Stream of Consciousness Fashion Week NYC: Psychedelic Colors, White Stuff, Red Velvet Hash!
My fave vibe/look of the week, made of hair, by VPL
**All text, photos, and video by Susan M. Kirschbaum
Forgive the choppy English phrasing about to ensue. I am thinking aloud….
What happens when you’ve been chronicling fashion shows for over a decade; when you have been around long enough to remember the first shows at Bryant Park (Lincoln Center really did prove seamless in comparison, even for hailing a cab); when you’ve helped friends who once struggled as designers, writing their first reviews in big papers, then half of those remain true, the other half become caricatures of ego? What happens when you see craft die in lieu of hype, when celebrity overtakes creativity, and you are tired of the same old bloody faces?
Well, you step up and salute the people who are doing good work or prompting some fun. Ignore the rest.
Two trends formed loud and clear for Spring 2011: colors — as in turquoise, violet, aqua, and lemon– and white, a color Alexander Wang maxxed out. He told the press he wanted “purity.” I’m still going to opt for Elise Overland’s slinky leather over bleached pieces. Ditto for VPL and Victoria Bartlett, who once again sent out sexy bandage wear, much hotter than Wang’s emergency room white. Zac Posen utilized the graphic prints of another talented pal, Daisy Devilleneuve, who is based in London and upon arrival, was surprised to see so much of her cleverness imbued on jackets and skirts for Posen’s bridge line ZSpoke. (Zac will be showing his front line collection for the first time in Paris in a couple of weeks.) Alexandre Herchcovitch, who lost me in the past with so much va va voom really pulled off a clean show in tropical hues, many slip on dresses, as easy as the pumps that accompanied them. Charlotte Ronson, the shy one of the Ronson-Jones tribe, sent down several pieces — some paisley, always– that ingenues will still covet. Marc Jacobs impressed me with his almost Missoni stripey pieces in jewel toned lines and also when he offered me a cigarette on the roof of the Visionaire party at the Standard later that evening.
Elise Overland: always seductive
That same night, I almost ran after Courtney Love when she mistakenly dumped all of the makeup on the floor when entering the V party, but she didn’t notice me or anyone else. She rocked a show a few nights earlier at the newly re-opened Don Hill’s.
Dear lovely Jefferson Hack, Editor of Another Magazine, wearing a crisp white shirt and gray blue suit for his dinner on the roof of Milk Studios never fails to be a gracious host, hugging all who have known him for years. White prevailed well here, as opposed to the runway: white roses; Genevieve Jones in a lace off white Valentino dress; and artist Terence Koh, wearing a white feathered number to match the white peacock he donated to the party. Still, Jefferson wanted me to emphasize something red: “Susan, we’ve got magic cake!” And then I saw it, the red velvet hash cake due to set us all swooning. “I want you to blog about it!” He told me. Ta dah!
“Magic Cake” at Another dinner
Perhaps, one of the best moments of the week went to the resurrection of Tara Subkoff. Tara –who, a decade ago, launched the cult line Imitation of Christ with my favorite anarchist Matthew Damhave — did a show for her new line: “Imitation.” She dropped Christ and sent models skipping in light airy dresses down a grassy runway. Pretty is the right word for all of it and reborn as well, since Tara survived the removal of a brain tumor last year around this time.
Skipping models and Tara Subkoff, Imitation Spring 2011
In the fashion world, people form alliances. Initially, it revolves around who can help whom. Some turn into jackasses overnight. A few keep that malignant form, while others experience epiphanies and return to being human beings. The ones who remain true after all the years in the trenches, I am saluting you now.
**On a personal note, to those talented friends whose shows I could not make this round: Camilla Staerk, Cynthia Rowley, ThreeAsFour, Frank Tell, Proenza Schouler, please know that I still support you and I look forward to future seasons.
(Special shout out to Tenzin Wild, co-founder of Last Mag and the party they threw at Bunker, the new downstairs bar at 13th and 9th Aves.)