Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Ellin's Fashion Week Diary

The colorful scene at Marc by Marc Jacobs.
Tuesday, September 11
Awakened feeling very sorry for myself. My computer started making terrible noises last evening and then died. Was hoping the fantastic Jonathan Barnett, my computer genius, will be able to resuscitate it. He changed two appointments "on the East End" to arrive here. How fabulous to have good friends. Loyalty as a customer can lead to loyalty as a giver, which is why it hurts so when it doesn't happen!

While having a bad night in between trying to drug myself to sleep and to cure leg cramps (my friend John swears it works to put a bar of soap in bed with you. I think it does and certainly makes the sheets smell clean) and ease a very aching hip and neck, I thought of several things:

1. Subway stairs and tunnels are good exercise, but hard on the body. Yesterday after Phillip Lim on 33 off 9th, I found a subway. Again, I admit to being an east sider through and through. I know numbered subway lines such as 4 and 6, but get confused with letters. I asked the station agent which would take me to Lincoln Center, the A or the C. His reply "it's my first day on the job and I don't know anything!" Great. I hop on an A train, which turned out to be Queens bound. At 42nd they announce transfers available to Grand Central Station and many others, so I hop off deciding to shuttle to the East Side and write.

Well, there are no signs to the shuttle, but I started marching and marching and marching, and finally, after more stairs, found the shuttle to Grand Central ... giving up on the show at Lincoln Center. Many more good-for-the-core stairs later, I ended up on the 6 to home (!) to write, kill the computer, and buy a beautiful orchid for my son's 19th anniversary.

2. Personal trivia aside, the Marc Jacobs show was very forceful in its simplicity, and a big change for him. It also looked very salable and wearable and modern in its Courrèges-like structure. Even softened structure as in the flirty ruffle hemmed dress.
Modernized structure, not 1960 structures. I neglected to write that last evening.

While not seeing the show, I would be remiss in not telling you about it and showing you the WHOLE show (with video!), as she is a top designer, top talent, and friend.

From her tailored look of last season (but that was fall after all) Donna switched gear to soft and supple and spring summer like.

Her tone was mainly earthy grudge, beige, sand and silver grey, and earth.

The clothes wrapped around the body, but not in uncomplicated ways. They still shape and do not look sloppy or baggy. They are just right for her customers and for those who like freedom and comfort while still being elegant.

Donna must receive high high praise for her incredible charitable endeavors. She visits and supports HAITI with a passion; she fights for more and more cancer research; she supports democracy in every form as well as the environment.

I admire her truly. We go back to her very early days working as Ann Klein's assistant. That would have been either 1969 or 1970, she was a toddler and I was a very young mother!

Cheers and love, Donna!
Olivier Theyskens is designing it. For the most part, somber wear-to-work dark clothes. However some very saleable classics such as his tailored jackets, trousers, and some (and my present passion) great leather pieces.

I question the looks of the models ... not sure if hair that looks dirty or wet is supposed to be with it ... but it doesn't work for me. And probably not Olivier's fault, but my chance to gripe anyway ... I still do not understand those open-toed booties!
Tuesday, late afternoon
Luckily I know how to get to the Armory on Lexington and 25th. It is very easy to take the 6 train and get off at 25th. I was there in no time flat.

Sitting in the front row was Robert Duffy with his baby girl Victoria. Robert had a hip replacement and a baby in the same year! He is in his 50s, but this baby and his new hip make him younger and handsomer than ever.

Robert Duffy with his baby girl Victoria, who sat and watched the show without a peep!
Two of the Jonas Brothers who caused a bevy of "OMG"s.
I was happily in the third row surrounded by young teenagers, given tickets by their editor moms (very cute) and two young boys dressed in school blazers, whose father was a friend of a friend in photography; they just like fashion! Suddenly a shriek from the girls on my left ... "OMG OMG OMG" ... while they jump down three rows to take photographs of the Jonas Brothers. When they returned to their seats you would have thought they died and went to heaven.

You can bet that all the other girls at St. Ann's school will be very jealous tomorrow morning.

Mark's collection was fun and young. What looked like cotton chambray was great in pale stripes and checks and plaids. There were some super patchwork sun dresses, and printed dresses, short shorts, shocking pink vest coat, a fabulous skull and bones print pants shown with a cream shell tank.

