Veteran fashion critic Lynn Yaeger is blogging from the tents. Here’s the latest.
The Dow is down 272 points as the first model sashays down the twisted runway at Rodarte. We’re sitting on tinfoil-covered chairs, a winsome touch in keeping with the aura of the Rodarte girls, a pair of whimsical sisters with an uncanny ability to fill their show with every A-lister from three continents despite having what appears to a business as minuscule as their frocks. But who cares? At least two people in the audience have managed to procure the Rodarte glitter-mohair garments from last season and are wearing them proudly. The models, meanwhile, are sporting boots so high they obviate the need for trousers; crumpled, tiny gray skirts mottled with streaks; thick, loopy, knitted skirts; and dresses that, though tiny, manage to include a dozen different fabrics, including a material that resembles green Christmas-foil wrapping paper. Unaccountably, everything looks wonderful — a punk Betty Rubble for the new millennium, which nine years in already feels pretty old.
Despite the presence of a ton of expensive-looking fur at Derek Lam, the models are hardly cavewomen, cartoon or otherwise. In fact, even when they are carrying huge furry bags with their drapey dresses, they remain quietly dignified. There are two ways to handle the fur issue right now, assuming you want it in your wardrobe at all: (1) Only wear it if it’s inherited or, at the very least, from the flea market; or (2) just go out and buy something serious that looks like it costs a fortune and flaunt it with a deadly lack of irony.
Okay, more fur! Unlike last season, PETA has not set up a frisky, obnoxious picket line at the Dennis Basso show, and frankly I’m a little disappointed. (In September they were chanting the appetizing “Gassing! Trapping! Anal electrocution!”) Today there is nary a lick of red paint in sight. I am happy to report that, at least according to Basso, the anathema of the short coat (here available in a combination of sable and anaconda) over the long evening dress — once the sign that this was the only coat you had — has been permanently vanquished.
Oddly enough, PETA does turn up at the Armani store opening party, though I get there too late to see them. (It’s odd because Armani doesn’t use much fur.) The shop is humongous and has white ramps like the Guggenheim; the stock includes plenty of makeup, sunglasses, and even chocolate for people who are dying to buy something and lack the means for a greige pullover.
The last stop of the day is Narciso Rodriguez. It’s always fun to be in the tents at night, with the music soaring and the flashbulbs popping — this time for Kanye again, who, I am beginning to suspect, is at this point far more enthusiastic about fashion shows than I am. The proceedings begin inauspiciously with a bunch of beige numbers, but things brighten up with the emergence of helmet-cloches that come so far down on your head they have eye-slits, followed by dresses with patent-leather bodices and a gaggle of clothes with subtle bondage undertones in shades like hard-candy pink, Easter-egg lavender, and the new hue of the moment — given center stage on January 20 — which might be dubbed “the audacity of chartreuse.”
Read Lynn’s previous dispatches.