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Written By : ELLEN WHIPPY-KNIGHT. Well, it is almost a relief that New York Fashion Week’s Spring Collection is coming to a close.
I have seen almost 12 shows since I arrived last Friday night except for Carolina Herrar, Michael Kors, Herve Leger, Narcoise Rodriguez, La Quan, the rest are unknown to most novices but equally dramatic.
The garments and the models have been absolutely stunning and it has been such an eyeful of colour and textures on the runway.
So I am not surprised that I cannot remember every single designer’s work and it could just be my inexperience overtaking my sensibilities.
But let’s just talk about the models first.
Australians amongst others farm salmon, Whaley’s and Leylands have cattle farms and Ram Singh has a huge egg farm and then there is a prawn farm in Navua. Well I swear, New York has a model farm!
Somewhere in this city there is a factory with an ongoing order to produce hundreds of Amazonian women.
The criteria must read. Once prototype is moulded, stretch body up to at least 7ft in height, drag arms down to knees to give gangly look, ensure legs are long and bony so that the knees knock together as they stride along. Skin must be see through and to enable viewers to see every blood vein and vessel on prototype. Must have long giraffe neck for core stability, concave abdomens with ingrown unseen belly buttons with a waistline that can be clinched with one baby’s hand. Test ability to march in skyscraper heels and ensure a serious look is maintained at all times unless reprogrammed to allow for smiles.
I have never seen so many tall women in any one room at any one time, it’s a bit like David and Goliath in height.
In comparison to our local models, this is definitely a different breed, they are surely not of this earth.
However, they certainly do a brilliant job in displaying the designers clothes well. The one other thing that struck me most was whilst appeared to be repetition reflected throughout some of the designers, on the whole everyone pretty much did their own thing and it was still beautiful. The common thread, pardon the pun, seemed to be a return to the 60s and early 70s.
Anyway US TV’s Project Runway Guru says “I don’t believe in chasing trends because it may not be right for you.”
He suggested that we should be confident enough to pick what suits our personal taste and style and stick to it.
There were so many different looks and I would love to think that I could personally wear them all and I will try but after an extensive 100 hour workout with my bootcamp coach, Litiana Miller.
The beautifully structured, well tailored princess line shift dress with the square neck lines, sleeveless, or belted waistlines looked so smart. This is quite prominent with Victoria Beckham’s collection which got rave reviews.
I simply loved the 70s wide pants, culottes as they used to be called that flowed and made it hard to distinguish from a long flowing skirt, with a tucked in white silky shirt it was timeless and classic and ever so elegant.
But then there was the divine Emporio Armani who adds another dimension to women’s classic wear, as he, like others, added a lot of ruching and goddess like draping. The use of soft ruffles in tops, dresses and skirts is cute again.
There were lots of flowing pastel and two toned chiffon, knotted and twisted at the necklines, bodice and waist. Continued on a one shouldered dress it had a very glamorous Roman effect.
I never thought that I would ever come across Crimpolene, Crepe and Brocade again in this lifetime and they well used with a few Designers Luca Luca and Stella McCartney.
They were the most interesting textures and it is amazing how good they looked again in jackets, dressed and skirts. So could there possibly be an out fit there for me to wear to Fiji Fashion Week.
There is also a major comeback on the bling bling bling, lace dresses tops and skirts are all in for summer. Sequinned lace was exquisite and the fabric shops in 39th W, 7th Avenue were to die for and I nearly died too at the price of $95 USD per metre!
This was the same effect that Bloomingdales on 5th Avenue had on me too, I didn’t even pretend I could afford anything there, so after I was told to stop taking pictures of the dressed mannequins – of course to show our own designers I fled the scene before a crime was committed.
It’s then ironic that tonight on ABC TV News they declared that Banks reclaimed more houses in August than they did in any other month since the economic crisis.
They reclaimed 95,364 houses which was 20 per cent more than last year and the most since the mortgage crisis.
So who is buying high end products? I am more concerned as to what do they do with them when they cant sell them. I guess it doesn’t really matter as the sizes are 6-8!
At Lincoln Square the new venue for NYFW, the fashionistas are obvious. There are the classical ones and the quirky avante garde types.
Since Gold and silver lame, studs, sequins are all back in and even on your Tee-shirts, shoes and handbags, its not surprising to see this look being worn throughout the day and night.
The sight of Fiji Water every where and I mean everywhere is making me feel homesick, they have certainly branded this event well as they are major sponsors and have been for a number of years.
If you weren’t drinking complimentary cocktails, champagne, wine or soft drinks there was Fiji Water and the miniature bottles were easy to spot. They had their own refrigerated tubs, umbrellas and posters and their own recycle bins too. I was lucky tonight to get in tonight as it’s always a struggle thanks to “Bongo” a good friend of Jonathan Seagel of Oceanic Communications.
Bongo is the very friendly warehouse manager for NY Fashion Week and was nice enough to get me a pass so I could see the shows and hang out in the Style Lounge selling Fiji Fashion Week and Fiji of course.
This has been a great experience being at the centre of the action, watching how the ticketing booths are managed, the seating arrangements, back and front of house operations, now we know what to compare to and what we have to do.
At the end of the day, I am mainly concerned with the quality of the garments, the originality of the designs, the creativity of the designers shows their knowledge of textiles and best to use them.
The excellent structure of the garments show professional finishing touches, the attention to detail is remarkable. I cant wait to tell our young emerging designers back home who are now frantically preparing for our Show.
The difference is that New York has some of the best fashion schools in American and we in Fiji do not have one to start with! So in my next piece I will talk to you about my visit to FIT, the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York.
In the meantime, its getting on and there’s more shows tomorrow.
I call it a night and off I disappear with my new found friends, local stylists in search for sustenance and that’s where the story ends.