c.2014 New York Times News Service
c.2014 New York Times News Service
NEW YORK — Although New York Fashion Week officially begins on a Thursday (and, unofficially, days earlier than that), Saturday is the day when the full force of the event begins to take its toll.
That was never truer than this year, when the day began for most at the 10 a.m. Lacoste show at Lincoln Center and continued nonstop for roughly 12 hours, when many ended up in the hitherto unexplored regions of the Brooklyn Navy Yard for the Alexander Wang show, wondering just how long it would take them to get home.
At the Lacoste show, despite promises of a “better, improved” Lincoln Center, early-morning attendees, even ones with confirmed seat assignments, found malfunctioning check-in machines and confused staff members. And the crowds were so huge and the security so tight that Joanna Coles, the editor-in-chief of Cosmopolitan, caught in the crush of the crowd, turned in the direction of her Hearst colleague Anne Fulenwider, the editor-in-chief of Marie Claire, and joked, “El Al has nothing on Lincoln Center.”
For the rest of the day, and for the days that followed, Fashion Week lived up to its reputation as the biggest carnival in town, one with traffic jams, celebrity spottings, complaints about seating arrangements and not being on “the list,” debates about whether the models were too young, too thin or too white, gossip about what designer was about to be fired or what fashion editor was about to oust a rival, and, every now and then, a flash of brilliance that would remind attendees that sometimes fashion really does matter.
JOE JONAS, FASHION BLOGGER
“This year’s been crazy,” said Joe Jonas, sounding like a Fashion Week veteran, sipping Champagne at the Guess party on Tuesday night. Already this season, the former boy-bander had been to 14 shows and presentations, including Lacoste, Duckie Brown, Rag & Bone, Public School and Richard Chai, as well as eight parties in his role as a guest fashion blogger for New York magazine.
“Some days are a little tough,” he said. “When it’s like a late night and you want to go experience the night life too on top of the shows, and the next day shows start at 9 or 10 and you’re like, ‘Where is my coffee?’” He made a weary expression.
Jonas has been impressed with what he has seen with shows like Lacoste (“surprisingly really good”), Duckie Brown and Opening Ceremony, but he said he loved Public School’s show on Sunday the most. “They’re high after winning the CFDA award, and everyone is looking at them in the room, like, what are they going to do?” he said, referring to the CFDA Fashion Awards presented by the Council of Fashion Designers of America, a New York-based trade association. “I thought they did just enough. It wasn’t too much. They could have gone too far or done too little. But it was just right.”
Jonas said he had met Stella Bugbee, the editorial director of New York magazine’s fashion blog, The Cut, at a Fashion Week party in September, a few months before he did an as-told-to tell-all for the magazine about his complicated life as a middle child in a Disney-minted boy band.
“You never hear from celebrities in the front row and there’s a million of them, and we’re curious what it’s like to be that person,” Bugbee said.
She said that his columns for The Cut had been “him calling us and telling us everything and us writing it.” She added that there was no “fudging” and every take was very much his own.
And would Jonas consider fashion journalism a career? The Jonas Brothers broke up last year, and a clear path in music has not proved itself quite yet. He said he would “happily” do more with fashion, though his own label is not in the cards.
“I would say maybe I’d be more hands-on with fashion, whether it’s collaborating with a newer designer or even giving my creative ideas would be exciting,” he said.
And of his perch in the front row this week? He is comfortable there and he wants more of it.
“I get why celebrities like to go to shows; it can be their little photo op,” he said. “But I enjoy it and I’ll text my friend and say check this out or I’ll meet the designer and be like, ‘Check out this second look!’”
— JOHN KOBLIN
A STREAKER AT PRABAL GURUNG
What was that line, apparently impromptu, that David Niven came up with at the 1974 Oscar ceremony, just before he was to introduce Elizabeth Taylor and the Best Picture Oscar, when a streaker raced across the stage in front of the live TV audience?
