The big question over the weekend we will the Fashion Week crowd be able to deal with a snowstorm? The answer was yes... up to a point. Show attendance was affected, but there were more than enough people willing to power through because it was their job, or maybe because it would take more than Mother Nature to keep them away from Fashion Week.
Things seemed fairly manageable on Friday morning as The Shophound trekked nearly to 11th Avenue for GENERAL IDEA's show at Eyebeam Studios. The sight of women who think that they will be able to negotiate a slippery sidewalk in platform stilettos is, we have to admit, kind of humorous. Even Anna Wintour was reported to have been seen in sensible weather-appropriate footwear over the weekend, but there are those who won't be separated from shoes that seem risky even in normal weather conditions. Anyway, though attendance was pretty good at GI, we (and a lot of other people) managed to snag an unclaimed front row seat though, in fairness, the huge U-shaped set-up only had two rows of seating, meaning that roughly 50% of the audience was in the front row. There is something fitting about seeing an outerwear-heavy collection during a snowstorm, and there were any number of designer Bumsik Choi's looks we would have been happy to walk away with.
Perhaps more people would have been to General Idea if it hadn't been scheduled back to back with NAUTICA. This hadn't been a problem when GI showed at the tents and Nautica did a presentation nearby, but to celebrate its 30th anniversary, the brand staged its first full runway show in the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week tents in many a season, and it was packed. Fashion Week eople love them some Nautica. Down the runway came nearly every top model that has ever stood for an hour in one of the brand's presentations over the years including popular stars like Chad White, Sean O'Pry and Garrett Neff. We actual kind of like it better when they are standing there instead of quickly striding by, but this way, Nautica was able to show roughly twice as many looks which were expertly styled. Will the Nautica customer actually wear these clothes the way they are shown on the runway? Does he even know (or care) that there is a Nautica runways show? Who cares? Here comes Chad White again, and he looks great.
By this time, the snow was getting serious, and when we got back to Shophound HQ, we were not too interested in braving the elements again for Academy of Art and Nicole Miller. By Saturday morning, things were much more settled, and it was more a matter of trudging through snow that was quickly turning to slush. We made it to Center 548 for PORSCHE DESIGN presentation. The brand's apparel lines are a sleek counterpart to the high tech accessories that has made the automaker offshoot's name. Now they seem particularly interested in getting into the status bag game The jury is still out as to whether or not their TwinBag with a convertible handle will become the icon that it aspires to be, but again it got a special showcase at the presentation. Next we were set to see Rebecca Taylor not far away on 14th Street, but when we saw the long line of people waiting outside in the cold and snow and slush, we lost our patience. Even we have our limits, so we headed back uptown for shelter
The main effect of the storm was to discourage showgoers from bringing the whole family as Saturdays at the tents are notoriously the day when editors tote along boyfriends, husbands and even children who seemed mostly absent when we showed up for HERVE LEGER which was respectably full, but not the usual madhouse one expects, and the "celebrities" one usually expects at Leger were barely worth mentioning. What is always entertaining at Leger is seeing non-celebrity attendees squeeze themselves into the label's signature bandage dresses at a totally inappropriate time of day. On the runway, Azria and his team managed to extend the life of this particular look with prints and glittering embellishments, and they mitigated the increasingly demodée hotsy-totsy factor by layering sheer, long sleeved tops underneath. We're pretty sure that the brand's customers will not adopt this cleavage hiding look, but it was a clever styling trick. Ultimately, we left feeling that as long as there are Kardashians on TV, Herve Leger will keep stitching together those strips of elastic.
Before Leger, we stopped in to see RAFAEL CENNAMO's presentation (pictured above), which was a collection of stunningly elaborate gowns clearly meant for the Red Carpets of the world. Actually, we imagine that even for an award show most of these looks would be seen as over the top -it's tough to pass muster with the increasingly critical Kelly Osbourne these days- but they were fun to see.
Saturday evening left us with yet another Fashion Week Dilemma: Downtown to Milk Studios and the Chelsea Piers for Alexandre Herchcovitch and Robert Geller or Lincoln Center for MONIQUE LHUILLIER? The slush factor kept us uptown (so sorry Robert but hoping for a Men's Fashion Week in New York sooner rather than later) not that we don't enjoy seeing Lhuillier's collections under any circumstances. It is never a chore, and she managed to snag one of the first stars of significance we have seen so far, Nashville's Connie Britton. Lhuillier's hand with eveningwear is as sure as ever, particularly with a series of rich green gowns that matched her set's malachite backdrop, and would look smashing on a certain redheaded TV star.