Monday, September 19, 2011

Ellins Fashion Diary

by Ellin Saltzman

Renewal. After the last show Thursday evening I realized how out of shape I am! I was quite frankly wiped, tired but very happy to be seeing fashion shows, talking to old friends, watching the scene, even running around town. I felt a tinge of sadness that I wasn't continuing on to London, Milan and Paris; but also relief that I was not going home to pack for two weeks and three cities.

The press and the merchants work very hard at this time of year; and now the pressures must be really tough. I was very fortunate to be able to run to East Hampton on Friday, to see all my pals, play some golf, hit the movies, see my 14- and 16-year-old grandsons, and sleep.

In driving around the area I realized the leaves were all falling. There will be no "turning of the leaves" as Irene killed that; now there is just dropping of the leaves and hoping that all will come back by next Spring. They are still doing clean up from the storm; branches piled by the side of the rode; trees being cut for firewood, roots of trees sawed down looking like benches for the seven dwarfs.

On Saturday I saw signs that I wish I had photographed "Harvest Day today" at the coop farm; "garage sale" and "yard sale" (now what is the difference?) along with the "for sale" signs that are seen more and more frequently.

I was indeed away from fashion talk, or so I thought.
WRAP UP. However when I got to ATLANTIC GOLF CLUB where I had been invited to play by some really dear friends I knew it was time to put on my fashion editor, New York Social Diary baseball hat!

The questions flew "which show did you like the best?" ... "who are the new names?" ... "what lengths should we be wearing?" ... and "what colors?"

All of these questions from ladies of a certain young age who remember the days when there was only one length of the season, and a certain few colors, and we looked like cookie cutters (but did for the most part look good). Separates were almost numbered like geronimals "this goes with this" and you were in the easy, no-thinking phase. 

It was indeed a much easier way of dressing but it was by no means "individual." Bill Cunningham would have some Sunday shoots of 5 ladies wearing the same Adolfo suit, or the same Bill Blass coat costume. That was safe and understandable.

RULES no longer exist. It is hard for many to understand. It can hurt business, if there isn't a "must have look or color" or fun new length, why bother?

Well, you bother to give yourself a jolt, something new and fun, it makes you feel good. It does not have to be expensive, but it is a pick-me-up to say "this isn't last year."  It could be a new happy sweater for Fall or a pair of velvet jeans, for Spring it could be a great Anna Sui dress or a Kors crochet. I am not saying go out and buy buy buy as one might have done in the '90s, but I am saying "you deserve a treat today" if indeed you do. Everyone is shopping in their closet but even mothballs need freshening.

Spring Collections for 2012 might not have been radically over the top, but they were good. They were not Spring really as there were not many things that can be worn in April (unless you live below that Mason Dixon line). They were:

COLORFUL: bright as in Milly, Nanette, Diane, and many of the younger collections (funny thing, these are all female designers). The stand out bright color of the season is cobalt blue, with bright purple right behind, and yellow and orange continue from last season
as in Ralph Lauren feminine pale delights; Calvin Klein neutrals flesh, ecru, tan; white as in Vera Wang; perfect white as in Ralph Rucci.
COLORFUL: Milly, DVF, Nanette.
COLORFULLY PALE and WHITE TOO: Ralph Lauren, Vera Wang, Ralph Rucci.
PRINTS: bold roses at Peter Som, sweet prints at Carolina Herrera, soft florals at Anna Sui, graphic prints and mixed media at Tory Burch, animal prints at Michael Kors and Donna Karan, florals in small and large sizes throughout.
PRINTS: Peter Som, Carolina Herrera, Anna Sui.
PRINTS: Tory Burch, Donna Karan, Michael Kors.
GLAMOUR is BACK: If the forecasts continue being glum we need some glamour in our lives. Look to Oscar de la Renta for that and so much more, look to Ralph Rucci for elegant glamour at its very best, to Ralph Lauren for tall shaped beautiful white beaded glamour.

Welcome Zac Posen back with cocktail glamour and Proenza with all their glamour.
GLAMOUR is BACK: Oscar de la Renta, Ralph Rucci, Ralph Lauren.
SPORTSWEAR PIECES: there were some super jumpsuits and some shirt and pant outfits that look like jumpsuits. They really work. There were some great leather pieclly therelles, motorcycle jackets (remember the pale pink one at Ralph Lauren?) and some tan at Derek Lam.

There were many sweaters; outstanding the stripes at Tommy Hilfiger; the sweatshirts at Marc Jacobs, crochets at Michael Kors.

Red, white and blue separates so right for the 9/12 morning show at Tory Burch.
SPORTSWEAR PIECES: Tommy Hilfiger, Derek Lam; Marc Jacobs.
SHOES: Gradually there is a lowering of some of the platforms, some designers showed flat! Michael Kors is doing a strap and buckle boot up the leg which sounds dreadful but actually looks good, it is a flat and possibly a must have. There are some boat shoes and loafers. Oscar tried a lower heel in gold and it did not work, perhaps the models could not walk in them. Ralph Rucci had spectacular Manolo Blahnik sling back with a rhinestone cap and lucite side and strap -- they are a must have. Marc Jacobs had some rubber and vinyl boots.
SHOES: Michael Kors's strap and buckle boot, Oscar de la Renta's lower heel in gold, Ralph Rucci's Manolos.
LENGTHS: Anything goes. Calvin Klein stuck to Francisco's gun and almost everything was below the knee. For some reason this worked in his collection.  Carolina Herrera showed many lengths and that looked great.  Last season she was all below the knee and that looked heavy.

Soft fluid full can be calf length, that is pretty; or in a very contemporary collection it can be young if short short.
LENGTHS: Calvin Klein, Carolina Herrera (3)
CIAO. I have had a great time writing to all of you and hope we can speak again soon. Would love some feedback as I have no idea how you feel about the columns
I want to thank David Patrick Columbia for his faith in me, Jeff Hirsch for all his patience with me and for working late late nights because I couldn't download pictures, all the PR folks who helped me attend the shows (especially KCD who treated me like the old times). I congratulate all the designers for their hard work with successful outcomes, and a special thank you to my grandson Jack for his red tennis pictures.

I can’t wait to see these clothes in the stores and hear about the London, Milan, and Paris shows.
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