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Ellin's Fashion Diary

Front row with Emma Stone and Rooney Mara at CALVIN KLEIN Fall 2012.
Thursday, February 16, 2012

CALVIN KLEIN

In marvelously organized form, we received an email saying the Occupy Wall Street movement planned to demonstrate near the Calvin Klein showroom and that we should bring ID and a printout of the seating assignment as there would be security. There was indeed super security. But how impressive to have us in the know and prepared.

This morning at Ralph Lauren I was gloriously impressed by the treatment. There you arrived, with the black-carded seating assignment written in gold calligraphy, to a long ivory corridor filled with flowers and smelling delicious, and shown right to your seat. That was a combination of Ralph-style and tops in show production via KCD. KCD was also behind the Calvin presentation. That's what happens when industry leaders work with other industry leaders. You get the best. And in the dreary rain, you want it!
CALVIN KLEIN Fall 2012.
FRANCISCO COSTA is a total perfectionist. He had the big showroom painted black and draped as well. If your eyeglasses were wet it was difficult to see where your seat was, but no casualties. I was lucky enough to be seated with Valerie Steele, the head of FIT and show curator. They have a great show at the moment of all the best New York Designers over the past 50 years. You should go see it!

The collection opened with MIDNIGHT. Great black coats, jackets, dresses, full skirts and sheath dresses. No jewels, lacquered ponytail hair; and I-have-to-have pumps with thick heels, but cleanly cut in black alligator or black leather. They remind me of classic Margaret Jerrold (remember these?) or Sylvia of Fiorentini.

He went into coral, red, carmine coats and dresses, still pristine and without any accessories. I loved some of his rounded shapes, almost hourglass shapes for day.
But for night, he had some sexy body-shaped jersey dresses.

Thank you Francisco for ending the shows in classic, pure, rich style.
CALVIN KLEIN Fall 2012.
RALPH LAUREN
personifies class, sophistication, and "swell-ness"! I can imagine Zelda and Scott in his clothes, along with Wallis Simpson and the Duke of Windsor, Katharine Hepburn for day, and Audrey Hepburn for evening.

This show is magnificent in its perfection.

For day, Ralph takes us to a grand castle in Scotland or upper England to Downton Abbey (my mind takes over). The models are wearing camel and brown herringbone cashmere jackets, trimmed in glen plaid. It is over a green cashmere Fair Isle vest over a pale blue shirt. This was worn with cashmere plaid jodphurs. With her came a group of classies in jodphurs and plus fours with their Fair Isle sweaters and tweed jackets or coats topped with felt cloches. One had a great feather pin on her lapel.

The ladies returned to the city in the next group, with brown as its main color, carrying alligator attaches to their very high-profile jobs or board meetings. There are full trousers and boy trousers, brown wide pinstriped suits, country plaid coats.
RALPH LAUREN Fall 2012.
Everything fitted to perfection with models looking comme il faut in the neat ponytails wrapped with hair, of course, rather than a rubber band. Each outfit had a color-correct attache, briefcase, or doctor's bag. Black and ivory appears in a glen plaid double-breasted coat over a tomato-red cashmere sweater, boy trouser and black crocodile booties. She is followed by a black and ivory skirt suit accessorized with fuschia gloves and scarf.

Now our ladies move on to elegant dinners or cocktail parties, or grand entertaining at home with some smashing velvets, starting with shaped and long, tartan plaid jackets over velvet jodphurs; and top-hat outfits of smoking coats and flowing trousers, and velvet smoking suits. One in deepest purple caught my eye.
RALPH LAUREN Fall 2012.
Next came some fabulous little, but not so little, black cocktail dresses; one with a cut-out back and outfits, timeless, and must-have. Ralph also showed a black leather pleated skirt, which was very special.

Then, va-va-voom to die for (and definitely diet for) beaded masterpieces. Kendra wore my favorite navy beaded dress; and Bette wore my favorite mixed message outfit ... a gold chiffon beaded evening dress worn with a black shearling jacket, which had been gold-dusted and beaten up!

Ralph came down the runway dressed to perfection in a double-breasted glen plaid suit – a very sophisticated and ideal look for this collection – which was sophisticated perfection.

Wish I could have hugged Ralph and his family. I do in absentia from my desk.
RALPH LAUREN Fall 2012.
Wednesday (evening), February 15, 2012

ANNA SUI
is loved by the design community and the fashion world. She started as a stylist many moons ago, so she knows all the models and photographers and editors (that is before stylists were a dime a dozen, and most know absolutely nothing about anything).

Her designs get stronger and stronger as does her leadership of the fashion community. When she stands for a cause, others follow ("Save Seventh Avenue" and such).

I love watching her collection. She presents everything all pulled together, and can sum up the trends of a season with one show. She did that in many ways today. The first reason to love her: she used no fur. Everything is faux and very good faux. She opened with a cadet blue faux shearling cape (and yes, capes were seen all over this season) over a metallic jacquard top with a cute, pleated blue faux suede skirt.
ANNA SUI Fall 2012.
Her shoes were sensible with her hosiery designs, and she had some fun with hand crocheted hats with birds eye design and often braids. She had some super sweater coats, appliqued sweaters, ruffled shirt tops, bold happy prints in dresses and tunic. She has some suity suits and some dresses with coats to match, dress-up looks but never boring. For cocktails and dinner she has a grey mongolian faux fur coat over a grey botanic lace dress.