There was some swimwear, almost vintage with its smocking and waist-high bottoms, and a great striped sweater to wear over the swim or with jeans or town short shorts.

What looked like a double-faced tee shirt dress in grey with orange piping on Elza was a winner (Elza is her name, not Eliza). So sorry, but I could not see the feet so cannot give you the footwear news.

Look to more jumpsuits from more contemporary designers. Do you wish you still had yours? if you did were they Naf Naf from St. Barts? Wonder if Naf Naf still exists? Think I will try to contact them ...

Marc is a trend setter indeed and must be very happy ... the clothes show it!
Okay, more travel details. The Madison Avenue bus home from 26th and Lexington on the limited is the way to go.

Eating tip: I just had a very late lunch (or maybe early dinner): the chicken and dill salad from Gentile's Foods & Market. It's "Mm-mm, Good." Went off the diet to eat it with mayo — maybe that's why it tasted so good?

Tuesday night
A truly beautiful night in every way. I was in a good mood thanks to the perky and lively mixed pattern (all of my favorites: stripes, dots, gingham plaid, plaids, paisley) and happy collection at Marc by Marc Jacobs. Am looking at some photographs and see the great scarves as belts, the shoes, the head wraps. It is truly happy.
Now I am my way down to see Oscar de la Renta. I grab a cab and pick up my old-time Saks Fifth Avenue cohort Helen O'Hagan. I confess to having worn jeans and white shirts all week. Dressing in my mind chicly down and comfortably; however I thought I would make an effort for Oscar and put on one of his dresses. It is several seasons old and he may not remember it (he did), but I felt happy doing it. He is a designer to be admired in every way ... I am totally crazy about him, and his wife Annette, and Annette's daughter Eliza, who with her husband Alex are running the business.

I so want this collection to be good (I confess to not having liked his Fall show as much as I do most of his collections ... so this one just had to be terrific.

Va Va Va voom!!! I was not disappointed! This collections was a slam dunk!! I love the fact that he opened with real Spring and real daytime. Some things (many) for the ladies who lunch, who bridge, who work, who lead corporations, who head charities and sit on boards to wear. It is the second time in five days of show watching that I have seen great looking day time outfits. And they are outfits. And there is nothing wrong with that.

Not every woman wants to put herself together with separate pieces from various designers; that takes work and some talent. Many women would be and should be happy to have the great taste of Oscar de la Renta do it for them. I think that is the reason that dresses are having such a renaissance. It's very easy to put on one piece!

Back to Oscar. He opened with a red latex tank (latex no less!) under a navy silk twill blazer with an ivory twill pencil skirt. How is that for clarity and a new 2013 year! He continues with red latex skirt and navy silk faille peblum jacket and some ivory pant suits. Some of the models are carrying his lizard iPhone cases. Might have to get a case and then an iPhone.
Some aquamarine pieces came down the runways next for the blonds in his corner. Franzi wore a scalloped hem white lace patchwork dress under a ribbon trim aquamarine tweed jacket. Yellow brightened the picture as it has in many collection, strikingly as a latex ruffled tank with a multicolor tartan taffeta bias tiered skirt.
Oscar let go for evening with color, with feathers, with hot pants, and Zuzanna in cocktail pants (and yes they looked great fun and spirited ... and I hope some of the pretty young customers pick and buy them. I would have!) He had beautiful embroidery, lots of gold flecked pieces, lots of Russian like gold jewelry, lots of lots of!!!

But then ... he has a totally smashing and devastating and another "wish list" dress of navy double-faced wool crepe and chiffon, like a smooth column tee shirt (wish some more) or a black stretch crepe dress with a silver patent belt and her lizard iPhone case ... both incredible in their simplicity.
He ended the brilliant collection with pink feathers leading into a group of entrance-making gowns, starting with black and ivory satin stripes and navy striped satin with silk gazar.

Five stars Oscar ... and big hugs!

I heard Steve Sadove, the CEO of Saks Fifth Avenue, went backstage to tell Oscar this was his best collection in years! I triple that.
Click here for Ellin's Fashion Diary, Part II.
Click here for Ellin's Fashion Diary, Part I.