I put on my waders, bought through Filson's catalogue,
and gingerly stepped to the edges of New York fashion week.( I know this is late considering London blew in and now we're sipping Americanos and wolfing pasta Putana in the miasma that is Milan, but I had to get this down. We all know and remember the kiddie pool. Whether it was your back yard blow up pool, the shallow end of the public/country club pools or the charming tidal pools at the beach's edge, no matter the temperature of the water, the kiddie pool, that safety zone your mother would allow you to wade and splash in, was always 30 degrees warmer. I often wondered as a kid why it was so warm, even hot. Then I figured it out.
The New york shows were for the most part one large kiddie pool. With roughly 300 shows over the course of a week, everyone and his style challenged sister was having a show. Though I didn't attend them all, I did spend a great deal of time on line and on the street watching the proceedings. From my vantage point there seemed to be an inordinate amount of kids splashing around in a standing puddle that rose to boiling by week's end. Not all of them were technically kids with some well past the age of consent. Those infantalized grown ups were probably the most distressing of all. Doubtless, some of you will disagree with my list, but hey, that's ok. Others of you may find my list wanting. That's the fun of a discussion...
was one of the first I saw splashing around. He certainly was too busy doing his business to pay any close attention to the real business; namely his. Leather and Lace and the female as Domina was so spectacularly off base. I knew something was amiss when he opened the show with an unrecognizable Carolyn Murphy, trussed up in an ill fitting leather dress, Maria Braun hair and cheap shoes. Going to Wu for sex (appeal) is like shopping for fish at a hardware store.All the talk of his succeeding Oscar de la Renta is just a lot of mindless blather. Sad dressed as silly.
was another interesting pair to watch sitting up to their waists in roiling water. Shovels, matches, dull scissors and gargantuan egos couldn't get their collection to dry land. Out takes from Game of Thrones and some pilfered looks from sophomore and junior class school projects looked like the inspiration for this uneven presentation. Hell's Angels biker jackets over tortured dresses and decidedly unsexy cocktail dresses and gowns, shows that these sisters' fantasies of sexy and eroticism is limited to things they see on a saturday night at a Sacramento roadside joint or whatever forbidden treasures they unearth in sealed boxes in their parent's basement.When are people going to wake up and smell the...the tide receding?
is another water wing wearing junior lifeguard with little business being in the shallowest edges of the pool. Like Jason Wu, his clothes have always played the line between dull and pointless. His contribution to Hilfiger's women's collection is still a mystery. His own collection has been a case study of anonymity. What is a Peter Som collection? What is his identity? How can you tell a Som when it stares you in the face? Now with Spring he's chosen to take the Subway down to the land of the Hip. He proposes marriage between his Upper East Side Uptighty and his louche Lower Chelsea Gallery groveler. The end result by way of innocuous florals and awkward proportions is a confused girl, neither cool nor informed, stuck in some massive traffic jam.
is another repeat offender in the pool. He's simply too old to play with such small children. Its unhealthy and unseemly. I credit the rise in temperature to him, directly. The collection (I use that term loosely) is still a beard for his bags.
The bags work. The clothes just don't . Perhaps they are the filler for his shop in shops whose purpose is to fill racks. I think they are for the benefit of his muse/wife, Delphine. I can't forget the New Yorker article where he stated he couldn't live a moment without being close to her; jealous of any man who'd come before him. Blah blah blah. He protests too loudly to a room full of the deaf, the dumb and the blighted. If she means that much then design something she might wear, willingly.
were heralded this season as the new forces to be reckoned with. After a glowing profile in the NYTimes, discussing everything from playdates in their couture Teepee with (couture grade) shearling rugs to the "slushies" their new money Daddy whips up just to watch them carouse and coo, to their new boutique on Madison (impressive), we've been given a front row seat to witness their coronation. Well, it didn't happen. The show was an aggressively unattractive march filled with rat haired waifs dressed in last year's Balenciaga along with appropriations of Gerhard Richter's work printed on dresses riddled with grommets and pink nail heads. The splashing was so raucous I had to protect my eyes. I've seen collections by the duet in the past year that were far more mature and interesting. It's that same trap of where does the hunger go when suddenly you have "slushies" and "pigs in a blanket" any time of the day or night? The hunger and thirst were missing and in its place were some diapers in need of changing.
Believe me, there were many more people crowding that pool than I've taken time here to mention. But the list would go on and on and even if you didn't get bored I would be. The chatter that is the new "discourse" is so mind numbing that I marvel at the ease with which these and other designers dispense it. Listening to Joseph Altuzarra
talk about the sensuality, empowerment and eroticism of his clothes left me puzzled. Sensual? Sure, in certain cases. Empowering? Well, anything you put on your back making it possible to walk out the door is in itself empowering. But, Erotic? Um....no.
So wade into that pool with caution. Don't for god's sake go barefoot and whatever you do, fight the urge to sit down in it. You have no idea the things that are swimming and multiplying in the blinding glare of some clueless camera man. In the event some splashes in your mouth or eyes call your doctor.
Wowser! You hit on a number of my pet hates (I'm not keen on Marc Jacobs, either, but he's a genius compared to this weird crowd.)
Thanks, Fluff, for having the guts to be honest in a business that is often anything but...
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