New York Fashion Weak wrap. Wheeeewwwww!
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.