled hipsters, and then glam gals with puffy blond hair wearing black for evening.
Backstage, Danilo, Stefani's hairdresser, mentioned that he had whipped up Stefani's swirling blonde topknot, left, with ease.
"After 17 years together," he suggested, "it's as if it's my hair, too."