At the corner of Tenth Avenue and 36th Street, Exit Art is convenient to exactly nothing, and yet every Fashion Week, someone lures The Shophound over there for one thing or another. This time, Michael Bastian used it for both of his shows. A few days ago, we gushed about his main runway presentation, and yesterday, we were back again to see his increasingly popular collection for GANT shown in a static presentation (pictured above). For him, we are happy to go out of our way.
The designer made good use of the snow machine that added atmosphere to the set of his runway show, repurposing it in the center of the reconfigured space, creating a snowglobe effect and sprinkling his models with fake flakes. This collection, called "The Lucky Ones", was a nostalgic look back at his college years in Boston during the '80s, and his friends who were all lucky to find each other. It's a charming backstory that happens to mesh perfectly with Gant's preppy, Northeastern heritage. Rather than making his models stand at attention like sentries, Bastian lets them move and mug for the cameras if they feel like it, and there's always one who can't help dancing on his platform to the music. The designer himself greeted guests and gave interviews looking, after two Fashion Week events under his name, like he just finished his last final exam. It's always a fun show, and there's a tons of stuff to want for next Fall especially if, like us, you can never get enough tweed jackets, striped shirts and slim cargo pants. Plus he serves cocktails, so there's no losing there. Click below to see the whole collection.
It's true that not every designer should be putting on a runway show, particularly smaller, up and coming ones, but even some well established players prefer a more informal presentation. RACHEL ROY could easily fill a Lincoln Center tent at this point, but, apparently, prefers a low key event. Still, she had showgoers waiting on the sidewalk to get into her presentation at Alice Tully Hall, and letting people take a lingering look at the models does allow a better appreciation of her architectural, color blocked collection. It was among her most refined, and, as a plus, the venue allowed passersby to peer inside and get a little taste of Fashion Week for themselves.
For all the exodus from the Lincoln Center tents, showing there still has its advantages as designer FOTINI discovered when guests spilled out of the Naeem Khan show and passed by her modest presentation suddenly filling up the Box tent. Although we wouldn't want to be an eveningwear designer showing immediately after Khan's glittery tour de force (more on that later), Fotini had something Khan didn't, and that was a table piled with tasty macarons! There's no underestimating the power of a surprise afternoon snack, and we only ate, like, a dozen or so...
The last time we went to an ALICE + OLIVIA presentation, it was across the street from Bryant Park in designer Stacey Bendet's own shop, so it was a cramped but festive affair. In the years since, her label has grown, and so has her presentation style which took us to Chelsea late on Monday afternoon. She proved that she knows how to throw a party, and while guests had to wait outside on West 22nd street while an industrial elevator ferried them up to the show, once inside there were two full bars, tons of food and free Magnum ice cream bars for all. Clothes? Oh yeah, they were they were cute and lively, on models smartly lined up along the walls to make room for the party. There was even a special "red carpet" section where celebrity after celebrity was trotted out for photographers. Johnny Weir, ex-Real Housewife Kelly Bensimon and Kristin Chenoweth anong others all made their appearances while the models (below) patiently vamped yards away, hoping for a little attention to come their way. It's tough to compete with free ice cream.