Monday, October 8, 2012

“Trending” Fashion, Fashion Week and More ...

From HBO's "About Face: Supermodels Then and Now," by Timothy Greenfield-Sanders: Patti Hansen, Esme Marshall, Cheryl Tiegs, Beverly Johnson, Lisa Taylor, Kelly Emberg, Carol Alt, Karen Bjornson, Dayle Haddon, Christie Brinkley, Nancy Donahue, and Kim Alexis.
Text and Photographs by Jill Lynne

Originally Fashion Week was held at the end of September. This gave everyone time to ease out of summer, enjoy the Labor Day Weekend and transition into the Autumn Season.  New York Fashion Week was held after the European Shows.

At some point, folks wielding that competitive American spirit, decided that New York must show first. So for over a decade, Fashion Week is squeezed into that time period beginning immediately after Labor Day. For those of us involved in fashion – as industry or fashionistas – this scheduling mandates spending the asset days of summer intensively prepping, then trekking about in heat and humidity, intensifying stress.

I’m particularly interested in new talent and applauding design arising from select schools – particularly The Academy of Art and Parsons. Elle magazine (with Joe Zee) is commended for supporting new talent – as well as a dynamic breed of Fashion Reality programs inspired by Project Runway.
Clockwise from top left: Chief Curator/Director MFIT Valerie Steele at season opening of "Ivy Style"; Dressed for the opening in their best Ivy style, Roddy Caravella and Gretchen Fenston; Interior Designer Tom Bebe and friend with Alan Mason; Cynthia Powell and friend.
This season the number of shows held “Downtown” in many new venues – the 15th Street Pier, Highline Studios and such established locations as MILK, and Industria rivaled the number shows held at Lincoln Center. Within these varied environments, designers enliven the structure of the shows with more presentations where one can get up-close-and-personal with the designs. Viewing multiple shows in one venue tends to develop what I call the “Monochrome Effect” – it all tends to blend together.

There was a greater diversity gracing the runways, and an increase in international designer representation. Also there was the first paraplegic model, Angela Rockwood (Star of Sundance’s show “Push Girls”) who is featured in Nordstrom’s major Fashion Campaign, and the first transgender model, Lauren Foster, walking the European shows.

Lets begin at the end ...
L. to r.: Elijah Vielma dressed for the occasion; Ivy Fashionistas (2); Marilyn Kirchner in vintage Ivy.
Ivy Barbershop Chorus serenades ...
The Museum at FIT (MFIT), under the aegis Executive Curator Valerie Steele, premiered “Ivy Style” for its season opening. MFIT Openings are always a visual treat because guests dress in theme-inspired attire. The exhibition is an eye-opener presenting Ivy aesthetic introduced by Brooks Brothers (and others) and re-invented by Ralph Lauren, as the quintessential American style for Menswear.

In the 1960s, 95% of apparel purchased and worn in the USA was made here. Today that number is only 5%! Even much of our Military garb is made elsewhere.
1928 flannel striped blazers with Brooks Brothers vintage ties and shirts
Clockwise from top left: Brooks Brothers 1940 "Prep" Ensemble, reissued 2012; Updated early 19th-century Brooks Brothers Number One sack suit and the Princeton 1912 beer suit; 1980 Ralph Lauren Polo coat; 1980 Jeffrey Banks tartan, corduroy and tweed ensembles; Brooks Brothers 1907 cutaway evening suit and 1926 suit with morning coat.
HBO’s documentary “About Face: Supermodels Then and Now” by Timothy Greenfield-Sanders, and produced by Sheila Nevins, explores the worlds of fashion and modeling, focusing on aging and beauty.

Many of those featured – from sylph-like Pat Cleveland (whom I first met when she was Halston’s muse) through gorgeous 81-year-old Carmen Dell’Orefice – continue to work, while all continue to live vital lives.
Carmen Dell'Orefice by Mark Mahaney. Isabella Rossellini by Timothy Greenfield-Sanders.
The way a show is managed affects the general experience. Publicists need to remember that there are more shows than anyone can cover or attend. When people are left to wait on unending lines and then are told the show is filled to capacity, they are wasting people’s precious time, and leaving a bad taste. Bad public relations.

Praise to MAO Brothers Public Relations their courtesy in handling the journalists. They were responsible for the successfully outrageous book launch of the fascinating book by Mauricio and Roger Padilha; “Antonio Lopez: Fashion Art, Sex & Disco” (with foreward by Andre Leon Talley and Anna Sui).
At the Antonio Lopez: Fashion, Art, Sex and Disco book launch party: author Roger Padilha, designer Anna Sui, author Mauricio Padilha, model Donna Jordan, model Pat Cleveland, and Maria Snyder.
Antonio is considered one of the finest fashion illustrators ever. I first met him during those fabulous disco days at the home of French-born fashion publicist Yvon Dihe, invited by the handsome Dutch model Joop Sande. It was a small soiree in Dihe’s beautiful suite at River House. I was impressed. It all ended far too soon when so many of these remarkable men in fashion and the Arts died so young, from AIDS.
L. to r.: Artist Mae Alexander with her extraordinary jewelry; Joey Arias performs; performer Kenny Kenny.
Bill Cunningham enjoys the "Mao" style all around.
The-Cult-of-Celebrity and its impact on the Fashion World and Life 101: Traditionally the Front Row was occupied with important individuals – of real achievement, social standing and those playing strategic roles in the industry and world. Now it is all too often made up of “fame-climbers” – those who will do almost anything to have their moment in the spotlight – except contribute in a meaningful way, for a sustained time period. Unfortunately it is another symptom of the trivialization of our culture, and the reduction of the worthwhile to sound bites.
Clockwise from top left: Timeless Susanne Bartsch in Blondes heavily-studded corset with painted friend; 92-year-old perpetually-plumed Baroness Sherry von Korber-Bernstein; performer Amanda Lepore; Michael Musto in green dinosaur coat at The Blondes fashion show.
Paris Hilton taking in the The Blondes collection.
Top left: Favorite Dandy Patrick MacDonald (with a friend) take in the diverse Blondes attendees.
Designers Phillipe and David Blond (bottom left) among their gender-bending Blonds collection.
The fashion trends:

