Last night, threeASFOUR presented their spring 2010 collection — a collaboration with Yoko Ono based on her dot drawings — in Milk Studios, and it was one of the most unique shows of the season. Models came out carrying stools, placed them along the sides of the runway, and sat down. A girl in a white bathing suit with a white cover-up made of bits of fabric loosely sewn together took a place in the middle of the runway, holding a pair of scissors in each hand. One by one the models got up from their stools, walked slowly around the room, and then snipped away at the thread holding the center model’s cover-up together.
At the end, the garment slid off her shoulders and the models all exited in an elaborate configuration. It was a lovely, slightly creepy, and interesting way to end Fashion Week. However, our chatty and unexpected seat neighbor, Albert Maysles, was unimpressed. He explained that the show was inspired by the short film Cut Piece, which he directed in the sixties. In that film, Yoko sits on the stage in Carnegie Hall and invites the audience to come up and cut her clothes off. “That was more interesting, because men were doing the cutting,” Maysles said, “And you didn’t know how far they were going to go. There was more tension.” Maysles is not a regular guest at fashion shows. Though he found the show lacking, we kindly countered that this was the most interesting thing we had seen all week, the clothes were stunning, and the last thing we’re necessarily keen to see on the exhausting last day of Fashion Week is tension on the runway (unless it involves some sort of awesome front-row spat between, say, Lindsay Lohan and Taylor Momsen). Besides, there were moments we feared the models would accidentally cut their colleague. Though this show might have been even more intriguing done with male models dressed in drag, that wouldn’t have done justice to the lovely clothes.