For night she has some glorious caftans, especially the ultramarine silk and velvet one.

Thank you Anna for bringing a smile to all our faces!
ANNA SUI Fall 2012.
MILLY
is upbeat. As I have said in the past, the name MILLY is distracting. It makes the collection seem too teeny bopper. On the other hand, I guess the name Michelle Smith doesn't look that great on a label.

Michelle Smith covers mothers and daughters and soon, I think, granddaughters.
Her clothes are bright, well-tailored, fun.
MILLY Fall 2012.
The lengths are short; either very short or above the knee. Everything is shown with black Wolford tights and perfect Manolo Blahnik pumps.

There are little fun hats (not silly, just fun) or veil tied bows. There is also commando underwear (just telling you what the program says. I like to share).

Her colors are heliotrope blue, clover bright green, shocking pink and chartreuse, shown in combination or with black and white.
MILLY Fall 2012.
She uses leather and silk, laminated wool (making for the shape of the skirts and coats), bonded tweed, jacquards, taffetas, lurex cloques.

She did some amazing work with laser-cut leathers, and likes to experiment. I loved a short sleeve black and ecru sweater paired with the bonded wool infanta skirt with techno panels.

I am very happy the Milly store is in my neighborhood as I love their windows and their spirit.
NOTE: Bill Cunningham Is my hero. He has the very best eye and taste of anyone in this business. He just stopped me to say, "Ellin child, a car just ran over my foot. I think I am okay but what should I do?" I tell him hot and then ice, etc. Or I could do the sensible thing and take him to a hospital to get it checked. His answer, "but then I would miss a show!" God bless Bill. I fear we will not see his like again.
A late Valentine gift from the London family!
UPDATED HAPPENINGS:
I ran back to Lincoln Center for the Milly show after writing about Michael Kors and Nanette. Had a terrific taxi driver named Cheepra who happily (amazingly) took a check. I had left my wallet in my office (otherwise known as the guest room or the library).

After I borrowed money for the taxi home, the doormen told me I had a surprise. I did indeed! A late Valentine's gift from the London family from EDIBLE ARRANGEMENTS (212-665-8800).

A fantastic stand of fresh fruit and a box of giant chocolate covered strawberries. It is a great gift for a hungry grandmother and for everyone on your list who is very special!!!

NANETTE LEPORE

Nanette took a bow with a young blond who could very well be her daughter. Do not know if this is true but the clothes are for the most part young and perky, ageless if you are the right customer. There's lots of lace; even yellow stretch lace. Lots of prints, velvets, leather, lame, beading, flounces. Most of the clothes were short and cute!

The theme of her prints were tarot cards, gems, and mixed prints.
My view of Nanette.
NANETTE LEPORE Fall 2012.
Wednesday (morning), February 15, 2012

If it weren't Michael Kors this morning and if it wasn't New York Social Diary, I might have turned over, read the papers, played more Words With Friends, and then caught up with Downton Abbey.

I need to broadcast this loud and clear, but please do not tell my children: I AM NOT PERFECT and I CAN BE WRONG! I was so wrong about MARC JACOBS. Please do forgive me. The song "Who Will Buy" was from the musical Oliver! and it had nothing to do with Eliza Doolittle. So it is thanks to Charles Dickens and Oliver Twist. It all makes perfect sense. The collection studied piece by piece is brilliant and has already had influence.
"Who Will Buy" from Oliver!
MICHAEL KORS
I am a lucky lucky lady that I get to sit in the front row right next to Michael's mother, Joan Kors. It is a great place to be. The incredible financial news has just broken and Laurence Stoll, one of the nicest gentleman, is smiling happily (he is one of the owners). I was happy to hug him and answer the question, "How is Elizabeth?"

There was a great deal of anticipation in the room; everybody loves Michael, everybody wants him to succeed, everyone knows he will.

The runway was wood, the invitation was like a piece of wood. Right away you have the feeling of rugged outdoors, or as Michael says in his forward, "rugged elegance."
The collection opens with happy crimson red and black tartans, buffalo checks, tweeds. It is ponchos, blanket coats, chesterfield, full asymmetrical skirts. They are paired with glove-leather dresses, skinny pants, and a host of new Kors accessories.
Michael Kors and Stacey Keibler in Black wool melton double breasted coat from the Michael Kors Pre-Fall 2012 collection, and an olive stretch boucle sheath with leather lacing from the Michael Kors Spring 2012 collection. Jessica Alba in Black stretch wool two button jacket, turquoise double face stretch wool crepe key hole sheath with leather detail, and black and white haircalf clutch from the Michael Kors Pre-Fall 2012 collection.
Katie Couric in Black double face stretch wool crepe long sleeve crewneck sheath, kiwi leather Quinn clutch, and a gold tone twist chain necklace from the Michael Kors Resort 2012 collection, and Patti Hansen in Black dyed silver knitted fox long vest from the Michael Kors Fall 2011 collection. . Patti Hansen and Anjelica Huston in Khaki stretch boucle crepe three button jacket from the Michael Kors Resort 2012 collection, black double face stretch wool crepe v-neck cap sleeve sheath from the Michael Kors Spring 2012 collection and a black leather with embossed crocodile hand bag from the Michael Kors Resort 2012 collection.
Very clunky shoes; Oxfords, Mary Janes, or boots often paired with heavy socks; fun gloves with cuffs, and bags galore from baby size to big fur covered totes. There were some big fur hats as well (a trend for sure, this season). One bag I loved was black leather looking like a doctor bag with a fur tail attached. Nice to do a touch of fur.

Black and ivory came next, starting with great tweed spencer cardigan jacket over a tweed pullover shown with a handknitted cashmere tweed brief and the longest, best legs on the runway (Candice). Michael mixes the rugged with the luxe evening such as a black peacoat over a black beaded chantilly lace dress. He does a very strict "travel suit," shaped and tailored and straight. Wouldn't it be incredible if people dressed like that for travel? Dream on Michael!

The final group was khaki, ivory, camel luxe knits, and some really great looks for men as well (the male models were outstanding!).
MICHAEL KORS Fall 2012.
MICHAEL KORS Fall 2012.
Then came some of my real favorites: Ieva (that's the models name) in a turtle neck merino aran pullover over a gold beaded chantilly lace dress. And black, gold, chemises on skin color mesh followed by black and crimson beaded stretch jersey, one halter neck and one as a goddess gown. I want to go to the party where the right ladies are wearing these!

HOT HOT HOT and that is Michael!
Oscar de la Renta Fall 2012.
Tuesday (evening), February 14, 2012

Oscar de la Renta.
A feminine collection and unlike Oscar in many ways. In a season where bright seems to be the norm (and a good norm), Oscar goes pale. Now some of his pales are very pretty, but a surprise. Oscar had many prints. One of the most interesting was his jewelry print. I was sitting near Kenneth Jay Lane and should have asked him what it meant.

Now that we are talking about seating, let's just say in the front row was my boss (DPC) sitting next to me and taking the pictures. But next to him was Daphne Guinness (I love her look, and actually many of the black and white prints in the collection seem aimed at her). Kenneth Jay Lane was next to Ms. Guinness. Further down the row was Barbara Walters, who looks really well. She was wearing raspberry for Valentine's day. Facing us was my old gang from Saks Fifth Avenue. Actually they were my old gang and Saks was one of my very long term homes (15 years), but this gang all worked at Bergdorf Goodman with me before they went over to Saks.
Front row at Oscar.
Sorry for the diversion ... lets get back to Oscar. Strange thing is he and Carolina used the same hair stylist, Orlando Pita, and Oscar's models did have the headband pageboy look. A very good look. Oscar did not seem to have many suits and coats, something I think his customers want and wear in the Fall. I am sure they are in the showroom and just didn't make it to the runway.

At times Oscar's model were layered, and had shrugs with safety pins holding them on. How funny was this? I saw this last night at Marc Jacobs. Now never would I say that Marc and Oscar were similar, but here it was!

Oscar had some great real "snow bunny" outfits in ice blue and pink. With silk cable-knit sweaters over skinny silk twill pants and fur trimmed booties and a goat fur vest and a hobo bag. I think this may have been apres ski and not slope wear but they looked cool.
In the pale pink and light blue mood there were evening dresses or ball gowns; a form of debutante attire or very grand second weddings or perhaps a Texas ball. For the northern belles he had some fun flapper dresses.

Oscar's hemlines were diversified. Fortunately the below-the-knee lengths were not all there was, as it was especially unflattering with the ankle tied high heels or bootlets.
To add sparkle, there were some super embroidered evening gowns, which means his ladies do not have to go to the vaults!

All in all it was a very diversified collection with something for everyone, not bad I guess. Just very different than expected.

Happy Valentine's Day Oscar. Big hug and kiss ...
Tuesday, February 14, 2012
The day got prettier and warmer as it matured ... but I confess to not walking across the park. Will skip dinner as I have the Oscar de la Renta fashion show at 7:30 anyhow. Oscar however is a great Valentine! Sexy with great style. Afraid Annette is not going to rent him out. He is also a superb dancer.

OLIVIER THEYSKENS' THEORY
I loved this show. He gets better and better and Theory becomes multi-generational in its appeal. He has some great knits, great jackets and his two main colors were gold and black. Needless to say the blacks appealed to me. He does some of the best black leather pieces I have seen: fabulous full skirts, suede shorts, leather pants, leather moto cross jackets, and a fun jump suit!. Add Theory to your list of places to shop. I know I will.
OLIVIER THEYSKENS' THEORY Fall 2012.
NAEEM KHAN
Makes some great evening clothes. As an in-the-know gentleman said to me, if you were pushed into a pool wearing one, you would for sure sink before being rescued; but you would die beautifully!
NAEEM KHAN Fall 2012.
TORY BURCH
seems to have matured. The way the collection was presented made it look more senior metrocard-holder friendly. All her skirts were below the knee. All the models wore tights, most of them white. They all carried handbags. I know Tory does a great business with her accessories, but with handbags dangling from the wrists of gloved ladies, you half expect Queen Elizabeth to enter.

