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Milwaukee's Daily Magazine for Wednesday, April 23, 2014

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Custo Barcelona and Vassilios Kostetsos can only be explained as "Fall on crack."
Custo Barcelona and Vassilios Kostetsos can only be explained as "Fall on crack."
Tony Cohen added his own unique twist to current trends.
Tony Cohen added his own unique twist to current trends.

NYC Fashion Week: Day 4

NEW YORK -- I sat in the front row at two shows today: Luca Luca and Tony Cohen. Luca Luca was a fluke (I just wiggled my way in when a bold-facer didn't show), but at Tony Cohen, it was a matter of international security.

As I sat patiently in the fourth row waiting for the show to start, a PR girl for Cohen grabbed my hand, pulled me out of my chair and gave me a seat in the front row. She simply said they needed "a pretty blond" in the front row.

I later learned I was given the seat meant for controversial singer Heather Schmidt's security officer, who was a bit too bulging for the seat. Although I was not familiar with Schmidt, a quick Google search explained that as well as a world-reknowned classical singer, she is the star of the reality show "The Ambassador," which attracts an audience of 200 million in China.

Oh, and she is now the subject of death threats, due to her peformance with Pakistan's former president Pervez Musharraf.

Glad to know I'm the one who would have taken the bullet. Talk about sacrificing for fashion.

The shows: Lela Rose, Luca Luca, Tony Cohen, Custo Barcelona, Vassilios Kostetsos.

The scene: It was a bright, sunny day in Manhattan, which was the perfect backdrop for three of the most colorful shows of the week: Lela Rose, Custo Barcelona and Vassilios Kostetsos. Colorful, but distinct. While Lela Rose's collection resembled the decadent tea party of my dreams, the Spaniard and the Greek, respectively, sent haute couture collections down the runway that were true art and inspiration. Costumey, yes, but isn't that what the runway is all about?

The celebrities: Former supermodel Carol Alt, "American Idol" alum Constantine Maroulis, socialite Tinsley Mortimer, "Real Housewife" turned Playboy model Kelly Bensimon, actress and Joshua Jackson squeeze Diane Kruger, and classical singer/political activist Heather Schmidt.

The trends: Lela Rose was a celebration of all things girly and sparkly, from brocade to boucle to lace. The show flaunted luxury with rich colors and special details, like metallic threading, exaggerated collars, cut-outs and shine on shine. The standout piece for me was a Dolce & Gabbana-inspired black shattered lace corset dress. Ooh la la! Luca Luca highlighted all the biggest trends that have emerged in the first half of the week: mixing and matching of textures, long gloves, gold lame, statement coats, jeweled chain necklaces, booties, high fan collars and sheer blouses ... Tony Cohen also capitalized on those trends, but with this own unique twist. Added details like applique on his opaque leggings, asymmetrical hemlines, fur trim and goddess influences all made their way into the amazing collection ... Custo Barcelona and Vassilios Kostetsos can only be explained as Fall on crack -- or maybe acid. Either way, the looks were outrageous, creative and a feast for the eyes. Custo's hyper-color palette, fur-on-chiffon details and exaggerated tube scarves revealed what Spain's club scene will be rocking this Fall. Kostetsos, on the other hand, sent Lady Gaga-worthy costumes down the runway. Even the gorgeous male models sported Greek warrior masks painted on their faces. The warrior influences continued with wrist-to-elbow metal arm bands. Love was indeed unconquered in the battle.

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