Thursday, September 15, 2011

Ellin's Fashion Diary

Michael Kors greeting Zoe Saldana, Michael Douglas, and Rosie Huntington Whiteley at his Spring 2012 collection show.
by Ellin Saltzman

Wednesday, September 14. Another spectacular day. Many good shows to come and a weekend in sight.

I confess I missed my 9 AM demonstration of NORMA KAMALI'S 3D magazine and other goodies. Norma has always been ahead of her time and a very forward thinker. Which made me feel guilty for not going to see her newest project. I told Linda Fargo, fashion director of Bergdorf Goodman, and she said "guilt was a word that shouldn't be used during fashion weeks because we always feel guilty over something. I think she is right (but she did go to Kamali).
Glenda Bailey and Stephen Gan of Harper's Bazaar. Suzy Menkes of The Herald Tribune.
MICHAEL KORS. As you know he is one of my favorites. I have known him through thick and thin. There were times when we thought he might not make it financially, and just look at him now! I talked with Mr. Stoll and Mr. Chow, the major backers of the Kors business, who told me that they checked out Michael with my daughter before they signed the deal and she convinced them. They are now very grateful. Then I spoke with Mario Testino, the brilliant photographer. He too sent his love to Elizabeth, but also told me how well I used to look. I think that may have been a back handed compliment, but I guess I will have to drop my bag lady attire. So here's to a major diet and make over!
Michael Kors Spring 2012.
Michael went to Africa for a major occurrence (birthday, anniversary, honeymoon?). He was obviously very moved by it and its beauty, and this collection represents that love. The collection is much softer and romantic than some of his others. It is beautiful. Djellabas, caftans, ponchos, and flowing capes. Bermuda shorts, dreamy swimwear, sarongs for her and for him. Crochet knits, parkas. Animal prints, some hand painted in earthy colors, were outstanding. It is all very luxe. The shoes and bags and boots should be more money in the bank. The high strap boots; the platforms, the flats; and the large carryall bags.

Mr. Kors, marriage becomes you! Thank you ...
Michael Kors Spring 2012.
NANETTE LEPORE. Here's what I like about Nanette Lepore. She and her husband went to a club and heard Sam Bisbee and his group perform.

They liked them and hired them for the show and then outfitted them in clothes to match the collection.
Sam Bisbee band at Nanette Lepore, dressed in her colors.
Sam and his music were very good and they made the spirit of the show come alive. The collection was full of neon brights, opening with citrons. There were full skirts, pleated skirts, bikinis and swimsuits, windbreakers, blazers, some sweet floral print dresses, and some scuba dresses. She has some fun totes and footwear. It was a fun collection.
Nanette Lepore Spring 2012.
MILLY. Sometimes I speak too soon or too frankly. There was a French collection which made terrific tailored sportswear. Perfect blazers and trousers. But it was called TEENFLO. I tried to explain to the owners that these were not teenager clothes, and they also were not sanitary napkins. I am not sure they are still in business, but I do think I was correct.

I made the same mistake when I met the folks connected with Milly and must not have been thinking when introduced to the head designer and owner, Michelle Smith. That could be short for Milly? So I said, "Your clothes are super, and they are ageless, but with a silly cutesie name like "Millie" it sounds like a line for teeny boppers. Oops, indeed, Millie equals Michelle. I was wrong.

The boutique on 73rd and Madison is nicely busy. They have very well priced clothes and super handbags. I am a fan.
Milly Spring 2012.
This collection opens with super cobalt coats and dresses and separates. They look fresh and bright. Next were vermillion red and navy stripes and patterned separates, touches of jade, ecru, and tangerine. It was all very bright and upbeat.

As a post script, Michelle has designed a limited edition collection for Sperry Top Sider. They are fun.

Michelle Smith took her bow with a very sweet young lady/girl whom I presume is her daughter. Maybe I am wrong. Maybe the daughter is Milly? I have to check that!

Thanks Michelle Smith for great music, a cd, and a bright and happy spring collection!
Milly Spring 2012.
ANNA SUI. I love Anna. Everyone loves Anna. She was a photographer's stylist for years working with all the major publications, photographers, and models. She is truly "in" in the fashion world. Her collections often define the season as far as trends. This season she seems to be in the twenties as well as the sixties, but it does not seem costumey or dated. She uses turbans, marabou jackets, seamed stockings, socks, crepe de chine dresses, electric purple separates, mixed print tops and pants like jumpsuits. She has the best print dresses around for Spring Summer.

Pat McGrath did the makeup, and it was exquisite. Bright red, very shiny lips. She has 3 shoe licensees; a new Tumi luggage collection, sunglasses, jewelry, and cosmetics. Keep it up Anna.

Anna's collections make people smile.
Anna Sui Spring 2012.
CHADO RALPH RUCCI. I do not think I have seen a total standing room ovation for any designer in years, if at all. Ralph Rucci normally shows in his studio and explains the details of each piece, and there are many details that are hidden but wonderful. However the studio show deprived many of the American press and the stores from seeing his magnificent clothes. They are indeed magnificent in every way. Ouch, Mrs. Bacon, my high school English teacher, I know, I used the same adjective twice in adjoining sentences. That is a no-no. However we are talking about super magnificence, which is extraordinary.

At the show was everyone from his past and the fashion past, the ex-fashion director of Macy's and Neiman Marcus, Joan Kaner, and many other exes who have supported Ralph throughout the years. How Casey Ribicoff would have loved this, and what a star she would have been in the audience. We miss her.
Chado Ralph Rucci Spring 2012.
Okay, Casey is giving me the courage to get on a soapbox. I have heard that a store had complained that Chado Ralph Rucci was a difficult sell because it is so expensive. Indeed these are not clothes you can hang on a rack with a few sales people on a floor. This is a collection that should have a salon dedicated to it. The clothes should be treated as one would treat jewelry, or in the past treated James Galanos or Norman Norell. We are talking custom made, and cut to perfection. 

Although Ralph does not want to have his clothes called couture, they should be treated as if they were in a French couturier's salon. If the perfect store were to treat Ralph correctly it would enhance the store's image and possibly their profitability in the long run. But the latter could possibly come from a public relation department’s budget. It could be a store's dream. If there are customers in New York who are on a waiting list for a certain prestige alligator handbag that costs more than a car, I am sure they would want the perfect white coat or suit or dress to go with it.
Chado Ralph Rucci Spring 2012.
I guess I should get off my soapbox, but this was an extraordinary day raising extraordinary challenges and questions.

Thank you Ralph Rucci for giving us all a lesson in workmanship and detail (and thank you Michael Kors for taking us back to Africa in dreams and reality).

Sweet dreams.
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