The Shophound has promised ourself to take it easy this Fashion Week. We won't be going to as many shows, but, having said that, we don't want to sit it out entirely either. There are a few designers whose presentations we have become accustomed to seeing in person, and Duckie Brown has been one of them since we started covering runway shows at all. Could there be a better moment for Daniel Silver and Steven Cox to present their latest collection than the day a glowing profile of the pair hit the New York Times? After all, the indie label does not get this kind of attention every day. Though the occasion of the writeup was the upcoming debut of the brand's collaboration line for Perry Ellis, which will walk next week, the signature collection raised its game as well. Perhaps it was in anticipation of a new level of consideration for the label, or maybe it was just part of Duckie Brown's continuing evolution. It was one of the most enjoyable Duckie shows we have seen, and we have seen a bunch of them in the past few years. Like the designer whose label they are about to hijack, Cox and Silver pretty much go their own way and design what pleases them. Next Spring's combinations of bleached denim, Winter-for-Summer tartans and creamy biker jackets had all of their signature quirk but with an extra helping of refinement. Will we all be wearing ten-inch cuffs on our trousers next Spring? Time will tell, but the show gave us lots of fashion ideas to think about, and also Snape! Yes, British actor Alan Rickman was in attendance, and though he was obviously not in costume as the sinister wizard he plays in the Harry Potter films (How awesome would that have been?), his unexpected presence was a pleasingly offbeat counterpoint to the parade of paid-in-advance starlets who have descended upon Fashion Week.
Of course, that wasn't the only show we saw yesterday. We aren't pulling back that much. We did make our obligatory trip to the tents for BCBG Max Azria Runway, because it wouldn't be a day at fashion week without seeing those starlets in the front row. This time, Max Azria's especially random little crew included models Selita Ebanks and Jessica White, actress Dania Ramirez, singer Estelle, "TV Personality" Whitney Port and Daisy Fuentes. Yes, Daisy Fuentes is still hanging around, making it happen, folks. It was a whelming group except for Olympic Gold medalist Sanya Richards Ross who pretty much rendered all other attending celebrities irrelevant.
Oh yeah, the clothes.
One of the reasons we like going to BCBG is seeing the top flight production and models in the big tent. The collection is usually very focused and exists wholly separately from most of the BCBG product you see in stores. This time it was an elaborate play on feminine lace inset silks mashed up with cagelike leather overlays. It reminded us a lot of PHI. A lot.
Later, since we were already downtown we made our first stop at MADE at Milk for another of our favorites, Costello Tagliapietra. There seems to be no end to the ways this couple can find to drape and twist fabric to make a dress, and next Spring should not disappoint. After we collected out bottle of Vitamin Water and put it in the AirDye shoulder tote that has become Costello Tagliapietra's standard gift bag, we made our way just across the West Side Highway to Pier 57 for Siki Im. The last time we saw went to see this designer, he staged an ethereal show in a Chelsea parking garage. The pier was similarly industrial, but a step up, and there was a nice breeze wafting through the blackout curtains. It was also so dark before the show that most showgoers had to use their cell phones to read the tiny, light print of the program. On the plus side, they could bide their time munching on the complimentary Designer Whey protein bars on each seat. The collection was titled "Ghost Ranch" ands was inspired by Georgia O'Keefe and her New Mexico home. If you know a bit about the artist and her work then you might find her an odd inspiration for a Men's collection, but then Siki Im has never exactly been a traditionalist. Many models wore long, wide floor length skirts over their trousers, which they hiked up to their waits in the front as they walked, creating a floaty, train-like effect, and yet still managed to look masculine. Siki Im made a good case for the avant-garde with an intriguing collection. You won't see the looks coming and going, but that doesn't mean his ideas won't translate. He had the footwear company Teva make special sandals for the show in white, marking the first time we have ever thought Teva sandals looked cool.
Click the slideshow below for some of yesterday's highlights