31 March 2011

Nashville Fashion Week: Night Two

I won't lie, I was a little disillusioned about ten minutes into waiting for media access into Nashville Fashion Week's second night of shows at The Arcade between 5th & 4th Avenue. Why you may ask yourself? Well, for two reasons.

  1. I didn't actually know I had press credentials until today, which means I missed all of yesterday's opening extravaganza.
  2. No one seemed to know where anyone was supposed to go tonight, including Insider Pass holders (read: those who paid the most) let alone press.

Luckily, I arrived somewhat early and after having paid $10 to park my car three blocks away, I joined the ranks of the Nashville's fashion savvy waiting to be told what to do while hovering in a Walgreen's entrance trying to stay warm.

In true Nashville style, the good people around me, with the help of a security guard, were able to figure out who went where and for how long, etc. Turns out, media was meant to check-in at the cocktail reception taking place in an art gallery across the street from The Arcade. Good to know (signs anyone? Can a girl get a sign?).

The super fun (read the sarcasm) thing about being "press" is knowing, in the back of your freezing/nearing hypothermia mind, that having the pass above does not actually ensure your entrance into said show. I kept my gray tipped fingers crossed and after an hour and 11 minutes of waiting, was finally granted passage through the black curtains into a "press pit" which consisted of metal grate-type chairs seated between actual ticket holders and the wall.

Again, luck would walk my way in the form of a petite black-clad blond wearing an ear piece and moving at lightening speed up and down the catwalk. She offered me a seat up near the front of which I jumped at the chance to take. I was even more thrilled, after seeing that the seat was about 4 chair lengths away from the beginning of the catwalk, to be seated amongst a sea of warm bodies because did I mention it was cold? Yeah, it was cold.

Anyway, on with the actual show...

First up was local designer Melissa Tabor. Her designs are sophisticated and sexy but still very interesting in their detail and texture. I particularly liked the juxtaposition of the feminine silhouette to design elements like an exposed zipper. It gave the whole line a very multi-dimensional gravity that is often missing in every day frocks. Here's a sample of her work from her Etsy store:

Second on the runway was GadoGado, another local line created by Belinda Kazanci and inspired by all things Bali. Her work features uber-creative prints in body conscious cotton accented with fringe details, excellent draping, and bold color. Below, a shot from backstage tonight and a sample of her work from her Facebook page:

Betsey Johnson was the mid-point of the show and of course that proved to be entertaining and enchanting, as always. Unfortunately, Betsey wasn't with us but her spirit resonated in all of the layers of pink tulle, yards of '80's inspired florals, and sassy sailor jackets. You gotta love Betsey; even when she's not around, she still charms you. Some looks below from her spring line:

Next up was Ben Sherman. Now you will have to forgive me for what I am about to say, but menswear on a runway absolutely bores me to tears. Don't get me wrong, I love to go shopping with my man and there is not much better in this world than a well dressed gent, but the shows? Quel snooze. I will say, however, that the line is impressive and there is obviously more reasons than one why Ben Sherman's line is the 4th most popular menswear line in the UK. It sells on Asos for anyone who is interested; here is a promotional shot from the collection:

Tonight's show ended with T. Rains. Now, when I saw the moniker on the screen, it didn't dawn on me that this was Traver Rains of Heatherette fame. About four frocks into the show, though, it was pretty obvious. There was quite a crowd for T. Rains collection; lots of people standing to catch every look as it went by, lots of video, even more exclamations of wonder. I, however, was not one of those people. I was never a fan of Heatherette (and I'm not overly concerned with how uncool that might make me). I can appreciate it in an almost avant garde parody kind of way, but as far as serious fashion goes (from a historical and marketable angle) I just don't see it. It certainly is attention-grabbing and so therefore successful but I'm not sure who the client is for this line and I'm not sure I want to...where does she wear these pieces?

I did, however, love this:

The finale piece, a large headdress made of multiple shades of blue tulle on a bathing suited beauty lacked innovation but seemed rather interested only to shock. I wasn't shocked. I was hypothermic and kind of bored, but not shocked. After say my '20's, shock-fashion no longer appealed to me -- entertained, yes but...I need more than that now. Dear G-d, am I getting old?