Tory's clothes are good, but sadly I do not think they were shown to their best advantage.
TORY BURCH Fall 2012.
Tuesday (morning), February 14, 2012

Happy Valentine's Day!
A bit gray and chilly but an 8 AM call from my eldest grandson, Jack, made it all cheery and sunny. Amazing what wonders a grandchild can do ...

Decided to start the day off right with a quick shower and shampoo and a race across the street to NOVIDEA Salon where Franco the owner gave me a blow dry. The salon has been there for ages and until a month ago I had never been there. It is literally half a block away.

Kevin and Marris at Kenneth, 301 Park Avenue (212.752.1800).
Of course, Kevin at Kenneth is the master behind my haircuts and looks, and Marris at Kenneth is the color mistress. Too much information ... sorry!

As far as information I need to give you two bits which I did not have yesterday. First I called Julie Macklowe's husband Richard. He is Billy and of course I knew that. Must have been a very brief senior moment (and I had not used vbeauté as yet). So a public apology, BILLY. Secondly people are going to be asking where can they buy vbeauté? The answer is BERGDORF GOODMAN!

Two further thoughts: The wonderful and rapid JH and DPC at NYSD were able to print my review of MARC JACOBS before any other morning paper. Kudos and kisses to them. My interpretation of the show was a little far fetched with Eliza Doolittle and the flower market, but my appreciation of the clothes and the talent was not.

Secondly, I am very sorry to have missed the DONNA KARAN collection. I love all the pictures. It reminds me of the Donna clothes that were my uniform 24 years ago. That is not to say the looks are dated, but that they are ideal once again for a very chic urban life, for women who work and even those who work at their bridge and their social work.
DONNA KARAN Fall 2012.
Cheers Donna and double cheers for the work you are doing in Haiti. I want to come along or at least help. And for sure, I will not miss your next collection.
My tutu friend at the Carlos Miele show yesterday, Monday, Feb 13. You might remember, we first met on opening day at the Tadashi Shoji show.
Monday (evening), February 13, 2012

MARC JACOBS

Once upon a time Marc made smiley face sweaters and sold them at a terrific west side boutique called CHARIVARI. He was a kid and I was fortunate enough to have started working with him then, and our relationship continued until I was no longer "in the business" and able to see him often. But Mark still calls me "Mom" (he was and is very good friends with that famous daughter Elizabeth) and I still adore him.

Not quite so once upon a time, Marc's shows would be called for 8pm on a Monday night and would start very late. Once I think it was close to 10pm. Anna Wintour is rumored to have had a very serious talk with him and voilà ... his collection starts at the drop of 8. It is totally professional and wonderfully executed and he is an incredible talent succeeding with Marc Jacobs, Marc by Marc, Louis Vuitton and all its offsprings.
The awesome stage at MARC JACOBS Fall 2012 Collection.
Marc shows at the Armory on Lexington and 26th Street. It is a cavernous room and Marc and his set design people erect an awesome stage. This time the set was designed by Rachel Feinstein (not the comedian, but the artist). This is one time that I wish I had a creative team working with me to help discuss the theme of the collection and the set. Sadly there were no notes in the program to guide me.

A fantastic song played throughout ... "who will buy my flowers" etc. I believe this was a new and great take on Eliza Doolittle before she became "My Fair Lady." I then decided that Eliza was the theme and what I at first thought were refugees off the boat, wearing layers of their best clothes down to their anklets, with pilgrim buckle shoes.
MARC JACOBS Fall 2012.
MARC JACOBS Fall 2012.
MARC JACOBS Fall 2012.
There were rounded body coats, skirts over leggings and pants, shawls safety-pinned over sweaters or jackets, long blazer jackets. Each of the toppings could be terrific on its own; there were some perfect coats (maybe without the bustles), brocade or lame or glitter tweed jackets.

The toppings of the collection were the enormous rounded brim fur or fabric hats by Stephen Jones. They were perfect and set the mood.

The last five pieces were shown without the hats and were smashing black patchwork silk dresses. Eliza became a New York lady, chic as could be.

Congrats Marc, and a big kiss.
Monday, February 13, 2012
I was about to don my red, ancient goody coat from Geoffrey Beene over my uniform (black turtle and black pants) until I realized it was not Valentine's Day and it was still cold! So folks, now you know what tomorrow (today, as you read this) will bring.

Glamour Magazine and Lancôme are offering mobile taxis during Fashion Week (free of charge!)
From all that has happened to me today one would think it was Valentine's Day or that I had won the lottery!

Going backwards: left the tents at Lincoln Center early afternoon to write. On the Taxi line, a pretty young thing says "would you like a taxi?" Duh? why am I standing here? "Of course," say I, not wanting to appear my sometimes rude self. "Step right in," she says. "Go anywhere you want courtesy of GLAMOUR magazine!" Voila!

Had just come from the ZANG TOI collection where we received goody bags for real. Another great set of ZOYA nail polishes, this time in Zang's colors of orange, snow white, and carmen red.