Oh, right: “Isn’t it fascinating to think that probably the only laugh that man will ever get in his life is by stripping off and showing his shortcomings?”
That moment came to mind early in the Prabal Gurung show Saturday when a 2014 version of a streaker — this one dressed in a crown, trench coat and what appeared to be a jockstrap — jumped out onto the runway and scampered, waved and knelt in front of one model who remained expressionless (and directly in front of an equally unfazed Anna Wintour) before he was finally dragged off the stage by one of the security guards and disappeared behind a billowing black curtain.
And then, as if nothing had happened, it was back to the clothes.
The word after the show was that the streaker was Vitaly Sediuk, the same person who disrupted the Grammy Awards last year, when Adele was about to collect an award, and then grabbed Bradley Cooper in what the news media called a “crotch embrace” on the Screen Actors Guild red carpet last month. He apparently got into the show with a Ukrainian press pass.
Organizers said that no charges would be filed.
— STUART EMMRICH
THE ‘IT’ BOYS OF FASHION WEEK
The Public School fashion show at Milk Studios on Sunday, the first formal runway show for Dao-Yi Chow and Maxwell Osborne, had all the hallmarks of a full-fledged fashion event.
There in the front row was Anna Wintour, fresh off the Victoria Beckham show a few minutes earlier, flanked by her daughter Bee Shaffer (usually a good indicator that the Vogue editor has a particular interest in what she is about to see). She was joined on the benches not only by a cross-section of industry — including Jenna Lyons; Andrew Rosen, Theory’s chief executive; the consultant Julie Gilhart; the Alexander Wang president, Rodrigo Bazan; and the designer Prabal Gurung — but also by Victor Cruz, the New York Giants receiver and an increasingly regular presence at men’s shows, and Kelly Rowland, formerly of Destiny’s Child. (At least three high-ranking editors or executives arrived with their school-age children in tow.)
At show’s end, the audience gave as loud a cheer as has been heard anywhere this Fashion Week, and several attendees even sprang from their seats to applaud. “THE.BEST.COLLECTION.EVER,” Esquire’s natty English fashion director, Nick Sullivan, tapped out on Instagram, upper lip definitively unstiffened. “#BLOODYWELLDONE.”
Yes, Chow and Osborne’s new collection of urban sport-inflected tailoring was one of their strongest. But there seems to be something about the pair that is especially easy to celebrate. (It was noticeable that many of the initial raves from audience members polled were for the designers themselves and not the clothes that had just been unveiled.)
The heroes’ welcome made a hat trick of sorts, after the accolades the industry has already bestowed. In the last year, Chow and Osborne have won both the CFDA Swarovski Award for emerging talent in menswear and the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund, juried (and underwritten) by industry insiders. That is how Lyons, J. Crew’s president and executive creative director, came to know the two.
“I’ve loved them from the beginning,” she said. “I remember the first time I met them. You know when someone’s kind of got it. They’re pretty remarkable on every front, I think, between the way that they present themselves, the way they talk about their clothes, the level of detail that they take with the clothes that they make.”
As she finished speaking to a reporter, Rosen approached her. “Those guys did great,” he crowed.
For the first time, Public School is also offering a take on how a woman can and should dress. The collection included a handful of women’s looks, in the same spirit as the men’s. (Some women, including Lyons, had already been eyeing men’s pieces from earlier collections.)
But the new addition meant that Cruz, who was introduced to the designers by the sneaker designer and retailer Ronnie Fieg and says they are now “like family,” could find plenty to like in the show and so could his fiancée, Elaina Watley. “I was jumping in my seat,” she said.
Chow was more reticent. He had taken his runway bow with Osborne with a sweet look of aw-shucks abashment, and backstage after the show seemed to still be taking it all in.
“Ten hours later, it’s going to hit you,” he said when pressed for his reaction. “Now you don’t even know what to feel or what to think. But it’s amazing. We’re just thankful to be in the place that we are now and try to continue to do great things.”
