Gaga, Pharrell turn up heat at Fashion Week

Staff Writer
Columbus Monthly

NEW YORK (AP) — The weather never seems to cooperate with New York Fashion Week. In February it's freezing and icy, and in September it seems to get even hotter than the summer that just ended. On this steamy day in Manhattan, Prabal Gurung took his guests on a cool Himalayan trek, evoking snow-capped mountains and mossy hills in his Nepal-inspired designs.

A night earlier there was heat, too. Lady Gaga got a little steamed when the crowd at a Harper's Bazaar party talked through some of her jazz tunes, and stopped singing to admonish the offenders.

And Gaga wasn't the only prominent singer to grace a Fashion Week event: Pharrell was there too, in his signature hat of course, leading a dozen models as he displayed his RAW for the Oceans spring-summer collection.

Among the highlights:



Some of the garments at Prabal Gurung's show Saturday seemed to come straight from nature, like a strapless dress with a rhododendron print, ostrich feathers and hand-cut organza flowers on the skirt.

On the sportier side, there were mountain jackets and expedition vests; on the daintier side, there were silky ruffled dresses. As for colors, Gurung looked to evoke the changing Himalayan sky, from dawn to sunset.

"Up in the mountains are colors that you don't even know or see 'til you go up there," said Gurung, who was born and raised in Nepal, in a backstage interview. "It's this beautiful amethyst to this coral, ivory, white and then teal and turquoise, and this opal. It's a visual feast. I wanted to bring it here."

Gurung has dressed a host of famous women, including first lady Michelle Obama, who's worn his designs a number of times, most recently last month at a White House dinner for African leaders. Kate Middleton also surprised the designer by wearing one of his dresses on an official trip to Asia.

Also notable in Gurung's new collection: His first complete footwear line under his own label. The multi-colored, strappy stilettos were inspired, he said, by artists he loves, including Georgia O'Keefe, Frida Kahlo, and Cindy Sherman.

—Jocelyn Noveck



In Christian Siriano's New York Fashion Week show Saturday, beads appeared on sheer tops and equally sheer trousers, crystals embellished cocktail dresses, green brocades made up dresses short and long.

There was a touch of swishy raffia in white, a remnant of his bolder raffia looks in February.

His client, he said, is "not so much an easy breezy downtown cool girl. She's a little more elevated."

Among his silhouettes were full skirts in dresses and gowns in metallic green and a tiered gown with a long train, the heavy beading carrying over into bags and shoes as he enters his seventh year selling footwear at Payless.

Celebrity guests included skier Lindsey Vonn and actresses Mena Suvari and Jada Pinkett Smith.

"We're playing with a lot of different transparent fabrics but sculpting them in a really beautiful way," Siriano said in a backstage interview.

—Leanne Italie



When a loud crowd still chatted at the Plaza Hotel where Lady Gaga was performing jazz tunes Friday night, she stopped in the middle of her second song because of the noise.

Gaga sang at the New York Fashion Week party by Harper's Bazaar, where attendees included Donatella Versace, Liberty Ross, Brooke Shields and R&B singers Maxwell and Miguel, and Linda Evangelista, Shields and Gaga were honored.

The 28-year-old pop star sang songs from her collaborative jazz album with Tony Bennett called "Cheek to Cheek," to be released Sept. 23.

"An icon, I believe, is somebody that has a strong message behind their beauty and I think all of the women that are here tonight have that," Gaga said on the red carpet. "I'm not sure that I have it, but I am pretty happy to be on the list with all these super models, so thank you."

—Mesfin Fekadu



It wasn't just any collection for Carmen Marc Valvo: It was his 25th anniversary collection, and he marked it by creating menswear.

At his Spring 2015 runway show Friday, Valvo went festive with swirls of sea blues on tight pants, teeny swim trunks and sheer shirts adorned with prints of large red flowers.

"I wanted something to just really rejuvenate my spirit," he said backstage.

But he didn't, and never will, forget the ladies of the red carpet, or those with a full schedule of charity lunches.

A silver cocktail dress with a wide black belt included large beaded flower applique on mesh that was covered just before it's too late at the pantyline. He used sporty, wider mesh elsewhere as trim and gazaar in ivory and black.

Valvo's followers include Beyonce, Katie Couric, Catherine Zeta-Jones and numerous others.

The spring collection, he said, "pays homage to the American dream. It was my dream to have my own label and I can't believe it's been 25 years. With each collection you learn more. The more you do it, the more confident you become."

—Leanne Italie



Designers usually wait to show their faces after the models hit the runway. Not Pharrell.

The pop star led a dozen models Friday during New York Fashion Week for his RAW for the Oceans spring-summer collection.

He sported his signature hat and denim was a staple for the line, a collaboration with G-Star and Bionic Yarn, which produces fabrics made by fibers collected from recycled plastic bottles.

"It's very easy to forget we live on this planet," Pharrell told the crowd. "We don't want to just talk about it, but we actually wanted to put it in practice."

—Mesfin Fekadu and Gina Abdy


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