Saturday, September 13, 2008

Same Tent, Different Circus

O.K., I can’t take credit for this headline – I took it right off a Full Frontal Fashion t-shirt. That said, Fashion Week really is a circus and the Spring ’09 shows only served to reinforce my opinion of the hoopla in and around the Bryant Park tents.

I’ll give it to you straight – you don’t need me to give you a complete rundown of all the clothes since everybody and his brother covers them in print, on the web and cable. What I will give you are my impressions of this past (and I mean long) week from my fave designer pieces and events, to my impressions of the whole “scene” inside the tents.

Let's start with what you should buy for Spring if you want to be a true fashionista! First and foremost, you really need to have a social life since most of the collections focused on stuff to wear after dark to a trendy club (unless you really want to go out on a limb and look ridiculous), or fancy schmancy social event. It’ll also behoove you to drop a few years as most of what I saw will look best on the twenty- somethings who don’t eat. Failing that, try to go out only when it’s really, really dark. For those occasions I’d suggest investing in Monique Lhuillier’s gorgeous wave-print organza cocktail dress with jeweled front (perfect for the uptown social scene), or Cynthia Steffe’s cute wallpaper floral jacquard bustier dress (to hit the downtown club scene). For that upcoming movie awards show you’re invited to, order Carlos Miele’s sexy shadow-print silk chiffon gown with stone embroidery or his gorgeous aqua chiffon number with Brazilian stone neckline embroidery. Oh, and it would help if you look like Giselle Bundchen!

Next up, it will come down to the choice of either buying some of this stuff or paying rent. If you choose the former option, I suggest you buy everything Vera Wang showed. Her collection was pure perfection and in my not-so-humble opinion her absolute best! Listen, Wang even made walk shorts look fabulous and don’t even get me started on her jewelry. Personally I would kill for the multicolor embroidered dress veiled in blush silk organza accented with a rose opal crystal beaded belt. Whew!

If your lifestyle doesn’t exactly run to galas, movie premieres, hip club openings, or dinners with the Brangelinas then you want to focus on actual clothes which you can wear during the day. This season it’s all about the trench coat/dress. Almost every collection I saw featured at least one, so better get that waistline in shape as they were all belted. Personally, I loved G-Star Raw’s cute white trench with giant cargo pockets and Nanette Lepore’s belted military-inspired belted khaki jacket, Tracy Reese’s satin-back linen trench shown over her leather stove pipe pants and Erin Fetherston’s metallic linen trench coat in blush over matching linen slit-front skirt and georgette blouse in rainbow wash.

And speaking of leather, it isn’t only for Fall anymore. Designers treated skins like the softest, supplest fabric. I crave all of Andrew Marc’s lightweight glazed or soft glove-lamb short, shaped-close-to-the-body jackets.

Moving on, we turn to ruffles! I mean everybody and his brother showed them. Some more successfully than others. Carolina Herrera offered a pretty white cloque gown with black organza ruffle appliqué and a rose-print lurex chiffon gown also ruffled in black organza.

While we saw lots of pants on the runway, my advice would be to stick with the slim versions and definitely skip the drapey zouave cropped versions. I won’t name names, but frankly when 90 pound teen models look awful in them, what chance do the rest of us have? Think about it.

As for the rest of the trends, go for the pattern-on-pattern mixes, one-shoulder cocktail dresses, subtle metallics, embellishment, that whole retro ‘50s and ‘60s ladylike styles. Nobody captured this mood better than Michael Kors with a sensational line-up that offers shoppers the most (high-priced) bang for the buck. However, his collection will only work if you want to look like a Wasp-y, high-society version of Grace Kelly or CZ Guest.

There’s more to tell, but you’ll just have to wait for my next installment where I’ll dish on the parties, press events I attended and what circus really goes on inside the tent. To be continued…C&C.


Paul Pincus said...

who doesn't want to look like grace kelly or c.z. guest?

great post. cheers!

brittanymlemay said...
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