Ellin's Fashion Week Diary

Front row at Ralph Rucci: Cathy Horyn of the New York Times on far left and Ellin Saltzman of the NYSD on the far right.
Sunday, February 10th was another beautiful sunny morning. I am still on a high as the clothes I have seen seem to me to be pleasing, wearable, but not boring. A very influential journalist who is surely zillions of times more read than I am seems to totally disagree. I do not know what sour milk she drank, but let's get her some spoonfuls of sugar!

These designers have worked long and hard on their collections. They do not need to be kicked! I hope you will believe my praise and raves!

Anna at Derek Lam.
First the news: Suzy made it. Her plane from London delivered her to the Derek Lam show this morning.

Secondly, Anna had a royal and white mink three-quarter sleeve pullover sailor top, which would have been very special with white pants on a yacht sailing the Mediterranean or wherever the night time temps drop below 50. It did not work over the blue and taupe tweed suit.

Thirdly, the race to ruin shoes and boots for fashion sake is heating up. White lace front black boots posing on the corner. Bill Cunningham will surely have in his next Sunday column! Again the gloves and the zipper pocket hiding the iPhone 5 new camera prevented me from showing this to you. I know that DPC and Jeff H would scold me and tell me to have my camera out and ready at all times ... sorry guys!

ALEXANDER WANG
I am so sorry I missed it. His show was wonderful ranging from hooded capped layers to decoupage velvet dresses. He too had many leather pieces, including full pleated skirts and some great leather mo-cross jackets (I think that is the cooler way to say motorcycle jackets).

Alexander had some great soft leather bags and some long furry mittens. HURRAH for you Alexander. Next season I hope to be there in person.
DEREK LAM showed in a great white bright warm art gallery on Tenth Avenue and 36th Street. KCD really knows how to find and prepare and fine tune their locations.

From the moment Caroline the first model came through the entrance ... they had me. A must have on number 1! The perfect camel and wool double faced cashmere coat shown over navy pants! Only to be beaten by number 4 on Iris in the same camel double faced wool cashmere, but this time in a duffle coat. This you really must have and so should I!
Derek's lengths were all below the knee, as were many of Alexander Wang's designs. They were not as dowdy as that length can be because the skirts were full and had movement.

He had some interesting white lace knit looks and some patchwork jerseys and suedes.
Walking from 10th to the number 6 local Lexington Avenue subway at Grand Central, I was pleased to see the newly developed Bryant Park sky rink for ice skating, a good looking modern duplex bar and restaurant, and covered shopping arcades circling the ice skating ring. I worked on 42 street for Bendels and the Limited over ten years ago and these places were just ideas and small pop up structures. Now it is another great NYC destination.
ALTUZARRA
Forgot to mention the collection as I quite frankly did not see BUT it was mainly black and white and very figure conscious. Lots of leather and fur and one black and white fur coat that will be much photographed as the "coat of the year."

A very strong collection.

Another addenda: Name and collection to watch: MARISSA WEBB — Ex J.Crew designer. Her second collection. Watch for her name! And her designs.
Sunday (night), February 10

RALPH RUCCI
How extraordinary was the turnout? How exciting? 8PM on a Sunday evening at Lincoln Center over 500 people gathered to see a totally extraordinary collection.

David Patrick Columbia was there as well (my brilliant boss) and has graciously provided the photos for it. My two favorite hugs came from Grace Jones, a raging beauty, and Sandra Bernard, a comedian happily back on the scene.
Sandra Bernhard explaining ...
Eugenia and Janna Bullock.
Patrick McDonald and John Aguilar.
Chiu ti Jansen and George Whipple.
Fern Mallis, the lady who started it all.
Martha and a man who probably was trying to stay out of the picture, or give Martha the spot.
Sassy Johnson Connor, Marianne Harrison, and Blair Sabol.
Joanne de Guardiola and Susan Gutfreund.
Charlotte Moss, Joanne de Guardiola, and Boaz Mazor.
Susan Gutfreund giving her opinion.
More Susan and interviewer.
Gillian Miniter.
Iris Apfel with a man to hold her wrap.
The lady of style.
Debra Black (the lady in red) and Deeda Blair (in white), a major Ralph Rucci aficionado.
Hamish Bowles, Margaret Russell (in Ralph Rucci), and Robert Rufino.
Pre-show ...
The bank of photographers at the end of the runway.
Enough trivia ... Let's see if I can adequately express the wonders of this collection where not one detail was not perfection.

