We don't know who these two ladies are, but we love their hats! They are a whole Fashion Week unto themselves. It's Day 4 and things are starting in earnest. Will it be so easy to slide into shows? Or perhaps we should simply take advantage of the live monitors now that they seem to have fixed that aspect ratio problem that was squashing all the models (they still looked skinny). Is it a sign of the apocalypse that while we were watching the Naeem Khan show yesterday everyone was associating the dresses to a different Project Runway contestant. "That one looks like an Uli. That one's a Laura. Uuugh, there's a Kayne". The Havaianas flip flop table is stealing the thunder from the UPS vs. Peroni battle. The Bawls Guaranex soda people are sitting on the sidelines, totally unable to compete, scared that the winner is going to go after them. Today it looks like UPS has brought in reinforcements.
It's also worth noting that, even though you can't tell in this picture, Maria Menounos from Access Hollywood and the Today Show is gorgeous in person. Hey! They're giving away Greek yogurt! People are scrambling for something that costs like $1.50 at The Food Emporium. It's crazy, now get out of my way before they run out of strawberry!
Willow, Carolina Herrera, and Cynthia Steffe after the jump.
9:00 AM The Atelier • WILLOW
The Tents are empty. There is nobody in the Standing line, and the PR people at Willow are giving us attitude.
"Who are you with? Has anyone heard of this?" Who are we? Who are you, Willow?
"We're new. We've been covering all the shows."
"It's just that, well, we don't really know what this is"
"Well, if we had a computer here you could log on..."
"Do you want, like, backstage?"
"We would just like to see the show if there's any room."
"Um, well, OK"
So the tiny Atelier tent is barely half full. Lady, you should have been dragging us into the show. You needed warm bodies! They could barely get the front rows filled. They would have been lucky if the tech crew from Carolina Herrera decided to take a 10-minute break at their show. As for the collection, if you saw your friend in an outfit from this show you would say, "What a cute dress", and they could easily wear it right off the runway. There is a heavy Francisco Costa influence running through lots of collections right now, almost as much as Chloé, and it shows up here in the architectural draping and many pleated and tucked details. That is not a bad thing, since his collection last spring that sparked the trend barely got produced at all. Two heathered jersey dresses with delicate beaded netting details are standouts in a pretty, but not excessively frilly collection. And what a nice easy exit we had from the tent.
Music: Electro pop. Peaches "Downtown"
Swag: GHD Texture lotion and Reflection spray. Nars Duo eyeshadow in Sandra.
Celebrities: We are pretty sure that we are the most famous ones here.
10:00 AM The Tent • CAROLINA HERRERA
Funny, Carolina Herrera had no problem with The Shophound's visit to her show, and what a pleasure to go to a major show in the big tent. This was another socialite event, and they turn out for Herrera because she's been keeping them dressed perfectly for so long. She was also the first we saw who pulled in the top executive ranks of retailers like Neiman Marcus' Burt Tansky and Saks' Ron Frasch. Her show opened with the closest thing to a supermodel around these days, Jessica Stam, in a red and white chinoiserie patterned chemise. Rising star Hilary Rhoda followed, leading the best model lineup yet including Freja, Snejana (a disturbingly thin wraith with an exquisite face), Lily Donaldson (ditto), etc. Finally some charisma (Though they still can't hold a candle to the '90's amazons)! The clothes they wore were beautiful by anyone's standards. Rather than give in to the A-line/trapeze trend, Herrera focused on elegant chemise silhouettes, along with her signature luxe shirtdresses, blouses and skirts. This was her way of showing looser styles that work for her customers and fit in with her own established style without slavishly following trends, and they looked great. Like Tuleh, Herrera works on another level of sophistication from the many Contemporary and Bridge lines that have encroached on Fashion Week.
Music: Eclectic including the theme from "The Last Emperor" which, apparently you have to play when you have chinese prints in the collection.
Swag: Who knows, we barely got a seat.
Celebrities: All we could see besides W's favorite socialites was the aforementioned Maria Menounos. Really, she looked fantastic.
11:00 AM The Promenade • CYNTHIA STEFFE
Such a check-in fuss! we hadn't realized that Cynthia Steffe had become such a draw. Even though we know Cynthia is lovely, after Herrera, The Shophound wasn't all that excited about trading back down again. Steffe is cleverer than we gave her credid for, and managed to freshen what we thought would be a retread of the season's trends with a subtle nautical riviera twist. An intense cobalt jersey dress layered over white stovepipe pants evoked the Greek Isles, and there's nothing boring about that. She redeemed a whole category for us.
Music: Electro Pop/rock
Swag: Limited to the first two rows. We were in the fourth.
Celebrities: None that we saw. We aren't counting Tim Gunn anymore. He's everywhere!