Traver Rains seems to have an enormous imagination, of which I can completely appreciate and respect. Specifically, I adore his photography. The fashion elements come together so symbiotically with his vision of the world at large, that the photographs come to life somewhere between reality and fantasy. I adore these two, absolutely adore them:

Overall, a great experience and I'm looking forward to Thursday and Friday night's shows, although not as media. Sure, I'll take notes and maybe even get some pictures this time but being a ticket holder obviously has its advantages and I'd prefer to not subject my toes to that cold again any time soon -- not that they'd feel it anyway, having been numb for at least four hours solid. There was a moment upon spying Kelly Cutrone seated across from me where I ceased to care about my frozen appendages but even she left early, her child in tow wrapped warmly in a blanket.

Some quick suggestions I'd like to make to the great people at Nashville Fashion Week:

  • Space Heaters. If I know anything about Nashville after 8 months of residency, it's that the weather is unpredictable.
  • I love the intimacy of a level catwalk with the crowd but in a space like The Arcade, elevated would have been a better choice. Or am I just short? I wasn't wearing my normal 4" heels.

And hopefully warmer. Until tomorrow....until Christian Siriano...


30 March 2011

Nashville Fashion Week!

So it looks as though I will be able to cover some of this week's shows and events. As I am working on my schedule for that, I thought I would share the full schedule for Fashion Week, it is just over there to the right! I am so very excited for everyone involved with this event. Great work, Music City!

14 March 2011

Monday Montage

Monday's are generally no fun for anybody. In my quest to lighten my mood this evening, I, as is typical, turn to all things French. I was also on quest to finish creating my new pages here on FPS, starting with my Frock page. This will be my ode to all things past beginning with Vionnet.

Which brings me to Paris Fashion Week. Is it me or are others having a hard time getting behind Rodolfo Paglialunga's take on Vionnet? I'm perplexed. It feels a little too hard, a bit too modern. But I did like these two frocks:

Maybe I'm being too soft coming from spending two hours perusing Vionnet's frocks of yesteryear? Perhaps. Paglialunga has only been "in house" since 2009 and the house was only resurrected in 2007 after an over 60 year hiatus so there is certainly room for change. I suppose I'm too much of a nostaliagist (I know, that's not a word but I'm punchy and it's Monday) and have high hopes that current designer's will maintain the sensibility of their originators. This is probably too lofty of an ideal but work with me.

Stateside, Nashville Fashion Week is around the corner and I am extremely excited to get my first real glimpse at what's going on in the design world in this city. I'm familiar with a lot of the names and our local mecca of all things, well, local: Local Honey -- hence thy local name. Local Honey recently took over the spot left vacant by Karen Elson and Amy Patterson when they moved their much coveted Venus and Mars Vintage Boutique to an online-only shop -- or at least that was the story but I'm not having any luck finding their amazing selection online. Hmpf.

Anyway, I've not been to any events as of yet in this fascinating and ever growing community of artists. This will all change, of course, in a few short months when I'll actually be in the city limits and not so far out of them. Until then, I can gladly report that two of my favorite fashion fixtures will be joining us for Fashion Week: Kelly Cutrone & Christian Siriano.

Kelly Cutrone has been a fashion-show-producing hero of mine and resident industry badass for ages. She owns the PR firm People's Revolution and is author of two books: If You Have to Cry, Go Outside and Normal Gets You Nowhere. She will be giving a talk at the Belcourt Theatre at 12:00 p.m. on April 2.

Christian Siriano, of Project Runway fame, will be showcasing on Thursday March 31 in East Nashville.

For a complete list of featured designers, click here. I am particularly enamored of Aman Stovall's collection and pumped to see it live (if I get to, here's to crossed manicured fingers!).

More Paris tomorrow!

09 March 2011

Milano Due

More images from Milan...

07 March 2011

Ciao, Milano!

While Paris is on fire, Milan is probably having a much needed drink and siesta after their (always) decadent a/w 2011 shows. I still don't understand why, outside of Versace, Prada, & Dolce & Gabbana, Milan gets such a hard time. I'm kind of in love with their style right now -- each season I become a little more seduced by Italy's calling. And I am so mesmerized by Frankie Morello's show, I can't even explain it.

Trend wise, I think we can all safely say now, after 3 major cities, that these things are going to consume as all come fall: prismatic manifestations of fur-drenched menswear inspired 1960's shaped collar heavy super molded outerwear diaphanous 30's inspired gowns stilettos with ankle socks legwear for days tossed with gloves so 1950's and enough hats to sink the Titanic. Or so it appears. Paris will come tomorrow...until then, Milano: