New York 02/12/10 Getty
Posts for February 14th 2010
>> Joseph Altuzarra may have gone with an intimate presentation at Milk Studios last night, but his guest list packed a lot of punch. The Roitfeld clan was well-represented: Carine, Vladimir, and Julia were all there, with Vlad greeting his sister with a kiss on each cheek; his girlfriend, Giovanna Battaglia, and Julia von Boehm showed up, too. The Trainas were also out in full force: Victoria and Samantha sat next to Chad Muska (there to support girlfriend Vanessa Traina, who walked in the show for the second time and was listed in the program notes as an "advisor") and Alexander Wang, who was relaxing with his show behind him, enjoying a glass of white wine, and chatting to close friend and interior decorator to the models Ryan Korban. And then there was Anna Wintour, attending Altuzarra's show for the first time, who arrived early to have a chat with the designer backstage pre-show; after she took her seat, Carine smiled at Wintour as she passed.
Needless to say, Altuzarra did not disappoint. The designer, who pushed a looser silhouette last season when everyone else was hanging onto the hard-edged look interestingly decided to veer back that way now that everyone else is moving away. Inspired by Edward Scissorhands — the film's theme was played during the show — and the current sexualization of vampires, Altuzarra started out with a stream of black leather — accented with goat hair, slashed and then stitched up suture-style, belted multiple times across the waist, chest, back, wrists, and even thighs; Abbey Lee Kershaw was even suited up in a Catwoman-style leather bodysuit. Then came the blood red gowns, sparkling with Swarovski crystals and ending with Natasha Poly in the sophisticated version of a Little Red Riding Hood cape. The ankle-slashed boots were done in collaboration with Gianvito Rossi, and former Vogue Paris editor (and Carine's former assistant) Melanie Huynh did styling honors. Perhaps Bryanboy put it best when he said of the collection: "It's like raiding Carine's Closet."
>> Despite the vast concrete-floored warehouse space waiting inside Pier 94 to house Alexander Wang's guests, they all had to pass through a single set of double doors at the entrance yesterday, causing quite the crush, particularly because a burly security guard took up a large part of the entryway, allowing VIPs like Dasha Zhukova and Fabien Baron pass on his right, while everyone else had to go to his left.
The crowd buzzed with excitement; after all, Wang has come a long way in a few short seasons — to the point that a major magazine's accessories editor had to ask stylists to stop using one of his shoes, the lace-up sandal boot from Spring 2010, which had become ubiquitous, in all of their shoots.
Tavi Gavinson emerged from backstage, Fashion Television camera crew in tow, and took to laughing with and interviewing Lauren Santo Domingo, Julia Restoin Roitfeld, and Derek Blasberg. She took her front row seat, and the stadium-style lights went down and then up, revealing opener (and closer) Natalia Vodianova, hair shellacked over one eye, as she walked along the long black background, giving the audience a prolonged view in profile, before turning to give them a closer look.
Wang, like fellow young designer Jason Wu, felt the need for a turning point in his brand this season, hence a focus on a more tailored silhouette in the form of deconstructed pinstripe suits: Wall Street, Wang-style. But there was also a strong element of late-'90s goth: the models wore black backpacks with fluttery floor-length tails, 5-inch high chunky-heeled mid-calf boots in velvet or brown with burnished yellow toes (which they had trouble turning in), pleated mini-skirts with tuxedo tails in back, and mid-thigh leggings which belled out over their shoes. There was even some chenille and a black leather trench thrown into the mix.
Big on collaborations, Wang worked with stylist Karl Templer and Linda Farrow sunglasses each for the second time, the latter producing bug-eyed shades worn over the models' hair, and Gaia Repossi for jewelry. In addition to Natalia, Freja Beha Erichsen and Snejana Onopka made their runway debut for the week; Agyness Deyn and Jessica Miller, ready for a comeback, also took a turn. The designer's CFDA-appointed mentor Diane von Furstenberg was front row, smiling during the finale, along with her CEO Paula Sutter, whose appearance raised a few questions about investment potential (DVF has a stake in Nathan Jensen's line).