1. The shirtdress – classical or variations – generally waist-cinching.

2. Shorts – leg-baring for both men and women (evening or day) with or without leggings.

3. Classical Walking Shorts brushing knee-tops or mid-thigh “Boy Shorts” a la Boxers.

4. Longer hemlines, frequently hitting just above the knee.

5. Irregular hemlines sporting a shorter front length.
IMITATION OF CHRIST: In a Chelsea Gallery Space, the fashion designer/artists reveal their unique new collection by commenting on women's obsession with body image. Women of all ages preen & try on the collection in front of antique mirrors ...
"Model family" Barbara Monteleone and daughters at The Dream Hotel for MARIMEKKO's first fashion show in NYC. MARIMEKKO's fashion designer, Mika Piirainen.
Signature-patterned colorful bags decorate the assigned seats.
Backstage and on the runway for MARIMEKKO. Carmen (bottom right) models in her bare feet.
6. Leggings, ornate tights and sheers – frequently bright hues – often footless, or designed especially for boots.

7. The revival of jeans – with a body-clinging skin-tight 4-way stretch, worn as leggings, in bold colors, or patterned.

8. Cutouts peeping through all types of garments, revealing bare skin or a sheer fabric layer.
French designer CATHERINE MALANDRINO presents in a downtown loft. Top left: The designer and friend eye her collection.
Kara Laricks, held at PIER57.
9. Bra tops spotlighting bared midriffs.

10. Saturated hues – neons, citrons, day-glow pinks, and fluorescents.

11. Metallic Pastels – dusty pink, grays, and greige.

12. Embellishments – feathers, tassels, fabric appliques, ornate cuttings, petals – dancing with movement.
DUCKIE BROWN designers Daniel Silver and Steven Cox walk the runway to applause at West Village's Industria Studios.
Duckie Brown attendees included a wee one with dad and dandies such as Patrick MacDonald.
South African-born, London-based (Savile Row) designer OZWALD BOATENG stole the ARISE Magazine's African Icons designer show.
The OZWALD BOATENG Collection ...
13. Transparencies – plastic jackets – mix-‘n-match shirts ...

14. Leather-type strapping for top torsos.

15. Statement Jewelry – dominant and colorful.

16. 6”-plus heels and wedges ... lengthening the leg, thrusting the female form into a “curvaceousness” a la the women of “Mad Men.” These heels also impede movement, lead to feet, leg, neck and back ailments, and can be dangerous.
Texan Designer Pamela Roland with her collection.
The ACADEMY of ART's collection.
17. Hair – very natural with top-knots, pony tails, bangs, upsweep of down, discreet hair extensions.

18. Makeup – natural monochrome with an occasional lip-popping color or eye shadow.
Nanette Lepore (with her daughter) at her SS 2013 collection.
The Runway at the NORISOL FERRARI collection.
Carmen graces the runway. Norisol thanks her fans.
The CHADWICK BELL collection.
PARSONS graduate student collection.
L. to r.: NY1s Shelley Goldberg; Cindy Adams; and Michele Herbert at Joanna Mastroianni's SS 2013 collection.
Donna Anne Soloway and friends.
Designer Joanna Mastroianni with the her SS 2103 collection.
Finally, I would like to thank my Parsons Graduate School Intern, Meredith (a promising young designer) for her assistance.

Sadly, to conclude: The passing of Karen Bass: A regular at Fashion Week, and bon vivant – the significant other of Shail Upadhya – the Nepalese Prince (and retired United Nations official), who in his self-designed colorful ensembles, frequently appears in photographs by Bill Cunningham.
Clockwise from top left: Trending floral headbands at the restful Fashion Daily Lounge; Trending fashionista twins dress alike outside the downtown Milk Studios; At GBK press-on nails make their debut; Entrepreneur Jessica Thorrez showcases her self-created, beautifully packaged, IZLLA organic beauty products at the GBK Style Lounge.
Introducing the new Pilot Pens ... erasable plus ...
Clockwise from top left: Michael Newman launches his super Blinkzgear bags (with interchangeable cover flaps) at GBK; The new Scunci (originally created by Rommy Revson) offers easy to add ponytails and bangs; "Rockstar" fashion stylist Lauren Rae Levy (with VF's George Wayne) celebrates her 30th birthday party at Riverside Church; My lovely Parsons fashion intern Meredith (also a promising aspiring designer) with HRH — who assisted in this coverage.
Fashion's Night Out on Bank Street at Marc Jacobs with their very special crew.