NEW YORK — Zac Posen has has his ups and downs in the fashion world, but this year has been a good one.
The 32-year-old designer, who has already been on the fashion scene for more than a decade, has taken the Michael Kors judge position on Project Runway, where his one liners have attracted a strong Internet following. ("She's like a slutty cat toy," Posen meowed about one contestant's design in this season's opener.)
Models with flowers in their hair strolled the runway in flowing silk taffeta and chiffon gowns in spring colors of mint, yellow, pale blue and mauve.
He and designer Thom Brown were recently tapped to create "his" and "hers" versions of the 2014 Infiniti Q50 luxury sedan to be sold on Gilt.com for $75,000 each. Posen picked an ombré shade for the car, which will fade from silver in front to charcoal in back, and from matte to shine, reports the Wall Street Journal. The car's rear window defroster will spell out "Zac."
Newly slimmed down (he told me last November when he was at Fashion Houston that he quit drinking and swims regularly), Posen looks ready to take on the world again.
In recent years, the designer has also scaled down his shows from the massive space at Lincoln Center to more intimate surroundings. For his spring 2014 collection, he chose an arts center near the Hudson River for a collection that had a touch of a midsummer night's dream.
Models with flowers in their hair strolled the runway in flowing silk taffeta and chiffon gowns in spring colors of mint, yellow, pale blue and mauve, along with a wisteria print. Posen, who specializes in special occasion dressing (no sportswear here) also featured some dresses and gowns with draping reminiscent of the techniques of Madame Grés and the cut and shapes pioneered by Charles James, the legendary couturier who will be subject of the Metropolitan Museum of Art's Costume Institute exhibit next year.
In the audience were Posen pals Kelly Osbourne, Mad Men's Christina Ricci, Stacy Keibler and Molly Sims. Up from Houston was Diane Lokey Farb, who said she also plans to attend the Oscar de la Renta and Carolina Herrera shows before heading home.
Diane von Furstenberg springs a surprise
The best part of Diane von Furstenberg's breezy show came during the finale when supermodel and legend Naomi Campbell strutted down the runway in a black, gold and white knit macrame shift dress to the surprise and delight of the audience. At 43, Campbell still knows how to work a runway better than any other model, clearly outclassing model-of-the-moment Karlie Kloss, who showcased two of von Furstenberg's looks.
Von Furstenberg titled her show "Oasis," and her spring collection displayed easy-to-wear looks for the upscale traveler or anyone who aspires to have such a lifestyle. Among the eyecatchers: Zebra-print tunics and jumpsuits, cork-printed crop tops and flared skirts, languid gowns in bold colors with rope detail, and a denim-and-black lace long-sleeve wrap dress that offered yet another new twist on the fabled DVF invention.
At the end of the show, von Furstenberg appeared in a mult-colored lion-print dress just like one worn in the collection and proved you don't have to be a 20-year-old model to look good in her clothes as she boogied down the runway to disco music.
In the audience model Coco Rocha (who afterwards hightailed it over to Posen's show, where she led was the first model to appear on the runway), Jessica Alba, Sheryl Crow and the Hilton sisters (Paris and Nicki), along with DVF's hubby, Barry Diller, and pals Barbara Walters, Diane Sawyer, Andy Cohen and Tina Brown.