Things have quieted down here at
Mercedes Benz Home Depot Olympus Fashion Week. We're past the halfway mark, and people are starting to get weary. While six or seven fashion shows a day might sound like a dream come true to some readers, in reality, it can get a bit grueling after a while. The UPS and Peroni boys seem to have abandoned the scene without giving us that rumble we were anticipating. The morning Total Greek yogurt distribution has continued, we had a brief round of gentlemen passing out tiny brown gift boxes from Ambrielle, each containing a single chocolate truffle. Who needs brownies?
What you are looking at above is the Standing line. This is where you wait if you don't have a set seating assignment or if you have just dropped by hoping to slip in if there is extra space after everyone with an invitation has been admitted. Here at the tents, the pecking order of the industry is thrown into high relief, and while we wouldn't mind if you want to think that The Shophound just sails into every show waving to our Fashion Pals with kisses from the PR girls, it doesn't always happen that way. While there are shows that graciously invite us and shower us with gift bags, sometimes it takes a little bit of skill and cunning to get to all the shows we want to cover. We must emphatically point out, however, that we are not crashers! We never go to a show that we haven't been legitimately welcomed into, one way or another.
Reviews of Tibi, Chaiken and Malo after the jump. Remember to click the photos for a larger picture view in another window.
Our friend Mr. Colourful was back again today. He seems to be a regular
fixture. While it appears that his clothes are made of printed fabrics,
upon closer inspection it seems that they start out as white garments
that are elaborately handpainted.
We don't know how his boots got that way. It appears that he has momentarily traded jackets with an interviewer. He doesn't always look so happy to be photographed, but if that's the case, perhaps he shouldn't walk into a viper pit of press and photograpers every day and hang around through the afternoon.
There are definitely a few odd ducks around like the elderly lady who seems to be everywhere, often sporting a quaint hat. We don't know what she does exactly, and neither does anyone else. We snapped this shot at the Tamara Pogosian show, about which the less said the better.
OK we'll say this.
There were 45 looks.
Felt like 145.
And now on to some much better shows. Today we're going to group the reviews by category. We've got lots of material, and we can't give you every review right away if we actually plan to do any sleeping this week, so we'll try and give you the best ones first.
9:00 AM Tibi
Once upon a time there were three little girls who went to the Police Academy. It only took a quick glance through Tibi's Run of Show to figure out what inspired designer Amy Smilovic this season. Jill twill jumpsuit, smocked Kelly blouse, Sabrina sunshine coat, Bosley pyramid lace skirt, Charlie trapeze knit dress, Townsend denim skirt. Ring any bells? How about three chimes and a toss of feathered ash-blonde hair? Yes, Amy has been studying her 'Charlie's Angels' DVDs. which was evident when the first look appeared, a graphic print blouse paired with wide, high waisted trousers that we can totally see Farrah chasing a crook in. While the '70's may be a bit overplundered stylewise, Smilovic filtered them through the shapes of the season with bold graphic patterns in crisp colors and wound up with a spirited collection. We don't think the jumpsuits will be seen anywhere off the runway, but the knit trapeze dress should keep many a girl looking smart in the Hamptons next summer. A Tibi store has just opened in SoHo, and you can look forward to a report as soon as we have recovered from Fashion Week, which may be sometime next month.
Music: Scissor Sisters "I Don't Feel Like Dancing" (Love this song! Can't hear it too many times), E.L.O. "Don't Bring Me Down"
Swag: A card to redeem at the new Tibi shop (120 Wooster Street) for a brilliant little surprise, which means whatever it is, we don't have to schlep it around all day. Thank You Tibi!
Celebrities: We didn't notice any this early in the morning.
12:00 PM Chaiken
We love a front row seat, but we can't be bought off that easily. Luckily, at Chaiken, they didn't have give us a hard sell. Designer Jeff Mahshie can be relied upon the distill the trends of the season into easy wearability, and this season it was his sure take on controlled fullness. Trapeze shapes were rendered in soft georgette and charmeuse with gathered collars and he interpreted tunic looks in a sporty way over narrow pants. Full palazzo pants were smartly balanced with a sheer back knit tank. Mahshie kept things clean and crisp. No fussy eyelet and lace openwork over here. Neutrals were spiked with intense fuchsia, orange, chartreuse and electric blue, and two tone dip-dyed tops and dresses lookes fresh. Chaiken girls should be very happy next season.
Music: Poppy Rock
Swag: Limited to gracious hospitality and an escape from the Standing pen, which at this point is a welcome gift.
Celebrities: Elizabeth Berkley who is tall and gorgeous, Judy Greer ("Adaptation," "13 Going On 30") who smiled just for us.
2:00 PM Malo
Here was another show that was perhaps a little bit overambitious in its choice of venue. We wouldn't have considered Malo to be the sort of brand interested in flashy runway shows at all, and neither did anyone else, so it was a bit of a struggle for them to fill the Promenade tent. It's a pity, because the Italian brand famous for its rich cashmere knits invested in an elaborate space age stage set and one of the most welcome sights all week, a raised runway! In fact, every detail of this show was beautifully executed from the elegant Run of Show and Credits booklet to the stellar model lineup which included Freja, Raquel, Hana, Lily, Romina, Sasha Pivivarova Elise Crombez and star of the moment, Gemma Ward. Another surprise, Anna Wintour. Now, its not that it's surprising to see La Wintour at a fashion show, but she tends to limit her appearances to major designers or rising stars, and The Shophound wouldn't expect to see her at a one for a well regarded knitwear company.
A glance at the credit sheet gave us a hint that this was going to be a little more than we expected, and had it been better publicized, it might have been a hotter ticket, because the show was styled by Uber-stylist Camilla Nickerson, which explains Wintour's presence. Roberto Rimondi and Tommaso Aquilano have been brought into reposition the brand, and the young team staged this show to present Malo as a Luxe Italian Ready-to-Wear collection. What came down the runway was a collection in graphic black and white printed satin encrusted with stone embroideries. Perhaps Malo chose to up the ante out of town before hitting their higher profile home turf with a radically new point of view. We sat next to Lee Sable Freund, the owner of Zoom, a stylish Southampton boutique, who was has carried Malo for 20 years and was a bit surprised at what she saw coming down the runway. Knits were represented by sheer blouses over shorts and everything was anchored by the famous clunky shoe, this time a sandal. Standouts included multicolor Marimekko-inspired printed satin coats and dresses which should go a long way towards re-inventing Malo.
Music: Punk Motown covers
Swag: Robin's Egg Blue notepad
Celebrities: Anna Wintour.