A Look at NY Fashion Week: Weird and Wonderful
Prop clouds are suspended from above for the Marc Jacobs Fall 2014 collection at Fashion Week in New York on Feb. 13, 2014. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)
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NEW YORK—There was a wall that oozed chocolate, a streaker on the runway, a gallery turned into a freaky fashion cathedral, an entire armory outfitted with fake puffy clouds, and so much snow—real snow—that even dedicated fashionistas traded in stilettos for boots. (Well, some fashionistas.)
There were celebrities galore, from newly minted fashion star Lupita Nyong’o to David Beckham to Katie Holmes to Chelsea Clinton. And of course there were the clothes: from jewel-encrusted gowns destined for the Oscar red carpet to huge, comfy sweaters—which, given the weather, were frankly much more inviting. There was much to admire fashion-wise, and some head-scratchers, too.
But here are some of the non-sartorial moments—weird, wonderful, or otherwise notable—that caught our eye during Fashion Week:
The Show Goes to Brooklyn
It was the year of the great trek. Even more top designers than in the past left the tents at Lincoln Center, like Diane von Furstenberg and Michael Kors, both traveling downtown to Tribeca. But what really got attention was Alexander Wang’s decision to have his show in, gasp, Brooklyn. At the Navy Yard, yet. Given the buzz surrounding Wang—who’s only 30 but already a big name in fashion—it was a no-brainer that people would come. The question was only how annoyed they’d be, especially on a frigid Saturday night. Luckily, Wang put on a show, with leather that changed color on the spot when heated, a rotating stage, and a set that resembled a post-apocalyptic world—which was where, frankly, many Manhattan-centric guests felt they were.
Weather, Weather, and More Weather
There was snow, sleet, freezing rain, and slush, melting into huge brown puddles. Nature was least kind to Ralph Lauren, whose show took place during the worst of Thursday’s snowstorm, but hey—everybody came, even one woman in heels who hitched a ride on her boyfriend’s back. This was Ralph Lauren, after all.
Can We Get Some of That?
The design house Opening Ceremony had the yummiest show of the week. Chocolate oozed down a massive white wall. Some guests dipped their fingers in it or even lapped it up. “My mind is blown,” said Joe Jonas—yes, of the Jonas brothers. “It does smell like something is baking,” said singer Kelly Rowland, a judge on “The X Factor.”
Don’t Step on the Mulch!
That was the unusual warning from a guard to guests at the Tommy Hilfiger show inside the cavernous Park Avenue Armory, with a set that evoked a winter’s day in a place far more idyllic than slushy Manhattan. It included a log cabin, fir trees, and fake snow mixed with, yes, mulch.
At Least He Was Fit
Like all designers, Prabal Gurung prepped for months to put on a show that lasted less than 15 minutes. The show got a lot of attention, but not just for the clothes. A streaker wearing an animal-print G-string, a party crown, bright red tube socks, and loafers ran onstage and knelt before a model, who never broke her model stare. At an after-party, Gurung responded with humor, handing out similar crowns to his friends.
Celebs and More Celebs
Celebrity sightings are a major part of Fashion Week. Here are some we saw:
Carrie Underwood at Peter Som and Rebecca Minkoff. Oscar supporting-actor nominee Jared Leto at Jeremy Scott. Supporting actress nominee Lupita Nyong’o at Calvin Klein (alongside Naomi Watts). Michael Douglas, Blake Lively, and Freida Pinto at Michael Kors. “Orange is the New Black” actress Samira Wiley—in an orange jumpsuit!—at BCBG Max Azria. David Beckham, taking a selfie with his toddler daughter, at Victoria Beckham of course. Chelsea Clinton alongside rocker Bono at Edun.
Others: Katie Holmes and Hugh Jackman at Donna Karan. Jon Bon Jovi at Kenneth Cole. Lil’ Kim at The Blonds, with a baby bump! Actress Anna Kendrick, everywhere.
Olympic gold medalist Lindsey Vonn missed the Sochi games because of a knee injury, but she walked the runway at the Red Dress Collection, a show that promotes awareness of heart disease. She raised her crutches in the air like ski poles.
Oh, and Kanye West didn’t show up at Wang, as expected. But there was a Kardashian link: Young model Kendall Jenner, daughter of Kris and Bruce Jenner and half-sister of Kim, walked the runway at Marc Jacobs. In a see-through top. People noticed.
Real People on the Runway
In a populist touch, Donna Karan brought everyday New Yorkers onto the runway at her DKNY show (along with the models, of course). They included a DJ, a biologist, a “night life hostess,” and a “tattoo artist/ pro skateboarder.” Some even had (gasp) gray hair. Karan explained: “DKNY really is about the streets of New York.”
Speaking of Karan, the influential designer marked 30 years of her signature line with a tear and a wave. And Diane von Furstenberg, with a splashy show that ended in a shower of gold confetti, celebrated the 40th anniversary of her famous wrap dress, now getting renewed attention in the ’70s-themed Oscar-nominated film “American Hustle.”
Strange Color Names
Every year designers seem to come up with more inventive names for colors. Examples this year: Anthracite, from Zac Posen. Cement, from Richard Chai. And the winner, Soy Chai—as in the latte—from BCBG Max Azria.
Designers are coveting spots on that Oscar red carpet March 2. Michael Kors and Marchesa designers Georgina Chapman and Keren Craig explained that they won’t know if anyone’s wearing their designs until the moment that star steps on the red carpet. Whom would Kors like to dress? Cate Blanchett, for one. Vera Wang said she’s always ached to dress Tilda Swinton.
A Cloudy Finale
A fashion show is often not just about clothes, it’s about the show. And so the Jacobs show was a fitting finale to the week. The designer outfitted the enormous Lexington Avenue Armory with clouds—actually pillows hanging from the rafters. Each guest had a pod to sit on, a single flower placed on each. When it was over, everyone left the fake cloudy sky—to step out into the real, rainy one.