The show opened with a black leather suit, ideally shaped and incredibly sexy although totally covered up. Put that on my dream must-have list. It is gorgeous.

Earning gigantic applause (not heard in the beginning of a show) were a series of bright mink coats and jackets (Pologeorgis furs) in violet, nude, citrus, shocking pink, and chrome yellow. This was followed by black mink and feathers and a great circle 8 black leather skirt.
Some great bright violet and citrus dresses, coats, suits followed, and out of the blue ... a perfect grey jersey jump suit. Now that is another dream must-have. The time is so right for a chic jumpsuit!

There was a navy broadtail coat to die for; and smashing combinations of black leather and silver lace, violet chiffon and feathers; a cellophane black, fake fur coat; and many incredible lace combinations over leather, including sable and latex lace!

Black bugle-beaded and black lace dresses concluded the show with some violet chiffon and feathers and lace as well.

RALPH RUCCI is definitely a five-star commander. He deserves the highest praise.

Thank you Ralph and Rosina Rucci.
Monday (morning), February 11
Well, I cannot say this was a beautiful day to awaken. Raining and grey but the thought of last night's show did lift my spirit. Add to that the fact that this weather does not call for "dress up ladylike" for the Carolina Herrera show. It is still leggings, turtle neck tunic, boots to the knee, knit hat, gloves and a hooded parka ... all in basic black. What an easy wardrobe.

CAROLINA HERRERA
I did not see all the ladies in attendance, but once again she had a great turnout. I was fortunate enough to be sitting a few rows behind Reinaldo ("Do not kiss me because I have a bad cold.)" He shakes hands as sanitizer is being handed out at the tents, so for the first time I used mine. He was sitting next to Graydon Carter looking fit and tan and his beautiful wife, Anna, and the not-so-beautiful but clever and smart Fran Lebowitz.

All sorts of beautiful children were running up and down the stairs, many seemed to be Herrera granddaughters and cousins and friends. The scene was almost as fascinating as the show.
Graydon Carter. One of the little beauties who was running up and down the stairs. Fran Lebowitz.
Carolina commissioned a symphony for the show which was recorded at Abbey Road Studio in London. The music was very fine indeed. Sadly there was no program for the show for me to tell you more about it; this also greatly hampered my ability to describe the clothes correctly, fabric and detail wise.

The run of show had no real order. It opened on a taupe cream and black satin sleeveless long satin back crepe print evening dress. Followed by cocktail suits. She then went to grey flannel paired with silver fox in a suit and pleated skirt.
Carolina had a great wide waistband full skirt, and some full-shaped suits. This is a smashing look, but you need to wear a Spanx waist cinchers!

Outstanding was her combination of red velvet and maroon ... now that would be a must-have for the mother of the bride not worried about stealing the daughter's thunder, or a chairperson of a grand benefit, or a very important black tie party.

Carolina knows her customer, and I think she managed to give her many attractive alternatives with this collection.
BELSTAFF
After Carolina's show I bumped into Suzy Menkes. She said, "I always loved to run backstage and chat with Carolina, but now there are so many shows and I have to run to BELSTAFF."

I confess, I neglected to write for a Belstaff ticket and wish I had. It is a KCD production and account. They are relatively new on the New York scene and have a great new boutique on Madison Avenue (it is in the 60s on the west side of the street — check it out). I watched the "streaming" of the collection. The first half was totally in black and brilliant for this weather! One of the jackets or coats are definitely going on my "MUST HAVE" list. See for yourself ...
Click here for Ellin's Fashion Week Diary, Part 1.