— Rachel Seville’s spot-on response to Suzy Menkes’ fashion circus piece.
I’m no Amy Larocca (her dispatches from Milan and Paris fashion weeks inspired me to do this), but I am an ardent observer and no one really talks about this stuff: the nitty-gritty off fashion week. Well, I’m sure they talk about it, but they don’t publish it to a tumblr or anything. So, I figured “Why not?” It’s also a way to help my non-fashion friends wrap their heads around the beast that is fashion week.
Here we go.
Last night, (Tuesday when I wrote this) I was anxious about my outfit. I didn’t like what I had planned. It was too dressy. Some people may not care about what they wear to fashion week, and I love them for it, but I do. When I’m surrounded by a bunch of well dressed people, I want to be well dressed, too. I went for a multicolored knit vintage skirt, denim shirt, black pea coat, and black and white Nike Blazers. Oh, and Swiss dot tights. I liked my outfit. I was comfortable, which is key, and felt fashionable, which is also key.
Presentation: M. Patmos
My first presentation was M. Patmos at Pier 59, which is practically on the western edge of Manhattan. A lot of designers hold their presentations here. It’s a nice excuse to see that gorgeous Frank Gehry building.
The clothes: It was a solid, commercially viable collection. The color palette really stood out. Olives, wines, burnt orange and cobalt mixed with some black and sand. She also presented dickies. Yes, a dickie as in faux turtlenecks. I liked them best when styled under a structured jacket and over a form fitting dress (look 1 and 3). The prints were also strong: ikats and digitized camos. M. Patmos is known for knits, and those were strong, too. Note: twinsets are making a comeback.
The scene: Presentations can be awkward, particularly in small spaces. And it’s not like I’m some seasoned fashion vet or social media cool kid who can chat it up with everyone in the industry. Therefore, I usually go in, look, take pictures, and bounce. I don’t think I’ve stayed at a presentation for longer than 15 minutes. EVER.
The people: I spotted Martha Violante watching guard with a lint roller, meaning she styled the collection. Martha is a diminutive figure with BIG style, which can be hard to pull off but she does. She never looks as if her clothes are wearing her and she dresses unlike any of the other fashion editors/stylists, which is refreshing. I also spotted Meredith Melling Burke, who seems to always make quick presentation drivebys, and while her style is polar opposite to Martha’s, she is also one who looks effortless, but really stylish.
In between: Stopped by Chelsea Market, one of my favorite places to go during fashion week. It is an urban food court essentially with an excellent selection of sustenance like Tuck Pies, an Australian mainstay, One Lucky Duck, expensive juices, The Lobster Place, pretty self explanatory, and other delicious stuff. I sat on a stool and tweeted. I HATE to tweet during shows. It takes away from the experience and it’s hard to add anything special to the conversation on the fly. Well, at least it is for me. Then I headed/walked to Shades of Grey.
Presentation: Shades of Grey by Micah Cohen
Micah Cohen designs menswear and debuted a womenswear collection this season. I chose him as a Designer to Watch, a report I do before each NYFW, so I was looking forward to his presentation. Menswear presentations have a totally different vibe. They are much more low key than the womenswear shows, but that’s only on the surface. They are less chaotic and there are less people vying to get in, but these men REALLY care about how they look. And what’s funny is that a lot of these men who attend shows are menswear bloggers who mock other menswear bloggers but act EXACTLY the same way as the men they mock. Convoluted sentence? Yes. But it’s the best way to describe them.
The clothes: Micah has a knack for elevating basics/classic menswear separates, and the styling is spot on. For example, he showed a pair of color-blocked long johns with a grey wool blazer, and cropped pants with burgundy striped athletic socks. The shoes were a sporty take on a hiking boot, but they were low top. He debuted a women’s line, which makes complete sense. Menswear is big for women, and that androgynous look is quite popular. I liked the colour blocked, suede varsity jacket.
The scene: I pretty much described the scene above. Hordes of men dressed really well. O, and Nick Wooster was there wearing a down vest over a suit. I loved the look. It felt completely functional and practical, but there was a design sensibility to it.
