NEW YORK — Zac Posen sure knows how to put on a show.
Since he burst on the scene 15 years ago as a young fashion prodigy, Posen has always put a special emphasis on presentation and pizzazz, the better to showcase his colorful, often retro-tinged designs.
Now, at the relatively advanced age of 34, Posen continues to dazzle, drawing a celebrity front row for the showing of his fall collection that included Rihanna, who slipped in with a large entourage just as the show began, Mary J. Blige, Mad Men's Christina Hendricks and Orange Is The New Black's Uzo Aduba, in the palatial surroundings of Grand Central Station's Vanderbilt Hall. They gasped in delight and spontaneously burst into applause as supermodel Naomi Campbell appeared in a ruby metallic princess gown with a voluminous skirt, looking like the good witch in Wicked, to close the show.
Posen, who sometimes veers toward the fussy, has stripped out some of his excess and the results are impressive.
The Campbell gown notwithstanding, this collection, which will be available at &Elizabeth Anthony in the fall, is leaner and less bejeweled than some previous efforts. The designer, who sometimes veers toward the fussy, has stripped out some of his excess and the results are impressive.
Jersey gowns in jewel tones are cut close to the body and other more sparkly numbers are sometimes gathered at the waist for special effect. Dramatic model Anna Cleveland, in a dark emerald gown with cutout points at the waist, stopped mid-runway and twirled to show the fluidity of Posen's construction.
There are plenty of elegant day looks for work in the office or lunching with the ladies, too. Supermodel Alek Wek opened the show in a flirty two-tone burgundy dress that is great for either occasion. Chic two-piece suits, tailored slacks in shades of burgundy, plum and green, a tiger print cashmere cardigan and coats of varying length provide lots of opportunities for day dressing.
Before the show, Posen met with a select group of American Express Platinum cardholders who took advantage of a special opportunity to attend the show and visit the designer's studio for a special shopping excursion the next day.
Among the group were Houston-area hand surgeon Dr. Emmie Ko and her teenage daughter Allison. "My daughter is thinking about a career in fashion and we both love Zac Posen," Emmie Ko explained. "(He does) clean lines, modern, he's on Project Runway, great personality, entertaining."
"I like his ideas, how he views fashion, what he's trying to create is really interesting," Allison Ko said.
During the show, Emmie Ko, an avid photographer, took some photos, which she provided to CultureMap for this story.
Katherine Levy, who recently moved to New York from Dallas, was also thrilled to see the show. "I love the colors, the movement, the textures, the jersey he is doing really sounds interesting," she said.