Friday, September 16, 2011

Ellin's Fashion Diary

David Walliams, Lara Stone, Ashley Greene, Chloe Moretz, Naomi Watts, Uma Thurman, and Stefano Tonchi at Calvin Klein's Spring 2012 collection.
by Ellin Saltzman

Thursday, September 15. Awakened with a shock. Could it be that today was the last days of Spring 2012 shows? And according to the weather reports the last day of glorious summer weather for a while. Rain and cold promised for tonight, but haven't we been lucky with the weather for Fashion Week? Imagine the uptown/downtown treks in the snow (guess I will slightly complain about them in February). By then we may be fortunate, state of awareness may have been abandoned.

RALPH LAUREN. Shows on Hudson Street. Another big taxi bill but I think it will be well worth it. Taxi driver tells me he has been on duty since 6 AM (it is now 9:15) and has only made 4 trips because of gridlock. No wonder they are a bit cranky.

Arrived at Skylight Soho to find perfect organization and cleanliness. The check-in and seat assignment desk is full of smiles and efficiency. The marble hall leading to the stage ends in an enormous vase of glorious flowers, pale ones not brights (that should have been my clue).
Olivia Wilde, Anna Carter, Graydon Carter at Ralph Lauren's Spring 2012 collection.
Grace Coddington and Tonne Goodman at Ralph's.
The seating works, I could see from the fourth row perfectly. My next seat buddy was an attractive young lady with an English accent. Turns out this pretty young thing had been in the States for 17 years and held on to her charming accent. She now works in the Fashion Department at ESSENCE magazine. ESSENCE has a terrific new Editor in Chief in Constance White. She is bright, tasteful, and very deserving of the new title and responsibility. I first met her and worked with her many years ago when she first started at The New York Times and I was with Saks Fifth Avenue. She has not aged one bit.

RALPH LAUREN COLLECTION Show. Okay I am not always right (hard to admit). I forecast BRIGHT COLORS for the season, and indeed there have been brights but Mr. Lauren (now why am I being so formal?) showed the most spectacular collection of SHERBET TONES. Almost paler than sherbet or sherbet with milk added. Lime or celadon or celery, lemon or citron, bluebell, strawberries and cream to blush, ivory.

The mood is totally like a dream. I felt as though Ralph had Woody Allen open the gates for us all to play and dance with Cole Porter, drink with Scott and Zelda, and walk into Monet's canvases. Stan Herman said to me after the show "Ralph let us into his dream, and I want to stay there." So do I.
The models all wore pale cloches, very soft, and strangely not costume-like, they just fit in.

The shoes were pale raffia wedges, which will be a must have for Spring. They are soft and feminine, take a cork ease sandal, make it pale and 2 inches higher and it works big time!

The skirts were pale print or solid georgette, floats of course, with pale tanks or charmeuse shirts, and sheer cashmere topping those.

It was all fluid and all soft and romantic.

Ralph's trousers were full and cuffed and pleated front (soft menswear influence), the jackets were double breasted for the main part and shaped, and always pale or pinstripe. There was even a blush pink motorcycle jacket, shown with ivory wide legged pants. As well as two short suits, with vests, looking like super female executives who could make the members of the board cringe or drool!

A robin's egg blue short suit was a knock out (pictured right).

The evening wear part of the collection, all 23 yummy outfits, could fill a perfect ballroom. There was one dress more spectacular than the rest. Great beading and net details and a sea of ostrich feathers. I do not think there will be many ostriches left with feathers.

To enter into this ballroom scene you have to really dream maybe with Halcyon. It would be an extraordinary party and you would definitely thank Ralph (and his wife Ricki) for inviting you. Caviar and Champagne would accompany my thank you note:

Kisses and hugs Ralph, and please don't wake me up.
CALVIN KLEIN. How civilized! I received an email telling me that the Calvin Klein Collection Show scheduled for 3 pm will be delayed until 3:30. Only one PR and Show Production firm would be that thoughtful and timely, and indeed it was KCD.

I took the time to try to clean my desk of programs and old magazines and such and the rushed of course to hop on the subway! It works; number 6 down to Times Square and then the shuttle. Under 20 minutes and $1.50.

Francisco Costa.
Going back to 205 West 39 felt sentimental. When I first started working in the retail business, 205 was the home of Anne Klein and Calvin Klein as well as some other designer namesake firms. I guess it means one can go home again.

Francisco Costa for Calvin Klein is a terrific guy and a talent. His style is pure and stark and totally unadorned. The models wear no visible makeup; they seem to also be the palest and thinnest; and there were no accessories except for some ankle tied, needle heeled, nude patent leather shoes.

Now you have heard some of my pet peeves in fashion. Two of those were ankle strapped shoes (which cut off the legs, even the slimmest ones) and that coupled with lengths over the knees had me reacting like someone scratched the blackboard incorrectly.

The collection did survive however, by its perfect tailoring and pale natural colors. The first group were neutrals, no color nudes. He called the color POUF!! His other colors were pale pale yellow which they call GARDENIA and pale pale green which they call celery. And last, but by no means least, his black is called LACQUER.

This collection is one of the very few shows that could be called called Spring. He had a coat. He has a straight sleek number that is smashing.

Grazie Francisco.
Calvin Klein's Spring 2012 collection.
At the end of the show I kissed Cheryl Schwartz, whose husband Barry was Calvin's partner in the opening of Calvin Klein, and went to the door. It was pouring. An 81-year-old man who I have known for a very very long time kissed me, and as he was kissing me, a tall pretty young lady passed by.

She said "hi" and he said, "it's raining. I have a car. Would you like a ride home?"

Now he is still holding me, but clearly that invite did not include me. So off to Duane Reade I go to purchase a big black umbrella. Walk to the subway which I stumbled upon. Take a new line and connect to the Lexington Avenue line. Hurrah.

On the train there was a young gentleman in shorts, sneakers, tee shirt knitting very slowly. I decided it was a form of therapy for him and perhaps I should start it too!
Closing out Calvin Klein's collection.
MARC JACOBS. The last show of Fashion week was the Marc Jacobs show. The show was called for 8:30 and we all know that he starts on time. Thank goodness for new favorite, the Lexington Avenue No. 6 train, because it had started to rain and the temperature had fallen 20 degrees and the gridlock situation had not improved.

So down we flew on the subway. The man next to me was playing games on his phone. He was shooting things, very diligently.
Marc's show took place at the Armory on 26th and Lexington. It is a very large room and at the very end of it was a curtain. Leading up to the curtain down the middle of the room was a zigzag wooden-like structure which I later realized was like a wooden rafter in a barn yard of yesteryear. As the curtains parted, the entire stage was filled with models lounging, sitting, talking (the truth is I couldn't see that far down the runway. I thought I was seeing a very chic house of ill repute.)
The photogs in full effect.
On the runway for Marc Jacobs Spring 2012 Collection runway show.
The finale of the Marc Jacobs Spring 2012 Collection runway show.
As the models walked down under the wooden rafter the music was sing 1-2-3-4-5 or some such numbers. The girls were in sequins, paper finished leather, "do rags" around their hair, cellophane organza, and plastic/mirror cowboy boots. There was fringed cashmere with sequins, silk stockings, socks, tinsel organza; nylon and cashmere sweatshirts and silk faille skirts worn with flat fake crocodile loafers. And a group of polyester organza sequined dresses in gold, silver, blue, black iridescent.

All in all it sure was a real nice dance party (not sure it all wasn't a square dance), but not much choosing of partners.

Thanks Marc for inviting me to the dance. Bon voyage à Paris.
Click here for NYSD Contents