AMAZING cosmetics gave a powderset (something I have never used, but why not try?) and then a great set of vbeauté samples for face care and anti-aging.
ZOYA nail polish in the ZANG TOI goody bag.
Most amazing about this I am looking in my bag and studying everything when Richard came over to me? Richard? Richard who? The Richard I sit next to at Nick & Toni's in East Hampton??? Why is he here? He is in the real estate business. Turns out his wife Julie Macklowe, a great-looking young wife and mother and business tycoon has just formed and created a line of beauty products called vbeauté. She created them in Switzerland using molecular biologists so you know it must be good! Seriously, I cannot wait to start the routine tonight: "eye never" eye cream, "buying time" everyday cream, "undercover agent" anti-wrinkle serum, "lite up" for dark spots.

I seemed so in need and so excited that Julie gave me her "IT KIT," which houses all her products in a sleek plexiglas case which looks like an evening bag! Now, how very lucky am I? I hope vbeauté is going to be a smash success.
vbeauté IT KIT, courtesy of Julie Macklowe.
And a great set of vbeauté samples.
The rest of the goodies in the Zang Toi goody bag.
Two more great things happened today: I had an hour break (I did not go to the Donna Karan show as I was not invited after my email requesting a seat. Does Donna know? of course not!). So I had breakfast/lunch at the P. J. Clarke's across from Lincoln Center. Healthy spinach omelet and black coffee. I was sitting solo reading The Daily when two nice ladies sit down next to me.

They had just come from the dog show at the Garden and were on their way to the REEM ACRA show at Lincoln Center (he made mother-of-the-bride dresses for one lady). One lived in Rochester the other in New Jersey. We are chatting away (my grandkids call me "Chellin" because I tend to chat with neighbors on planes, buses, restaurants) ... and as I asked for my check they insisted on taking me to lunch. Now how fabulous was that?
A few of my new best friends from the shows! Miss USA, Alyssa Campanella, Miss Universe, Leila Lopes, and Miss Teen USA, Danielle Doty.
When I came home to write, a bouquet of beautiful long stem roses were waiting for me! Now I haven't had Valentine's flowers from a gentleman since Renny (my husband), who died 12 years ago. But, I do have a super new friend who treats me royally. Along with the roses was my seating assignment for Marc Jacobs, so everything is going my way!

My Valentine's Day flowers.
Sorry if I got carried away with the generosity of my day but I think it is important to tell you about goodness and goodies. Now down to business.

CAROLINA HERRERA started my day. Orlanda Pita did the hair and it was perfect for the clothes. Bouffant long pageboys attached to headband hair pieces. Shown with great coats, suits, sweaters in all shades of navy. Very updated '60s and very chic as is Carolina.

Diane Kendal
and the MAC team did the makeup, and it too was perfect (Diane also did the makeup for St. John, which I forgot to mention).

Carolina's lengths were the below the knee which I am not too fond of, but it worked with one of my favorite looks: a short sleeve cashmere sweater with a full dirndl skirt. It also worked with the tights in the navy opening.

For evening Carolina did some evening separates, some prints, and a smashing hot pink red faille ball gown with a black velvet wrap belt. Renée Z for the Oscars???

Kisses Carolina!
Carolina Herrera Fall 2012.
Carolina Herrera Fall 2012.
ZANG TOI
Zang gets an interesting crowd of friends and I-don't-knows at his shows. Not many editors. New York Social Diary was well represented with Jamee Gregory, Jill Lynne, and yours truly as first row denizens. The man next to me was well dressed in grey broad pinstriped suit, white shirt with turned up collar and tan custom-made oxfords. He was being interviewed on his look and carefully explained and showed that not only did he wear grey socks up to his knees, but he had long, grey underwear on as well ... and proceded to roll up his pants leg to show all. After the show I ran into his business partner and asked him if he knew about the long underwear; he did not fortunately, but said, "I guess he does that to keep warm. I prefer a car and driver!"

I love that Zang Toi's looks were big hair...hair pieces piled on, curly not straight. He opened with some great ivory pieces, from saga royal fox mini coat with a lace lining to loro piano cashmere ribbed vest with fox collar worn over a silk turtle neck and velvet leggings.
ZANG TOI Fall 2012.
ZANG TOI Fall 2012.
Zang had a great black trouser suit with white blanket stitching with white silk gazar collar and cuffs. Zang is no shrinking violet; he had some great red-carpet pieces such as an empire organza in ruby and black brush stroke prints. In the great spirit of showmanship Zang came out at the end in a velvet tuxedo with a sparkle clip holding his hair back. He received a standing ovation, something I have not seen in many shows, if any. He has good fans!
To date –
Lost and received:
1 long (really warm) black pair cashmere gloves; 1 Loro Piano chocolate brown cashmere scarf. Note: I am no longer taking off my hat, scarf, or gloves.
Received: 3 Fiber One bars (quite good, 140 calories, giving out in tents, will get more); Nifty boxed set of ZOYA toxin- free nail polish in 3 colors (from Peter Som); 3 bottles Aquafina water.
Walks:
failure; Friday, Saturday, Sunday.
Sunday February 12, 2012
Okay. As I write this, I am now by the Hudson River, off West Street. It is very windy and a bit chilly. Totally unlike me ... I walk up to a big, black wagon and ask for a lift. Turns out they are all going to the DKNY show. Then there was a bus, but that was going to DKNY as well. I was not invited. Actually do not think I asked to be. So I walked east with a big group of Asians to an uptown subway. Only one problem, there is yellow police tape around the stairs, which has been cut in half. It was there for a reason. No subways from that stop. I have read about some lines closing, but did they apply to me? Guess they did.