— MATTHEW SCHNEIER
FROM PAUL MCCARTNEY TO THAKOON
Liz Goldwyn, a writer and filmmaker, was at the Thakoon show on Sunday, unfashionably early and sitting by herself on a bench in the middle of the room, waiting for her seatmates, Taylor Schilling of “Orange Is the New Black” and Caitlin FitzGerald of “Masters of Sex,” to show up.
Another attendee, recognizing Goldwyn from across the room by her bright red lipstick, came over with a question. It was not about her connection to the designer whose fall 2014 collection was about to be shown, or even whether she was wearing his clothes on this winter afternoon. Instead, she was asked about her role in a recent pop culture moment:
Wasn’t that her in a video for the new Paul McCartney song, “Queenie Eye,” the one with more than 3 million hits on YouTube?
The video, shot in Abbey Road Studios in London, begins with McCartney sitting at a piano in an empty room. Then, at the foot of the piano, appears Johnny Depp, wearing earbuds, and nodding along to the music. Both are quickly joined by the model and actress Lily Cole, and then an array of people seemingly appearing out of nowhere: Sean Penn, Jude Law, Chris Pine, Kate Moss, Tom Ford, a laughing, dancing Meryl Streep — and, seated in a chair beside Streep, Goldwyn, her red lips popping off the screen.
“How cool was that?” Goldwyn said. “Meryl Streep was right next to me.”
Goldwyn says her participation in the video came about informally. She happened to be in London in the fall when the shoot was being organized, and McCartney, a family friend, asked if she wanted to be involved. “Of course I said yes,” she said, laughing.
The filming took place during several days, and though many of the people were not in the room at the same time, Goldwyn was there when Streep filmed her scene. “It was amazing to watch her work,” Goldwyn said.
Then, suddenly, Schilling and FitzGerald showed up, trailed by a pack of photographers and reporters with their notebooks out. It was time to talk fashion.
— STUART EMMRICH
RIDING THE FASHION WEEK WAVE
Friday night? Rag & Bone. Saturday night? Prabal Gurung. Sunday night? Public School. Monday night? Galore magazine. Wednesday night? Jeremy Scott.
All week, Up & Down, a new club, has been hosting fashion party after fashion party. Celebrities like Orlando Bloom and Lindsay Lohan have made their way in. At Gurung’s party, very enthusiastic patrons — couples-making-out-in-the-corner enthusiastic — were wearing crowned hats in honor of the crown-festooned streaker that interrupted Gurung’s fashion show (the designer himself said he was wearing the exact crown the streaker wore, left behind after security guards took him away).
“The actual nuts and bolts of the place was ready to open a couple of weeks prior,” said Richie Akiva, the co-owner of the club. “I could have made money and done other things to make money, and I chose not to because I wanted to wait for Fashion Week.”
Fashion Week is important to him because “you want to get as many people to see it, market it,” he said. “It’s the perfect blend of everybody, a blend of musicians, celebrities, actors, editors, fashion people.”
Akiva said that he was in talks to throw Alexander Wang’s after-party, too, but the designer was a little fussy — if he chose Up & Down, no other fashion parties could come before his. “As a business, we couldn’t just do one event and shut down the doors the whole week,” Akiva said.
The schedule at Up & Down was not filled entirely with fashion parties. Beige, the longtime mostly gay party that ended at B Bar in 2011 because of noise complaints from neighbors, has found its new home starting this past Tuesday night.
“I loved the space,” Erich Conrad, the founder of Beige, said about Up & Down, the party’s new home.
After a week of events, is fatigue setting in with the well initiated?
“I’ve gone a couple of times, but I don’t know if I’ll be going back again,” Joe Jonas said of Up & Down. “Everybody had their party there, you know?”
He was reminded Jeremy Scott’s party would be there on Wednesday night. He said he would attend.
— JOHN KOBLIN