Watch the video and scroll down for all the segments.
Watch the video and scroll down for all the segments.
If you have been following my blog entries for the past week or so you know that I have been lurking around the tents at Bryant Park watching as many fashion shows at my sleep-deprived brain could handle. What I forgot to mention is that throughout the entire week I have been sneaking a plus one into all of the shows with me. He is a fashion powerhouse and very slim due to his amazing diet techniques so he slips right into my pocket. His name is Karl Lagerfelt. Not to be confused with the real Karl Lagerfeld. See Mr. Lagerfeld’s website here.
I wish I could lie and take credit for making this absolutely genius creation but the credit goes to a woman named Melanie Howard who hand sews each and every little Karl herself. She also makes a Marc Jacobs and a Vivienne Westwood but Karl is the fiercest. Everyone who met him during fashion week instantly knew who he was supposed to be.
Now before I delve into our adventures I want to clarify that this is in NO WAY meant to be slanderous toward the real Mr. Lagerfeld. I ADORE him and I think he is an amazing, eccentric artistic genius. That being said, the felt Karl can be a snarky little middle finger puppet from time to time.
So while I was covering the shows and interviewing designers I was also approaching celebs, designers and models and asking them to participate in my pocket Lagerfelt photo essay. I was shameless about asking anyone I could get close to, and, with the exception of Marc Jacobs, everyone thought the idea and the puppet were hilarious and graciously agreed. I wonder if Marc would have posed with his own facsimile? Maybe next season.
I probably should have told some of the PR firms putting on the shows that I was coming with such a VIP. Then maybe I wouldn’t have been completely denied tickets to Carolina Herrera, Badgley Mischka, Nanette Lepore, Anna Sui, J.Mendel, Miss Sixty, Zac Posen, and everyone even closely associated with the PR firm People’s Revolution–DVF, Alexandre Herchcovich, Nicholas K and Chado Ralph Rucci. ALL DENIED. Did that come out bitter?
Anyway Karl had a front row seat at every show but he has no legs so unless I could get a ticket as well he skipped them alltogether. Regardless of his superstar status he definitely needs a front row seat because seeing over anyone is out of the question due to his diminutive stature.
All in all we had a great week. Karl got lots of kisses from girls and boys and had more fingers up his hind quarters than I care to recount. Luckily I also carried a tiny Purell pump along with me. That put him in a good mood which was nice because he was a bit snippy since he was missing his fan. I tried to point out to him that he had no hands with which to hold a tiny fan but he ignored me. He did fall asleep during a few of the shows but I think that’s due to the fact that he only ate 3 cubes of cheese during the entire week. The following photos are some of the amazing people at fashion week that played with pint sized Karly. I thank everyone for being such a good sport.
As Mercedes-Benz Fall ’09 Fashion Week draws to a close the fashion-heads breathe a collective sigh of relief. The models are eating carbs again and the designers can take a few minutes off before starting on next season’s collection. It was a lot of work covering just a small percentage of the shows and trying to look moderately fabulous while doing so. Watching a fashion show is like being in the eye of a taffeta hurricane. While you’re in the eye, everything is seemingly calm and flawless. However everything before and after is a frenzied, microwavable hot pocket of mayhem.
Thursday the 19th I had the LOGO PopLab crew in tow to interview a few of the designers and accost anyone of interest who might unknowingly stagger into our line of fire. I want to take this opportunity to give a special thanks to all the great people at LOGO that helped with the filming and my make–up guy Blue Michael who keeps me looking like I’m 30 and matte 24/7.
First we interviewed Kiwi (New Zealander) Rebecca Taylor. She was a kick ass interview. She’s adorable, obviously very talented. With all the PR involved in fashion you would think these designers would learn the art of the sound bite. But about half of my interviews were just painful. Not Ms. Taylor. I asked if she might consider making me something in a women’s size 18 and she suggested something strapless because of my big shoulders. Spot on lady! Talk about amazing taste. She’s faxing me an organza shrug as you read this. She rocks! And so did her collection. See for yourself:
Tori Spelling was there with Mena Suvari and Jamie Zigler. And Tori was also front row at Christian Siriano’s show. I think she’s following me. Creepy.
I also got to meet the incomparable Loni Love. If you are a fan of the Chelsea Lately show you will know Loni as a regular comedienne on hot topics chat. It’s like the View but interesting. She was SO friggin’ nice and hysterical. It was her first fashion week so she was very excited. I almost had to oust Jane Krakowski as my new BFF in exchange for Loni but I think I will stick with Ms. Krak for a bit longer. It’s only been a few days after all. I did come close to ripping her tiara off her head though. But we all know the real queen in the photo.
We then interviewed the jet-setting Creative Director of PORTS 1961, Tia Cibani. She is truly fascinating. She was born in North Africa, grew up in Canada and spent 6 years living in China. Her sense of global relevance is apparent in her designs. She was extremely articulate and a real pleasure to interview. She showed off some of the amazing handwork in this India inspired collection. It was quite stunning up close. I also applaud her for using diverse ethnic models in her show. PORTS 1961 also participated in the Fashion Forward event I did with Tim Gunn in September. The event was a fundraiser to support GMHC. Tia is committed to many world social causes and I love that she was a part of the event.