Finally grabbed a cab, the one before this took some other fashion folks who were not going to DKNY, but were going to brunch! Aha, think I. I deserve a treat today so cab to 63rd and Broadway and go into Fiorello's for brunch before my 2pm show. Brilliant time to eat and read and try to write my Lam review. Egg white omelet is not going to kill me as it is to be another day of walking failure.
A snippet of what I missed at the DKNY show.
TRACY REESE
Tracy is from Detroit, Michigan. She went to Parsons and then worked in Paris for Martine Sitbon. She has always been known for her use of color and graphic touches. This is, in my humble opinion, her very strongest collection. Very exciting. She covers multiple age groups with coats and pieces.

Some of her outstanding looks: citron, black and ecru, turquoise, and navy coats. The best were fitted to perfection. Fabulous sheath dresses; happy skirts in bright colors (orange being the most smashing), gold sequins, all shown with cowl neck or cocoon shaped blouses; some bulky knits.
TRACY REESE Fall 2012.
Tracy showed a new hat with much of her collection. I call it a citified baseball cap. The peak is longer and rounder and broader, and instead of a back strap there is a tie with tails. Sometimes it works and sometimes you want to take it off and see just the clothes (but I would love to have for golf on a windy day!)

Tracy, like other designers, has some nice winter prints and beaded evening clothes.

Congratulations Tracy. This is a well thought out, sophisticated but not too serious collection. It deserves good business at all levels.
TRACY REESE Fall 2012.
DIANE VON FURSTENBERG (and her designer Yvan Mispelaere)
Surprisingly, this is my first DVF collection in many many years and did I have a good time! First of all, she is the spokeswoman for American fashion, heading the CFDA and being involved in everything; everyone goes to her collection. I was seated across from Anderson Cooper, Barbara Walters (in bright acid green), Barry Diller, Suzy Menkes, Oscar de la Renta, multiple Vogue folks and of course Anna. I know there were many many others there, but this was just on my end of the big tent.
Anderson Cooper. Barbara Walters.
This collection is strong, it is happy, it is never boring, it is almost never a wrap dress. It is very colorful.

She opens with a great body circling jersey dress (my notes said brown but then I changed to wine; Diane called it Obsidian). I just looked it up, the definition of it as a stone from the days of Pliny with many more terms inserted doesn't give a clue. Let's just say that the opening pieces in Diane's collection were in shades of wine, pink, crimson, scarlet, rosy-red. All in body-shaped pieces and often under an oversized coat or topper. There were print jump suits and pajamas; and some great evening dresses, especially a turquoise strapless one (sorry, Diane calls it seafoam).

For after dark from cocktails to bed, the hits of the show to be were some fabulous black crepe and velvet dresses! These were to die for, and in my case to diet for and then to buy!!!!
DIANE VON FURSTENBERG Fall 2012.
DEREK LAM
Brrrrrrr ... my first show on Sunday. At St. John's Center at 330 West Street. Not where I am usually found.

The show was to start at noon (nice extra in-bed time for reading about Whitney Houston. How sad and tragic). At 12:20 the lights in the giant showplace went dark and Ed Filipowski (head of KCD) can be heard screaming, "turn them back on!" A long ten or more minutes and finally Suzy Menkes of the International Herald Tribune comes flying in ... top knot in place. The photographers (positioned at the end of the runway at least 6 deep) started yelling "Suzy Suzy Suzy," and then the show started.
Ed Filipowski, Head of KCD, keeping tabs. KCD is one of the largest and most powerful (and talented) public relations firms -- they create images, stars, stage shows, and are incredibly decent.
Derek is American, of Asian parents, grew up in San Francisco, and went to Parsons. He trained at Michael Kors before he opened his own business. He stands for good, clean, but never boring, sportswear. He is now also the creative director at Tod's. A fine resume and pedigree.

The collection mixed baby floral embroidered leather with wool double-faced tops. He used white lambskin and ivory fake shearling; wine lambskin trousers and wine soft lambskin dresses. He had some fabulous double-berated pea coats with wide back belts. One in navy was a knockout as was the white one. There are some fabulous knit nylon tulle sweaters, sleeveless with side slits. He showed two for day and two for evening, the knockout being in ivory over a long ivory skirt. He also added some brocade pieces and sequin trousers, part of many collections, but very well done here.

Derek is classy and so are his clothes. An added bonus: great flat-heeled oxfords, especially in gold. Bravo Derek!
DEREK LAM Fall 2012.
Saturday, February 11, 2012

HERVE LEGER by Max Azria

Max and Lubov Azria continue with the body-conscious dressing that was Herve Leger's brilliance. I was fortunate enough to have met Herve when Bergdorf Goodman first bought his collection in 1989 or some such. He was a big talent, but not a business man; and as some talents can be, he was stubborn about his image and design. It was tough. But bondage was hot and so were his dresses!

