Crap and Couture, Notes From the Back Row

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Fashion Week… and the beat goes on..and on..and on

Feb 16: I started out with hopes, after all I was headed for the Carolina Herrera's show. Unfortunately, one of the world's most elegant women turned out a disappointing collection. The colors were drab and the clothes overwrought. However, her ladies turned out in full force and no doubt will continue to spend. Personally, I would have preferred a bit more Jackie O inspiration, who was one of Herrera's best clients, to the "Hollywood" red carpet angle (think Renee Zellweger). I did fancy the sharp beige Swakara fur jacket atop a caviar striped mohair organza blouse and silk pants.

Vittadini did the smart thing. Not only was the collection shown on stationary mannequins so we could actually get up close and personal to the goods, but the venue was ideal. It was held in the International Center of Photography just up the block from the Bryant Park tents. In between bites of some of the best brownies washed down with sparkling water, I checked out the clothes and fell in love with Vittadini's sophisticated knitwear pieces, such as the forest green double knit cocoon coat over a dolman tunic and vicuna color lambskin skirt. The warm soft grey knit tunic detailed with band cut ribbon trim and matching pants, Also gorgeous, the midnight green panne velvet graphic print shift dress. Affordable, stylish and definitely on the money.

I shlepped the bod back to the tents to catch the Tracy Reese runway show. Over the years this young designer has acquired quite a following among young girls about town for her take on flirty, feminine dressing. And judging by the overflowing hordes that crammed into the show, the cult-like adoration just keeps on growing. On a personal note, yours truly must thank James LaForce, head honcho of the hot pr firm, LaForce and Stevens who graciously allowed me in to the show at the last minute. He always exhibits grace under pressure (the man looked cool as a cucumber) in a very cutthroat business. Now about the clothes…Reese combines a mix of textures, patterns and rich colors on a neutral palette, all accessorized with some fun necklaces by Gerard Yosca. To me the mood evoked a 1920s American in Paris vibe when the jeunesse doree partied till dawn. So what did I love? The mauve beaded roses shell and steel color trousers, a floral frilled shift worn under a brown herringbone boyfriend jacket and the terra mélange cardigan tossed over a chemise in the beaded roses print.

I ran off to a civilized fall mens and womens fashion in-store presentation at Brooks Brothers. Think classic with a twist Wasp apparel that will never look dated. Perfect for the North Shore/Newport/Wall Street customer and their kiddies. Speaking of kids, I'd buy the grey shawl cardigan with crest from the boy's collection. Also to my taste was the more fashion oriented Black Fleece range, especially the luxuriously soft cashmere sweater shown over an inverted pleat skirt. The guys should just buy everything including the rugged leather weekender bags.

I ended my day with a very sedate Luca Luca presentation at the Plaza Hotel's Palm Court. The over 30 crowd would look terrific in some of the sophisticated late day ensembles. In this vein I would opt for a slinky wine silk velvet gown with chiffon insets or the gunmetal halter gown in chiffon velvet with beaded neck band. One item stood out, and that was the adorable charcoal cut-mink shrug (think teeny capelet). This shape was also repeated in charcoal silk and wool cable cord. Perfect item to throw over anything. Kudos must also go to the scrumptious petit fours that were placed on every table. In the name of research only, I felt it my duty to taste all of them. So not to worry, no chance of getting salmonella or any other food poisoning! You may thank me later.

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