The collection was full of intricate details and clear Indian inspiration. The only issue I had with the show is that I was sitting in the very front about 3 feet from a live band who played bongo drums throughout the entire show. Now I know I already have 20% hearing loss in both ears from years of pummeling my eardrums with loud music on the subway, but even I was like, “Really?” I think she got great applause at the end of the show but I couldn’t tell because the ringing in my ears didn’t stop for another 30 minutes.
OOH OOOH. And I had my first Anna Wintour sitting of the season. She always seems like she is having so much fun. Giggles Wintour is what they call her. Good times. She was about 20 seats away and I was still scared.
Of course I saved the best interview for last: Her Majesty Christian Siriano. It was tres bizarre to ask him question because I still talk to him all the time so I knew all the answers. So we basically just acted like big queens for 10 minutes and then I gave him a piggyback ride for old time sake. I would have put him in my man purse but it was filled with crap I’d stolen from previous shows.
And ladies–let me tell you– Christian Siriano no longer has anything to prove to the fashion community—if you seem to think he did. He has arrived. I love him to death so I am 100% biased but I am blogging and that’s my prerogative. It’s way Bobby Brown up in here. I loved the collection. Inspired by Egypt, it was very signature Siriano but it also showed that he is versatile and has really evolved as a designer. The palette was mainly sandy neutrals, gold and pops of teal blue. He had gorgeously tailored jackets with cool zipper details. He still included a few ruffle extravaganzas and it wouldn’t be a Christian show without and uber-puff sleeve here and there but he showed innovation and new silhouettes. Pure genius.
He has also started a she and handbag collection with Payless Shoes. I know it sounds way ghetto because we all associate Payless with 5 dollar shoes and Star Jones, but Christian is NOT playing games. He told me that he is doing a dozen or so designs for them each season and they are giving him artistic license to do ANYTHING he wants. Since Payless is the largest shoe company in the world (seriously), they have unlimited access to any kind of materials and they can make anything. They made the shoes for Christians show and they were off the chain. Christian said, “It was really incredible to have no limitations on shapes, materials or details. Can’t wait to see the shoes on the runway!!!” Of course the models could barely walk because the heels were so high but they will of course be toned down for mass-market consumption. They will be available in the fall. I hope they make a women’s size 14.
Christian has certainly developed quite the celeb following. Besides Tori, I caught glimpses Aubrey O’Day, formerly of Danity Kane, Nina Garcia, Mark Indelicato from Ugly Betty who I met earlier this week, and Katrina Bowden. Check out the photo below and see if you can spot me. It’s all very where’s Waldo.
The last show of my fashion marathon was the Season 7 Project Runway finale. It was really strange to see since we don’t know who any of the designers are or if the season will ever air. I happen to know that Bravo started filming their replacement show, The Fashion Show, this week which means it will probably air this summer and by then people will be done with Project Runway. It’s unfortunate but we had a good run. I feel saddest for the 15 or 16 designers who went through the hell of sequestered reality television and may never get the recognition they deserve. That being said, it was interesting to watch the 3 final collections from a completely unbiased point of view since we don’t know whom the designers are and they didn’t even come out during the finale.
I don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings here because I know how hard they had to work but the first collection was just not up to Bryant Park standards. One of the looks was a plain black, ankle-length slip dress with a skinny black belt. C’mon! You get your one big shot to show at Fashion week and you can’t be more creative than that? I don’t have a lot of great things to say about the first group so I will just leave it at that. ZZZZZZZZZ
The second group was an improvement over the first but it was still not amazing. There was little innovation and really no WOW factor at all. I did like a few pieces here and there, but the collection was marred by some really odd looks as well. It didn’t seem to have a consistent theme and most of the looks were variations on something I had seen last fall.
The clear winner was the third and final collection. With the exception of one or two looks (a faux-fur hooded vest), the presentation was on point. The designer tied the looks together by reinterpreting various versions of criss-cross weaving throughout the collection. There were bold chunky knits and detailed leather work. Paired with some really cool hats, the looks were well styled and polished. Whoever designed and made the final group has some serious talent. I hope we get to see who it is one day.
Much more in depth reviews HERE.
Oh—And I almost forgot!!! I got to meet Olympic gold medalist, swimmer and super hottie Ryan Lochte. He was nice enough to take 2 photos with me because I looked like ass in the first one. If you know me you know I’m a freak about swimming and the Olympics so it was the highlight of my day. I heart you Ryan cuz I know you are totally reading this. I think he was scared of me by the end of our conversation. Oh well. I’m sitting outside his hotel room right now. Thank god for wireless.
Stay tuned for my complete overview of the entire week with my mini partner in crime, Karl Lagerfelt.