Now, some of the outfits are a bit more relaxed leaving the bondage themes to boots, girdles, waist cinchers. For great bodies without whips, it does work!
HERVE LEGER by Max Azria Fall 2012.
Friday, February 10, 2012

What a pretty day. Especially as cold and snow forecast for tomorrow (Saturday). I had one show this morning: PETER SOM, whom I like very much as a person and designer. His show was at Milk Studios, a very good site, if it was not at 450 West 15.
I personally find the location difficult! It doesn't work with my walking plans. It does work for many editors who had several shows in that district. They also seem to have cars and drivers!

Peter's collection started with whites ... from nylon chiffon and organza to ivory flannel and a fun furry wrap coat which was simple enough for me to love.
My view of PETER SOM Fall 2012.
He used peplums; some work, some do not (but remember I am not a peplum fan unless it hides instead of extending the hip width). He had some great tuxedo shirts.
Also some patchwork print dresses, which are all seasonal. There were some super shapes in camel and caramel, burgundy, emerald green (especially a satin peplum dress), and burgundy (some jodhpur outfits).

Peter had some tee shirt chiffon dresses, especially a black one which is longer in back than in the front and really works.

For fun there was a patchwork fox coat. It would be a super thing to wear to get photographed at these collections!
PETER SOM Fall 2012.
One did not work, but I know many ladies that might be happy to hear they were in a fashion collection: elastic waist pants!!! If they fit, it's not a bad idea, but all of these were too big and the top was baggy. They were also leather!

His shoes were other thing that did not work until the models learn to walk in them They were sexy, but very high needle-thin heels.

All in all, Peter's collection was a good start to the day.
PETER SOM Fall 2012.
JASON WU
Jason Wu Fall 2012.
Jason has deservedly become hot news and a hot ticket. It started with the beautiful white dress he did for First Lady Michelle Obama at the inauguration, and his stock has continued to rise monthly, if not weekly. He was the CFDA award winner (the Council of Fashion Designers of America; okay, so why isn't it the COFDOA?) He has just done a line for Target and I am sure I am leaving out much more.

Jason is so hot and so popular that I was unable to receive an invitation to his show. I understand, and the PR firm is very good to me, so no malice!
Jason Wu-designed Inaugural dress for Mrs. Obama.
From all that I have seen and read, this collection was intelligent and quite beautiful. It was an homage to Asia; the Mao military, the Qing dynasty (wonder if Qing works in Words With Friends?), and the Hollywood glamour of "Shanghai Express." I have studied the photographs and am sure it will be a great success just as I am sure that Jason will continue to be a great success. He deserves it!
Jason Wu Fall 2012.
REBECCA TAYLOR
Very young and very edgy. Rebecca had some fabulous sweaters and jackets. It is a collection of separates and everything cam be worn with almost everything else. They are worn in layers, piled on without great thought (although I am sure there was great thought on how to pile for the runway). There seemed to be no rules here! For the most part it all works, including the hair, which is just-got-out-of-bed or never-been-to-bed!
Rebecca Taylor Fall 2012.
My seatmate at Rebecca Taylor and Rebecca Minkoff's. He makes his own clothes.
REBECCA MINKOFF
Rebecca's clothes are more grownup than Rebecca Taylor's. And, I think Rebecca M. might have been born before Rebecca T. This Rebecca was a handbag designer when I first me her. I did not know she started her career making "I Love New York" or "I Love America" tee shirts.

Her collection is modern and tailored edgy. She called it "fearless and unfettered." The collection opened with rapper Theophilus London (now if you say you know him I give you points, but he is good fun). Rebecca pairs tweeds and plaids, sequins and bike jackets, body dresses and oversized outerwear.
Rebecca Minkoff Fall 2012.
PRABAL GURUNG
Prabal is another rapidly rising star. He is a runner up in the CFDA Fashion Fund and is being mentored by Carolina Herrera. He seems to be masterful in tailoring and intricate evening designs such as the black sheer lace and jet beading worn by Joan Smalls.

Prabal's business keeps growing and I wish him well. He is a strong part of the Wu, Wang, Altuzarra group who are closest to becoming the Donnas, Ralphs, and Calvins of the near future (as pointed out by Sarah Mower in her Vogue.com review)
PRABAL GURUNG Fall 2012.
PRABAL GURUNG Fall 2012.
BCBG Max Azria
Lubov Azria continues with her loose geometric color-blocked dresses. Besides fur toppers she adds color-blocked and fabric-mixed trench coats, which work with everything that a BCBG customer would want.
BCBG Max Azria Fall 2012.
RAG & BONE
is another collection I missed seeing. But how silly was I? Marcus Wainwright and David Neville design strong, sexy, clothes at reasonable prices. It is tough and it is chic. I hope to visit their showroom and no matter what will make sure I do not miss their show next season!!! I was very behind on this. Shame on me ...
RAG & BONE Fall 2012.
ST. JOHN
is my only excuse for missing Rag & Bone (besides not receiving an invitation). They were showing in totally different parts of town at the same time. The contrast also defines the collections. Rag & Bone was showing at Pier 57 in the Hudson River and St. John was showing in a striking embassy right off Fifth Avenue on 79th Street!

