NEW YORK -- Things are settling down to a quiet hum at the tents as the final day of Fashion Week approaches. Every year it's bittersweet. While I love being one of the select few (hundred) who is privileged to see first what will be popular for a season six months ahead of time, the lines, walking, cab-catching, pushy wannabes, long days and late nights are starting to catch up with me. And I am, in a word, exhausted. But, never too tired to take in three more shows!
The shows: Douglas Hannant, Milly, Malan Breton.
The scene: While yesterday's heavy snow brought out New Yorkers and their umbrellas in full force (I was perplexed by the snow-umbrella phenomenon at first but after walking 10 blocks in the snow and arriving to a show dripping wet, I saw the light), today's early morning sunny skies were a welcome change. What wasn't a welcome change? Sleeping through my alarm for the Douglas Hannant show, catching a cab at the last minute, sitting through gridlocked traffic, having the cab break down in the middle of Park Avenue and running four icy blocks in high-heeled boots ... uphill. I made it just before the doors were closed. Thankfully, nothing -- and I mean nothing -- starts on time during Fashion Week.
The celebrities: Constantine and Tinsley, of course (it's no doubt they've been at almost every show as he will be "playing" the part of her boyfriend in her upcoming reality show "High Society" on the CW); Julia Stiles, Elizabeth Hasselbeck, The Wonder Girls (who. I was informed by two 20-somethings. are the female version of The Jonas Brothers).
The trends: Douglas Hannant, primarily known for his well-tailored and elegant designs favored by the Upper East Side elite, alienated his clientele with this latest collection. Set in a quaint theater on the Upper East side, the room was filled with enough Botox and silicone to keep Joan Rivers young for another 20 years. The stage set of graffiti-laden panels was indeed the perfect setting for the collection of Cache-worthy dresses, which concluded with the worst look of all: a floor-length, tri-colored sequined gown that boasted a skeleton and skeleton dog design. While the crowd's faces gave away nothing (most can't show expression anyway), the gasps and whispers said it all. Maybe he spent a little to much time at the Tim Burton exhibit at MoMA? Let's hope he returns to his roots with his spring/summer 2011 line ... The Milly collection, on the other hand, was a pleasant mix of bold colors and preppy staples. Much of the color came from the bold tights, which were part of Milly designer Michelle Smith's legwear collection for HUE. Bow belts, headbands and colorful gloves added to the prep school appeal. Nautical influences were evident, but it was the mix-and-match of red, navy, black and ivory with assorted patterns and stripes, that gave this collection its chic personality ... "Project Runway" alum Malan Breton's show was more than just a fashion show: the event opened with puppet doves on sticks flying above the crowd and a young Indian dancer; paused in the middle with a performance by an Indian dance company; and concluded with a live performance of former "American Idol" contestant Anoop Desai's first single. Oh, and there was some fashion in there as well. The theme? You guessed it: India. The men's and women's collection was highlighted by soft velvet suits, colorful sari-inspired dresses, organza bubble-sleeve blouses and intricate lace corsets. I wasn't wowed by Breton's fit and finishing, but at least he knows how to stick to a theme.
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