Fashion week craziness continues with time in the trenches, no "billow talk" &Beyoncé's model moment
You never know what you'll find during fashion week, as designers look to tenuous connections — from the bloody movie, Kill Bill, to the beheaded Marie Antoinette — for inspiration and surprises abound. Some notes from the fashion front:
Vera Wang's salute to Kill Bill
Vera Wang, who designed Chelsea Clinton's wedding gown this summer, doesn't seem like the violent type. But the designer said she looked to Quentin Tarantino's blood-soaked movie, Kill Bill, for inspiration in creating her spring 2011 collection. She must have looked past the gory parts to find the poetic fusion that occurs when East meets West because the show had a Zen-like quality.
There really wasn't much Tarantino in the stellar collection, but, thankfully, there was a lot of Wang. As tennis star Serena Williams and Olympic figure skating champ Evan Lysacek looked on Tuesday morning, the designer sent out a solid collection with her signature attention to detail, draping and layering. Whispy cocktail dresses with a single swatch of fabric trailing behind had a dreamy quality. Less successful: Wang's penchant to bunch fabric at the waist to create an "obi belt." It draws attention to a part of the body most women would just as soon not.
Beyoncé's fashion moment
The fashion faithful are still buzzing about an event that wasn't on any official calender. Tom Ford hosted an intimate cocktail party in his Madison Avenue store Sunday night to offer a sneak peek of his long-awaited women's clothing line, which debuts next winter. Our spies report that Beyoncé Knowles, looking early Diana Ross-like with a big head of crimped hair, was bootylicious in a body-hugging silver, gold and black mesh python patterned cocktail dress that accentuated her chief asset.
"It felt like a performance. It had the energy of a live show," Knowles told Women's Wear Daily after the show, which Ford narrated. "It’s great to see people have fun in fashion.”
Ever since Ford left Gucci in 2001, the fashion world has speculated about when he would return to designing women's clothing. Now it looks like it's going to happen.
The New York Times reports the clothes, available exclusively at Tom Ford stores for a season and then at Neiman Marcus and Bergdorf Goodman, will range from $3,500 for a suit to $20,000 for a gown.
Ford told the Times he and Knowles didn't know each other well, although he and her husband, Jay-Z, are friends.
"I sent her a note," Ford said. "She answered right away."
“No billow talk at Hervé Legér
Many designers are showing billowy, caftan-like dresses and skirts for spring. But not Hervé Legér by Max Azria.
Azria, who a few years ago revived the body-hugging bandage dress invented by Legér, is sticking to his guns with a spring collection that clings to the body. To freshen up the look, Azria uses a laser-cut leather print that creates intricate lace patterns on the fabric and added dangling garter fasteners for the "modern-day Marie Antoninette," according to program notes.
The only problem with these skin-tight dresses: You can't have an ounce of fat on your body to wear them.
I sat across from Gossip Girl star Jessica Szohr and it was refreshing to watch her eagerly pose for photos with excited fans. You'd be surprised how many young celebs cop a major attitude in such situations during fashion week. But Szohr didn't.
Fruit basket turnover at Narciso Rodriguez
My hoped-for encounter with Julianna Marguiles didn't take place at the Narciso Rodriguez show Tuesday night, because she wasn't there. I instead talked to a young freelance stylist who sat next to me wearing a basket of plastic fruit on his head. "I try to wear avant-garde to every show," he explained. "This is how I get all my work."
He seemed crushed when, a few minutes after our conversation, two women behind him asked him to remove his hat so they could see Rodriguez's gimmick-free show.
The designer, known for spare, architectural designs, sent out a deceptively simple-looking collection of unadorned suits and jackets, tanks bisected with a sheer panel and shiny slip dresses, many falling at mid-calf level. "I love the midi," one fashion observer told me during the week, "because it hides the fattest part of the leg."
But I'm not sure everyone agrees.
Rachel Roy in the trenches
The most interesting thing about Rachel Roy's spring line is a capsule collection of nine trench coats — all in a nude/beige color but in different styles. In additional to the traditional double-breasted trench that ties at the waist, Roy plans to offer sparkly trenches for nighttime party wear, one that could double as a shirt dress and another that is architectural in construction.
It makes sense to focus on the trench, because in tough times shoppers are looking for basics — but they want a little pizazz.
"The trench is personally so important to me. You get such longevity from it. So I thought, why am I not doing something so obvious to women?" Roy said, during a presentation of her spring collection at Lincoln Center.
Roy will be in Houston to promote a collection she developed exclusively for Macy's at the Galleria (at Hidalgo) store Oct. 30.