Okay girlfriends: have you missed being able to purchase clothes with the look of Bill Blass and Halston? Have you missed being able to buy well-tailored clothes that need no understanding? That look like they will fill all your needs? I am talking to my generation here. George Sharp has designed a superb collection that is tailored chic, but does not look matronly. This is not the St. John of old, perish the thought (sorry Marie, Bob, and Kelly Gray – the founding family).
ST. JOHN models at the ready.
These are not knitted geranimals. It is double-faced cashmere coats and jackets, off-shoulder cashmere tunics over pants, easy dressing for day and great sequined dresses and tops for night, with some fun but not-overdone feather looks for evening. I have to laugh because never did I think I would say that St. John was one of my favorite collections. And it isn't that I have grown more mature, it is that they have grown younger and wiser!
ST. JOHN Fall 2012.
Thursday, February 9, 2012

JH set the scene yesterday
with the photo (below) of the Mercedes-Benz Fashion structure; and the calm before the storm.

Today, a heavenly day weather wise, for me was a practice session.
Three starting shows did not invite me, one I actually emailed three times as I know the young designer's father and the owner of the art gallery where her collection was being shown, but did not get a reply. Of course she, the designer with big fat Hollywood connections, does not know that I was unanswered so I cannot really blame her! It gave me more time to shuffle papers, organize tickets, send Valentine gifts to my grandchildren.

Got to Lincoln Center early to pick up my credentials. I must further explain that in this Lincoln Center structure there are 4 places for shows as well as Mercedes cars on display and Maybelline, Diet Pepsi, and Tresemme shampoo samples. No one has ever looked at the tag hanging round my neck but it saves having to accessorize!
The scene inside the "tent" ( Andrew H. Walker/Getty Images North America).
Actually the tag also has my bar code on it so I can go to Lincoln Center daily and pick up my seat assignments. Quite ingenious. Means you do not have to stand on a long line for most shows (but once inside you do have to wait for the show place to open). I love radar and gps and bar codes IF they are working. Today, no such luck.

I did not have a seat at TADASHI SHOJI. Not a big problem in this case. The guards all know me by now so took me up front; the girls behind the desk say in unison, "we love Elizabeth," and hand me a standing ticket. For those who haven't heard me brag enough, Elizabeth is my daughter. Very chic, very with it, ex Vogue, ex Vanity Fair Fashion Editor, now contributing editor. She is loved by all.

Standing on line to enter the show two girls are having a major discussion about eyebrows (you see what a world this is!). One of the girls had been working backstage with the makeup crew on the show said "the lips are the key" ... indeed she was right. The lips were red and striking; and the hair was in a semi circle chignon.
TADASHI SHOJI
Take a seat. Two rows are unnumbered so that is flying "elite coach" Standing becomes seated. Guess who sits right in front of me? A young man in a pink tutu with a pink fur shrug, and a long, bad blond wig. He is very young, I realize. Everyone is talking to him so I finally said, "you look great, but you have to get a better wig." I tell him about wig by mail catalog which has great wigs for very little money ($30 to $50) and that he can order on line. He asks if they have retail stores; I cannot answer that question except to realize he may not have a computer.

The young lady next to him admires my glasses. They are heavy black framed men's glasses (the frames cost $50 dollars) and come from Sterling Opticians on 78 and Lexington. My new look since an eye infection stopped me from contacts for a few months. Mr. Pink Tutu says "you are a walking information stand." I tell him I have been around for a long time and working in this industry for over 50 years; he says I am 1/4th your age I guess. Well not exactly as he is 21; but could be close.
Tadashi Shoji Fall 2012 show.
The show finally starts. His inspiration was the GOLDEN AGE of Shanghai. A modern, opulent, prosperous era when it was called the "Paris of the Opulent."

I confess to not knowing a great deal about Tadashi Shoji, but was most impressed with some of his evening looks (and he did just evening not trying to do all things).
One of my favorites (of course I am a red nut) was flame chantilly lace and pleated tulle tiered cap sleeve dress. Others were in burn outs, and many were lace and chiffon. There was a flame washed velvet and beaded lace cowl back dress that caught my fancy as well.

Sadly my tenth row photography did not do the clothes justice.
Tadashi Shoji Fall 2012 show.
CANDELA
This presentation was in a small studio. The designer is Australian. The sad thing is that neither the program or anything else told me her name. The PR lady, Linda Gaunt, with whom I used to work took me over and introduced me. Sadly it was noisy and I did not write down her name. The presentation was what I call "Log Cabin Chic."
There were some super clothes and boots of her design. I hope to learn her name and tell you before the week is over!
Candela Fall 2012. (Photos: Jason Kempin/Getty Images North America).
Late afternoon. I need to tell you all my promise to myself. Maybe by making it public ... I will keep it. I need to get in shape and lose some weight so I have been going to spin class. You may even know me. I am the lady in the last row who doesn't follow the leader in every move and sits more than she should but still keeps pedaling.

I am also trying to get back into core fusion or exhale mode. But since I cannot do 6:30 am classes, I skip doing both during this time. Therefore I vow to walk to and from Lincoln Center daily. If not both ways then at least one way (I tend to be late in the morning). Today I discovered Le Pain Quotidien in the middle of the park. Did you know it was there? A bit southwest of the bandstand. It is open for breakfast daily!

See you tomorrow. Shows are in three ends of town. West 15. Lincoln Center. East 79. But no excuses!

Photos: ImaxTREE; Pasha Antonov; Kathy Willens / AP; Robert Mitra.




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