Hope Misterek brings her stylist’s eye to New York, reporting from behind-the-scenes for On This Day In Fashion during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week.
I landed in New York just after 3 p.m. and had to make the mad dash to get rid of my luggage and then get over to Gary Graham’s showing in Tribeca. The informal presentation of Graham’s Fall 2011 collection took place at his flagship boutique, which is coincidentally nearby a couple of my favorite places: The Greenwich Hotel owned by Robert DeNiro and Smith & Mills, a cozy bar. (Unfortunately for me, there was no time to stop at either place beforehand.)
The standing-room-only event featured 20 looks inspired by hero myth and Joseph Campbell’s the Hero with A Thousand Faces. The crowd that channeled in and out seemed artsy but without an obvious point of view and was nowhere near as bohemian/edgy as I would have guessed, based on what I know Graham’s typical style to be. I expected the crowd to have a more unusual mix and match, well studied and unusual sense of style all their own—but instead found an assorted group of well-dressed men and women of various ages with no particular stand-out style. But the crowd was, ultimately, a good backdrop for a collection that was very unusual and highly mixed and matched. The batik prints, jacquards and knits were amazing, and I found many of the pieces quite wearable. But while looking at them I couldn’t really Read More »
Seventh Avenue Special! First Fashion Week: New York Proves You Don’t Need Fabric to Put on a Good Show
To commemorate Fashion Week, this week we are rerunning certain New York–centric Stories Behind the Styles as part of our Seventh Avenue Special! series. This story—the history of New York’s first fashion week—was originally posted on July 20, 2010.
World War II was not a good time to be a Parisian. The people running the show were, like, total Nazis. Your economy had screeched to a halt, your charcuterie plate was bare, your venerated couture industry was left in the lurch and even if you did have anything to wear, you wouldn’t have anywhere decent to wear it because you couldn’t leave your house after dark. And on top of that, America had swept in at this lowly moment to steal your status as the arbiter of all things fashion. Talk about insult to injury. All is fair in fashion and war, though (even among allies, apparently), and in its campaign to cement its status as the new fashion center of the universe, New York City launched its first ever fashion week on July 20, 1943. Read More »
I’m in pretty good shape, but I’m quite sure I wouldn’t stand a chance of beating Naomi Campbell in an arm-wrestling match—and I’d probably suffer a worse fate than bruised knuckles for even trying. On this day in 2006 though, even Naomi wouldn’t have been deemed fit and healthy enough to work during Madrid Fashion Week after organizers announced they were banning skinny models from the runways.
That year, the fashion world was grappling with the death of 22-year-old Uruguayan model Luisel Ramos, who died of heart failure after stepping off the runway at Montevideo’s fashion week on August 2, 2006. She was 5-foot-9, weighed 97 pounds, and had reportedly been living on lettuce and Diet Coke. Eating disorders were—and still are—rampant in the fashion industry; 20 to 40 percent of models are thought to have one. So the Spanish Association of Fashion Designers decided to do something about it. They established a requirement that all models who walked their runways have a Body Mass Index of at least 18, becoming the first fashion Read More »
Azzedine Alaïa had been zipping, stuffing, and encasing curvacious glamazons into his second-skin dresses in defiance of women’s lib for 15 years before he staged his first New York City fashion show on this day in 1982. It was the unofficial kickoff of the season: The evening of new fall fashion began with the opening of an Irving Penn photography exhibit at the Marlborough Gallery (a collection of pictures themed around skulls, bones and dust that the late legendary fashion photographer said “don’t have deep significance”) and was followed by Alaïa’s show at Bergdorf Goodman, where the line stretched around the block to catch a glimpse of the designs from a diminutive, five-foot-one Tunisian man who was to play no small part in ushering in the structural, sex-is-power look of the ’80s. And fittingly (no pun intended), the second floor of the department store had been transformed into a giant tent made of spandex.
“Fashionable, party-going New Yorkers seem to have finally forsaken their mid-calf culottes and prairie skirts in favor of a new interpretation of the high-heeled attitude of another era,” the New York Times reported. “In fact, they seem to have collectively put on their Read More »
Born on August 10:
Eleanor Lambert, American publicist; 1903
Betsey Johnson, American designer; 1942
Devon Aoki, Japanese-American model; 1982
Birthday friend, congratulations on another big day! How is the world going to treat you this year? Well, that all depends on how you present yourself to the world. It might be best to follow the example of Eleanor Lambert, the first superstar of fashion public relations and fellow today-birthdayer. How big a fashion star was she? For one thing, Eleanor basically started the first fashion week ever, founded the Costume Institute and the CFDA and invented the “Best-Dressed List” that is now owned by Vanity Fair. What I’m attempting to convey is Read More »