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Credit Roll Fashion Week…Ones to Watch

February 21, 2010

Zanna Roberts Rassi, Marie Claire Fashion Director and designer Frank Tell post presentation at Milk Studios

(**All text, photos, and videos by Susan M. Kirschbaum)

It comes. It goes. Once it’s over, you feel as if a tornado hit.

Each season New York Fashion week seems to build upon itself, brands on every notch on the spectrum — high to low– adding events and shows so it wears on you like some glamorous virus. Too many bright lights blind us, so here are some bits I’ve picked from the rubble that you might not discover on more mainstream outlets dedicated to bold-faced celebrity names and newly pronounced “it girls” whose provenance has not yet been investigated. I’ve even heard some of these new “it chicks” twitter their multiple outfit changes during show week.

When will some girl from a trailer park come out and say, “Yes, I made myself over as Cinderella, changed my name, seduced a rich famous guy, and got some great threads on his dime so I could be in fashion pages!” Democracy is a wonderful thing. When this lass springs forward, I will promote the hell out of her. That’s a promise. Meanwhile….

1. Milk Studios wins it as best fashion show venue EVER. Now that we’ve bid adieu to the last fashion season to roll out at the Bryant Park Tents, editors and company will head to the official new venue, Lincoln Center  in September.  Still, some indies won’t be able to afford the space and will continue to launch collections in obscure spots in Chelsea, etc. Milk Studios — the photo studios on West 14th Street — hosted thirty-two designers this season free of charge.

The check in proved seamless and you could catch shows on each floor like a boutique of fashion inspiration. Forecasting the travel line from Milk to Lincoln Center (promising eighty-two shows) in the Fall, CFDA founder Fern Mallis joked with owner Mazdack Rassi, “The West Side Highway will be known as Fashion Highway.”  Some collections shown at Milk, included:

2. Frank Tell. The 23-year-old Spanish native gets better every season. No strange clips, twisted jewels, or buttons held this collection together.  It’s smart and sexy.

Frank Tell, Fall 2010

3. Preen by Thea Bregazzi. Preen always ranked as one of my favorite labels before it ever showed in the USA. I’ve been wearing it for  half a decade now. The skinny trousers fit perfectly. Ditto for the frocks, which lean-to architecture rather than frou frou. (See below)


Preen, two looks.

4. Temperley collaborates with photographers to benefit the world.  Alice Temperley veered away from her rhinestone studded pastel dresses and inserted some fitted leather jackets and bags with studs that caught my eye since they proved “hot” and feminine all at once. The photos — from the  Fifties and early Sixties of real style dames– by the late Norman Parkinson really lured me though, from an era when class looks and a sense of mystery prevailed no matter what happened behind closed doors.

Across the studio from the vintage black and white prints, Temperley erected photos by Adam Whitehead of her current designs with rhinestones inserted into photos where they would exist on the real garments. All the images will go to auction for Oxfam — a charitable organization that goes where it’s needed to fight poverty and disasters (including Haiti)– this coming May.

TREND ALERT: Temperley’s presentation entitled “True British” could not be more well-timed regarding the giving moment among UK trend setters. The photographer Rankin shot a series from the Congo on the Oxfam site. Giving is cool. Consumptive materialism, not so much. For more about OXFAM.

Norman Parkinson image, dusted off and displayed by Temperley

5. ThreeAsFour.  Completely Barbarella. Jane  Fonda could have pulled it off in the day. Also,  I kept thinking young Verushka (whom I shot in modern age in the banner on this site, the right photo, woman in black-capped hood) or even Ann Margaret, post cave woman. Sadly, short of Angelina Jolie, most starlets today appear to lack  confidence. Jolie could wear this latest collection… I’m hard pressed to nominate others, but I’m open to comments. I’d like to channel Stanley Kubrick’s ghost for other  possibilities !

ThreeAsFour, Fall 2010

6.  Axl Rose, weak in the knees as we remember Spy Bar and Kenmare takes over:

Guns n’Roses played three times during Fashion Week. They took the stage two hours late at John Varvatos. Ditto for a weekend gig at Rose Bar, where a friend of front man Axl Rose’s PR rep told me Axl gets some serious stage fright. His rep was walking him around Gramercy Park several times beforehand to give him courage. Finally, Guns n’Roses also played the third anniversary of the Box.

I saw G&R at Rose Bar and once Axl hit the stage, he rocked it for a couple good hours, so much that my Manolo Blahnik suede stiletto boots broke a heel. Totally nuts….

By the third showing at the Box– and three’s a charm–Mick Jagger  coincidentally threw a party for his gal, designer/stylist L’Wren Scott at Kenmare, the new hot spot. Close friends of  co-owners Nur Khan and Paul Sevigny had been invited a few nights before so  I got a personal  tour of the intimate space filled with arches and surprisingly intimate little alcoves.

By Thursday, fashion’s closing night, while Mick presided on the early side at Kenmare, later at Avenue, where Sevigny usually holds court (Tues/Thurs), one of Spy Bar’s original owners, deejay (and Lofi designer) Kelly Cole hosted a fifteen-year  reunion of Spy’s opening  with former Nancy Boy front man Donovan Leitch. Leitch used to be NYC’s most beautiful guy,so much so that Calvin Klein dubbed him his poster boy in the late Nineties. Then,  Spy Bar catered to a true NYC rock-fashion-art underground on Greene Street in Soho.

Cole spun the vintage tunes including the Cure and Joan Jett till the sun came up and we got kicked out.

King, Spy’s original doorman, in faux ‘coon coat

7. Finally, RED LIPSTICK. All the girls are wearing it!  Julia Restoin Roitfeld– daughter of French Vogue editor Carine–  at Temperley shot me a broad smile, her lips lined in cherry. Yes, indeed, all the lovelies at the Rouge Coco Chanel party have whipped open their crayon like gift boxes of shades. Personally, I prefer the orchid infused Ballet Russe shade of Rouge Coco. Never one to follow the poppies, no matter how lovely, I’ll ingest the crushed crimson instead.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Stephanie in Bklyn permalink
    February 24, 2010 7:45 pm

    Wow! Was it really 15 years ago that we were hanging out at Spy Bar? Reading that sure gave me flashbacks.

    • itsthattimeagain permalink*
      February 24, 2010 7:49 pm

      Considering that Vito Schanbel was also there when he was eight years old… HA HA! xx….

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