In between: I dashed back to the office, via cab, and coordinated invites/ate lunch (at 2pm) while getting organized for shows tomorrow. And clicking through both of these clever slide shows on The Cut. Then I was off to Pier 59 again for Rachel Comey.
Show: Rachel Comey
Last season, we had standing tickets, but this season we had seats! Ok, let me break down the fashion week politics. Important publications, important buyers from stores, and girls they want to be seen at their show get front row tickets, and then it’s a trickle down effect. Fashion Week can feel like high school, with the cool kids huddling in the front row, while you crane your neck for a proper view of the clothes. How do I feel about it? To be honest, I feel lucky to get an invite, but standing tickets are annoying, and I will only stand for select designers. Sounds snobbish, but it’s true.
The clothes: I pretty much could have an entire wardrobe of Rachel Comey and be more than satisfied. The show had some of the Asian references from that spring 2013 Prada show that you either hated or loved, but ‘80s references were at the forefront. I didn’t get to see the shoes, but as I type this I’m wearing a pair of Rachel Comey boots, so I’m sure they were delightful.
The people: Debbie Harry was there along with Christine Barberich from Refinery29 wearing the most spectacular aviator prescription glasses (she looked incredibly cool and happens to be the NICEST person on earth), Kate Foley of Opening Ceremony, Jen Mankins of Bird (a boutique in Brooklyn), Man Repeller, (I wonder if she would rather people call her by her first name?) Susie Bubble and more. O and there was a LINE situation. Fashion Week really brings out the best and worst of people. It wasn’t a big deal, but an editor from Teen Vogue, who acted like she had never waited in a line in her lifetime, cut. And she didn’t just cut, she kind of disrespected everyone else in the line by happily asking another fellow editor, “Should we just cut the line?” Once again, it wasn’t a big deal, but these are the types of egos and characters you brush up with a fashion week. People who think that standing in a line for a Rachel Comey show is an atrocity. I will say that standing in a line at the Lincoln Center is a different case, which I will explain later.
In between: Walked down the street to the Prabal Gurung for Target party. Target. Parties. Are. The. Shit. You want to know more? Email me. Because I can go on for days about how amazing it was. It was a carnival, a NON-SEEDY, CLEAN carnival, with food trucks, and games, and a photo booth, and free lemon vodka cocktails, o and the PG for Target collection, which girls were clamoring for. Cute collection, but my account is DRIED up from picking up a few things for fashion week.
Presentation: Tanya Taylor
I chose Tanya Taylor as a Designer to Watch last season and her spring/summer 2013 presentation was one of my favorites. Last year when I attended her show at the MoMa, which isn’t a typical fashion week venue, it didn’t feel like an emerging designer presenting a show. There were so many corporate types that initially I thought I was in the wrong place. But I overheard someone say that her dad is Joseph Mimran, the founder of Club Monaco and Joe Fresh. This could be wrong as nothing in the press mentions this, but if it is true it makes a lot of sense. Her presentations and clothes feel FAR from amateur, and I’m sure that’s a testament to her talent, but having a viable investor helps as well.
The scene: This collection was my favorite of the day. The presentation was set up in four quadrants. There was this sense of surprise and discovery as you walked from one to the other. Designers conducting presentations should take note of this format.
The clothes: Job well done, Tanya Taylor. Me and my colleague got excited about the clothes, and I saw a few shots on instagram of the baby pink fur. This is what clothes are supposed to do, elicit emotion. And it doesn’t have to be a couture Alexander McQueen dress. Tanya showed really commercial silhouettes, BUT the fabrics, color, texture, and styling were interesting. And I mean interesting in a good way. Think a cropped metallic moto jacket paired with an apricot leather dress, or a burgundy quilted varsity jacket worn with a matching A-line skirt. It was very sporty and tailored, which is a theme I think will continue to come up during the week. Overall it just felt fresh. These are clothes you want to wear over and over that make you stand out, but in a subtle way.
Be back tomorrow or tonight with day two, which is the official day one, but I’m busy as hell so excuse the delay.