Veteran fashion critic Lynn Yaeger will be blogging for us during this week of weeks. Here’s her latest dispatch.
“They look like a combination of Mother Courage and Barbarella,” says the friend I smuggle into the Jeremy Laing show, looking around. And that’s just the audience — a typical Fashion Week gaggle of high leather boots, take-no-prisoner skinny black ensembles, and mean, studded handbags. Laing’s models don’t wear boots — instead their legs are swaddled in seamed, deliberately saggy black stockings, like little girls playing dress-up.
An hour or so later, back in the tents, Diane Von Furstenberg offers an even sicker idea: giant hats festooned with steroidal pom-poms. I’m not very happy at DVF. Even though I used to swear I would never be one of those jerks who makes a fuss about her seat, and that any seat would be just dandy for me, I am in row six at DVF and can only observe the top two-thirds of the models’ outfits, which appear to favor panne-velvet animal prints and big plaids. (Is this a trend? Isaac Mizrahi recently described his fall Liz Claiborne creations as “flapper meets lumberjack.”) But don’t trust me; I can’t really see anything from where I’m sitting. In fact, when Di comes out at the end of the show and stops halfway down the runway to kiss a ringletted person sitting next to Barry Diller, I think maybe it’s her daughter — but it turns out to be Diana Ross.
At Y-3, set in the wilds of Pier 40, way down at Houston and West Street, we trudge around a soccer field cold as Siberia (“I hear some VIP types got here on golf carts,” someone tells me), then are ushered into a humongous concrete space (what is this in real life? A parking lot? A skating rink?) and squeezed onto metal bleachers, an ignominious seating arrangement pioneered by Marc Jacobs. The show is 45 minutes late, due to the volume of journalists vying to interview Kanye West. The Y-3 clothes — narrow black trousers, little black jackets, combat boots on both men and women — look oddly in sync with these strange times, when it just doesn’t seem right to parade around in something flashy and expensive-looking.
I don’t go to Jonathan Saunders, because, well, I’m not invited! Which is maybe a good thing, since Bill Cunningham tells me, when I see him at Tuleh, that they closed the doors early and that he and a lot of other people couldn’t even get in. “It’s totally self-destructive! Between that and the security forces, they’re killing the industry,” he rails. “It’s pathetic!”
The Tuleh show is held at a glamorous interior-design showroom: cushy sofas, marble-topped tables, and a lot of wealthy-looking invitees wearing mink coats and sequined pants milling around. It’s like a cocktail party with no drinks. The models wear Katherine Hepburn–ish pants, little chiffon dresses, and sable-topped coats, and it’s all really very lovely and pretty, as if delightful dinner parties will go on forever and nothing bad will ever happen.
Watch a slideshow of the Jeremy Laing collection.
Watch a slideshow of the Diane Von Furstenberg collection.
Watch a slideshow of the Y-3 collection.
Watch a slideshow of the Tuleh collection.