Day 5 was hands down the most stressful of New York Fashion Week. I mean, so stressful I cried. Why? I hear you ask. Did I get turned away from a major show? Spurned by a bitchy blogger or evil editor? Fall over in my ridiculously vertiginous heels? I’m embarrassed to say, the cause of my Monday morning mayhem was none of the above. This season I stayed with a friend on the lower East side and she very kindly made me my own key. Even more kindly, she made me another key when I lost the first one. You would have thought I’d be a bit more careful after that but no, I lost key number two… Whilst on a Starbucks trip in my pyjamas less than two hours before the Phillip Lim show. As you can probably imagine, I lost it. Somehow I managed to get my sh*t together enough to flag a cab uptown and beg a key from my friends poor flatmate who was, rather unfortunately, in the middle of a meeting. I no doubt looked mildly mad careering around the Big Apple in my floral Gap pj’s but no way in HELL was I missing out on the chance to see my beloved Phillip Lim’s latest collection on the runway!
Thanks to grim determination and several very patient taxi drivers, I made to 3.1 Phillip Lim in time to spend the rudimentary half hour show delay checking out the FROW. And what a front row it was! The international fashion elite had turned out in force, think Giovanna Battaglia, Hamish Bowles, Suzy Menkes, Bryan Boy and Dree Hemingway to name but a few. I think it’s safe to say that 3.1 Phillip Lim is one of the hottest labels around right now and he certainly lived up to his Wunderkind status that afternoon.
Drawing inspiration from the notion of “Cut-Up”, a literary technique that can be traced back to the Dadaists of the roaring 20’s, Lim delivered a masterclass in garnet manipulation which exuded his signature quirky cool. Vivid, eye-wateringly pretty florals, grungy checks, abstract prints were thrown together in textural mash-up that sounds like an eyesore on paper but in Lim’s expert hands oozed fashion girl inousouince. Rich navy leopard jacquard, distressed denim and low slung, loose fit pyjama pants were given a hit of colour by way of eye watering lime and hot pink hues while sheer panelling and opaque overlays re-iterated SS13’s weakness for a spot of cheeky peek-a-boo. The overall aesthetic was city chic with a distinctive tomboy twist. T-shirts and tailoring, intricately embroidered bomber jackets, patchworked fabrics and split-hem chiffon dresses drummed home the message that next season, it’s all about the mix.
As anyone who’s EVER seen one of my weekly wish lists will be well aware, I have a bit of a ‘thing’ about Phillip Lim. I mean, I must have featured the Pashli Satchel at least 10 times! So after actually attending one of his shows (just) I felt a little giddy, but of course, there was no time to waste as I had two more to go. Next on my agenda was the Alice + Olivia presentation, after a much needed Starbucks stop of course. Held in a vast, dowtown space which could be accessed only via an old school freight lift (high heel carnage), the sight that met me resembled a rather fabulous party with cocktails and cake pops on tap. The collection itself couldn’t have been much more different to the one I’d just seen but every bit as covetable in its’ own way. Every season Alice + Olivia delivers the kind of pure, unadulterated girly girl gorgeousness that, like marmite, you either love or hate. Obviously I fall definitely in the ‘love’ category and Creative Director, Stacey Bendet’s latest offerings were right up my street. Inspired by the American optimism of the late 1950’s the collection was a all about femininity, flirtation and fun. For daytime we were treated to sweet pleated shifts, broderie anglaise skirt suits and full skirted print numbers in eye-popping brights and good-enough-to-eat pastels. Alice + Olivia is a brand legendary for providing perfect dresses and catered for after dark with a seemingly endless array of embellished, thigh skimming cocktail numbers and glimmering, glamour puss gowns in shimmering metallic hues. Would-be Park Avenue Princesses (ie moi) THIS is the collection for you!
Last but not least on my day 5 schedule was the Elie Tahari presentation, held at their rather majestic mid-town showroom. Like Stacey Bendet, Tahari had looked to the 1950’s for inspiration – namely a cocktail party at a Richard Neutra home in Palm Spring – but the results were, of course, distinctly more grown up. The collection was the very epitome of luxurious summer glamour. A polished yet playful wardrobe for the moneyed-but-tasteful jet set. Rich silks, soft chiffons, butter soft leathers and broderie anglaise was intersperses with prints of the floral, graphic and animal varieties in a rainbow of Kalaidescopic hues. Sleek silhouettes, immaculate tailoring combined with oodles of embellishment exuded an elegantly expensive aesthetic, but no surprises there, Elie Tahari collections always do.
After two early night I was ready to party and as during fashion week there’s always an abundance of fabulous soirees to go to. First up was cocktail hour at the Coach archives where we my fellow guests and I were treated to an inside look at the company’s rich heritage… And of course, lots of free booze. After that I was on first to the W Magazine bash at an exquisite townhouse then on to the Gramercy Park Hotel for designer, Wes Gordon’s after show ‘do. I won’t go in to details because then this post might never end but rest assured, party gossip will be coming your way soon.
Love Ella. X