Sometime in early November while passing by Bryant Park, I noticed a mock-up Fashion Week tent. After a minor panic attack, I realized, no Alexa, it’s not February yet; the girls from Sex and the City were shooting a scene for the upcoming movie. Stand down, Lipstick Jungle and Cashmere Mafia! Yes, the baddest bitches are back in town. Wanna see just how bad? Check out InStyle for a sneak preview of Carrie, Charlotte, Miranda, and Samantha’s fresh fashions.
How ironic is it that I couldn’t find a thing to wear throughout the week? There were mornings where I would stare into my closet with a glazed-over look, talking to it, coaxing it to magically put together a slammin’ ensemble. Where’s the Jane Jetson conveyor-belt closet we were promised would be a staple of the future? For yet another season, things have been so hectic that I’ve employed the assistance of Patty the Intern. While I tried to find something to wear, Patty ventured over to the Salon tent to make sense of the Duckie Brown show. Known for their psychedelic colors, menswear designers Steven Cox and Daniel Silver turned the volume down on both their palette and their music. Blaring tunes gave way to pure silence as models clad in narrow somber black looks paraded down the catwalk. The eerie quiet gave the procession a bit of a slow- motion effect. Then again, Patty herself is a bit slow. I finally settled on an outfit and made my way to Nicole Miller. With Joan Jett, Karen Duffy, and Nigel Barker in the front row, Miller channeled Joan of Arc for fall ’08. Unlike the French heroine, there was nothing “brave” or “powerful” about this collection. In fact, a heresy against fashion was committed by way of the designer’s patchwork black leggings and ultra-sized cocoon sweaters. The play on dynamic proportions and sudden rocker grit from Miller, known for her casual feminine frocks, simply wasn’t believable. Later, at the Roseland Ballroom for the Baby Phat and KLS collections, Tyra Banks, Vivica A. Fox, André Leon Talley, Star Jones, Joss Stone, and Amerie were on hand to witness the heights of ghetto fabulosity. Oh, I’m not talking about the clothing, which was a hodgepodge of faux old-Hollywood glamour and customary poom-poom shorts. I’m not even referring to the proximity in which Kimora Lee Simmons’s ex-hubbie Russell Simmons and current beau Djimon Hounsou were seated, a step up in contrast to last year’s awkward negative-space adjacency. Instead, I’m dishing about the disturbing Kimora Barbie Doll dressed in a hot pink mini halter dress, black fish net stockings, thigh-high pink boots, and floor-length fur coat with leopard-print lining found in select gift bags (pictured). Um, I don’t plan on poppin’ out a kid any time soon, but she’s sure as hell not playing with that hoochie. Barbie Mariposa, on the other hand, I can get into. Unless I have a son, because those magical fairy lights that protect Flutterfield will surely turn him gay.
Looking for some midweek cheer, Patty headed for the tents where Betsey Johnson was celebrating the big 3-0—30 years in the biz, that is. Joan Jett, Tyra Banks, and Russell Simmons were among the front-row dwellers. The fashion veteran set the stage as if it were a beatnik bar, complete with bongo players at the end of the runway, Chianti bottles at the tables along the runway’s perimeter, and models sporting berets (pictured). (Jack Kerouac, eat your heart out!) After the faux fur, leather, and fringe affair, Betsey showcased a retrospective of looks from previous decades. And then, of course, that cartwheel.
Forgoing the confines of time, Cynthia Steffe creative director Waleed Khairzada opted for a “seasonless” collection where the layering of lightweight fabrics and leg/arm warmers prevailed. While I can appreciate the blend of textures and dimensions, Khairzada failed to come through on the “contemporary” manifestation promised in the run-of-show notes. Perhaps it would have helped to pick a damn season as opposed to being greedy and straddling them all. And can I ask, what was up with the back-of-house screaming louder than the music? “NEXT GIRL, NEXT GIRL! C’MON!” Sadly, the best part of the whole experience was the patent leather Manolo Blahnik booties. Nothing gets between me and my Manolos!
Showing for their second season in a row at the New York Public Library’s Celeste Bartos Forum, Hanii Yoon and Gene Kei of Y & Kei provided an enchanting Impressionist-inspired collection. What can I say? The duo consistently sends out the most striking prints and constructs the best silhouettes. Rock on with your bad Korean selves!
Since we’re on the topic of what’s in and what’s out, have you guys been watching Project Runway? What am I thinking? Of course you have. The final five designers, Rami Kashoú, Jillian Lewis, Chris March, Christian Siriano, and Kathleen “Sweet P” Vaughn (who’s already been aufed) showed their work to a packed house during Fashion Week. Heidi Klum, Nina Garcia, Michael Kors, and guest judge Victoria Beckham may get to make the final decision, but in my opinion, there is no contest. The Fierce Award should go to Christian because he’s, well, kind of a big deal!
Speaking of judges, word around the Slant water cooler is that America’s Next Top Model, now in its 10th season and back in New York City, is bumping Twiggy from the panel and replacing her with Paulina Porizkova. We’re fine with the decision just as long as Tyra and Co.’s next move is to vote Marvita off our island! The contestant, who was cut before making it into the house in the ninth season, has found God (and a therapist) and yet somehow managed to pick a fight with standout Fatima. Let the catfights begin!
This blog entry was originally published on Slant Magazine on the date above.