Bay Area Reporter
To the rescue! Film; Academy of Friends throws a superhero Oscar gala
by Adam Sandel
Look up in the sky. It’s a bird, it’s a plane – it’s hundreds of tuxedoed partygoers coming to the rescue of HIV/AIDS organizations at the Academy of Friends’ annual Oscar gala! This year’s ultimate A-List event on Sunday night at Fort Mason, A Night of Superheroes, Villains & Divas, promises to be especially exciting. In addition to supporting HIV/AIDS groups that are financially strapped in these tough times, gala attendees can cheer on two of the most uplifting Oscar nominees in years: Slumdog Millionaire and the gay community’s very own Milk.
In addition to enjoying Hollywood’s finest, and hunky Oscar host Hugh Jackman, gala guests will be treated to live performances by the dance sensations of Burn the Floor and that ultimate villain/diva from the cast of Wicked .
Also on hand will be Jack Mackenroth, the HIV-positive fashion designer and TV personality from Project Runway, who’s launched the national HIV/AIDS education campaign Living Positive by Design in partnership with Merck & Company.
Charming, talented, and ridiculously handsome, Mackenroth provides one of the best possible faces of HIV, and in the words of his former mentor Tim Gunn, he recently agreed to “talk to me.”
“I’ll be 20 years positive this August, right after my 40th birthday,” said Mackenroth. “I immediately needed support when it first happened, so I came out as positive to close friends, and then to my family in the mid-90s. I was doing well on the meds, and after a few years some of the fear dissipated.”
His appearance on season four of Project Runway was Mackenroth’s launching pad to national exposure. “I discussed being positive on the show, and it became a great opportunity for outreach. It wasn’t a big plan, I just wanted to live my life openly. Everyone who talks about it helps to alleviate the anxiety.”
Through the Living Positive by Design campaign, he hopes to help combat the stigma associated with HIV, and encourage people living with HIV to have a positive outlook on life while effectively managing their disease. “The goal is to get people to work with their doctors to get to an undetectable viral load, and to be proactive about their health.”
The public response, especially now that Project Runway is airing overseas, has been very, well, positive. “Once a day I get an e-mail or message on my Facebook or My Space page from people saying, ‘Thank you for being a positive role model.’ I expected a backlash, but there really has been none.”
A graduate of UC Berkeley, Mackenroth is no stranger to San Francisco, but this will be his first AOF Gala. In addition to sharing his Living Positive by Design promos, he says, “I’m looking forward to mingling, having fun, and commenting on the Oscar fashions.” And guys? I asked. He’s single.
I was really looking forward to the Michael Kors show. I have not seen him in forever and I was supposed to have a brief pre-show interview with him but when I arrived his PR team had already packed up the check-in. Oh well. I figured I would try for post-show. Right. Not.
The show was excellent. I know that everyone is talking recession doom and gloom but you couldn’t tell from the Kors collection. First of all he did not scrimp on the models. He had some of the top girls right from the get-go. Carmen Cass, Frankie Rayder, Chanel Iman, Raquel Zimmerman, Coco Rocha and my FAVE model of the moment, Tanya Dziahileva.
One thing that Michael does extremely well is style an entire head-to toe look. With many designers I like certain pieces but not a full look. Kors models look as if the could walk right off the runway and onto an awaiting private jet.
The show started with black wool and cashmere luxurious pieces that were soon infused with neon green accents followed by grey and white tweeds and leathers. He moved onto a more neutral mid section with tans and olive fabrics and furs. Neon green, pink and orange were scattered throughout.
Watch the whole show here. Click the PLAY tab.
I went backstage after the show but Michael was MOBBED by press. I just stood in the corner waiting for a moment but it never happened. INSTEAD I chatted with Jane Krakowski from 30 Rock and various Broadway productions. She was SO nice. She is my new BFF and Nicole Richie is out. I’m fickle like that.
Then Heidi Klum arrived backstage with a throng of press and madness ensued. She is always very kind to me so I applaud her for that especially since she is constantly hounded. She always takes time to kiss kiss and say “hi”.
On the contrary my reception from Ms. Kors was quite chilly. When I finally approached him he said, “Oh, hi.” and stuck out his hand. I thought that was strange. I know we are not bosom buddies but we did go through quite an experience together. Anyway–I will assume he was just exhausted and OVER it at that point.
Since I couldn’t really get face time with Michael I got the next best thing: his adorable mom Joan Kors.
Done with that madness I headed over to the New York Public Library for the 1909 Victorinox menswear collection by Pierre-Henri Mattout. He’s super handsome and really cool. I enjoyed chatting with him immensely. Victorinox/Swiss Army was founded 125 years ago so Pierre-Henri is modernizing the collection by designing a more cutting edge younger line. It’s his second season as Creative Director and I loved the collection.
He told me he was inspired by the Amish rumspringa where adolescents explore the world and decide if Amish life is right for them after their worldly adventures. The looks were a combination of comfort, function and fashion. Below are some of my favorite looks.
I was backstage for about and hour before the show and I just want to mention one thing. The models were all flawless of course but there was one kid named Jamie Jewitt from VNY models who was REDIC. Most of the models are straight now and when you hear them talk you remember that they are 19 but it’s fun to imagine. Anyway–Book him. He’s gorgeous. Call me Jamie.
Also 1909 Victorinox gets the award for BEST INVITATION so far. It was printed on a piece of wood. Very cool.