Friday, September 14, 2012

Ellin's Fashion Week Diary

Amy Adams, Emma Stone, and Diane Kruger front and center at Calvin Klein.
Thursday, September 13
Wow oh wow. Another absolutely beautiful day! Aren't we lucky to live in this glorious city?

Came home yesterday afternoon to write you all and realized there were only two big shows left to cover, but I had only received a ticket to Calvin and not to Ralph (although I had an old email saying it would be forthcoming). Small panic. No, this is not life or death and it is not going to collapse my happy world, but I do like Ralph and to report on his collection. Many emails later ... first to my friend Bette-Ann Gwathmey, who works for Ralph and is a long, loved dear friend ... and then to Melanie Fischer, the Senior Director of Public Relations. I am a bit embarrassed; I am definitely not at the top of the pecking order, but they came through graciously.

Audrey Hepburn and Fred Astaire in Funny Face.
So knowing that I had to be at Soho Studio, which is on Hudson Street and probably 45 minutes from home (and close to $30), I got showered and dressed in my Thursday best, which today was a bright green J.Crew skirt, black tights, black tee, head band, ballet shoes (do I really think I am Audrey Hepburn about to dance with Fred Astaire? Yes ... I channel her), and a treasured golden oldie Chanel black jersey quilted bag, with the chain that looks like the panther watch.

This is the press show of the Lauren collection (the buyers come at the next hour). Everyone is politely on line. Photographers are having a blast photographing the folks and their shoes (higher than high) and their shorts (shorter than short) or their trousers grazing the floor. Suddenly a hush and a very blond, very blue-and-white dressed Anna Wintour marches by with body guards surrounding her ... obviously no line for her. Somehow she must have gone backstage to visit with Ralph because she marched out from there just before the show started. Wonder of wonders Anna was NOT wearing shades. She did not put them on until half way through the show (I was seated high and above and across from her).
Anna (shadeless), Bette Anne Gwathmey, Andre, Amy, and Graydon at RALPH.
Ralph took us to SPAIN, in great detail, impeccably accessorized.

The show opened with turquoise and tomato suedes paired with serapes and fringes and jodphurs or full skirts or trousers and berets and fringes and belts and platform sandals. There were some motorcycle references in this tour of the matador and his friends as well and ladies in floral chiffons.
Suddenly his mood changed and what I call the American visitors came out in great daytime looks in black, scarlet, and even purple (the purple or amethyst suit had front pleated pants, are we ready for these again? which ended cuffed above the ankle).
There was a great hand crochet black skirt shown with a tomato suede top on Joan who was carrying Ralph's new "signature scroll tote" in scarlet.
Ralph's evening business and special occasion business must be booming as he offered his customers and stars myriad choices in ivory, red or black, looking great and sexy even with panama hats!

Ralph joined the gold rush with a fabulous bolero and vest either beaded lame or gold embroidered.

OLE Ralph!
Shopping note
After the very long taxi ride uptown, I landed at the Madison and 79th street branch of J.Crew (again!). There in the window was a graphic pattern black/white/cobalt skirt. It looks like everything I have been seeing on the runways and therefore it had to be mine. Michael helped me into it (it runs large, so we went from 6 to 4 to 2!!). It is about $158 and you should run and buy!!!! It is going to be worn to Calvin Klein this afternoon.
My new purchase from J.Crew.
Thursday afternoon
I took a detour and went to preview the exciting new collection of MARK CROSS handbags and leather goods.

I have had a soft spot for Mark Cross for ages. My wedding present was a set of Mark Cross red leather travel luggage! That was before carry ons, wheels, baggage restrictions and such ... it was almost still the days of "living well is the best revenge," which is my way to segue into the ownership of Mark Cross. It was owned Sara and Gerald Murphy (profiled by Calvin Tompkins), big pals of Zelda and Scott Fitzgerald. They lived in East Hampton among other places, owning 600 acres (which is now the Maidstone Club and golf and tennis grounds), very near where I live on a much, much smaller scale.
A scene from Rear Window with Grace Kelly and her Mark Cross bag. Left: Mark Cross
Grace Large Trunk Bag, $1,995 at Barneys.
I know, or actually my friend Martha Kramer has told me, that Grace Kelly owned a Mark Cross bag in Rear Window and asked Jimmy Stewart to fetch it for her, saying what was in it was all she needed to go away with him ... lingerie!

I do not know when Mark Cross ceased to be, but it has certainly been missing for at least a decade.

It was relaunched in February of this year, exclusively at BARNEYS in the US and is having huge success and reorders. Join me now in previewing the Spring 2013 collection ...
Alas, the last collection of the New York Spring Summer week of shows.

Francisco Costa.
It was for sure an exercise in black and ivory white. In architecture. In seamsmanship. In understatement down to the no-makeup look of the models to the no-hair dos. And surely no accessories. Mr. Costa is indeed a purist!

If so, why drop the shoes that were so great last season and do these ankle straps that cut the leg? With heels that were fussy? I cannot find fault with your fascinating tailoring and shaping, but can with your shoes. But I won't pick on you too much Francisco. You are too talented a designer and I respect you too much. This was a brave collection.

Note: I was at the retailer's show, sat across from Bergdorf and Macy's and Bloomingdale's ... missed some other stores I guess, but I did get my picture in my graphic J.Crew skirt taken for a Stephanie Solomon (fashion director of Bloomingdale's) trend report.

So it's farewell for the season. Tune in very soon for a wrap up and thanks for reading. Please let us know if you have enjoyed!
Click here for Ellin's Fashion Diary, Part IV.
Click here for Ellin's Fashion Diary, Part III.
Click here
for Ellin's Fashion Diary, Part II.
Click here for Ellin's Fashion Diary, Part I.