Sunday, February 22, 2009

Number One

New York Fashion Week has ended. London has begun. My brain is still jumbled in many ways. As I make my way through the photos from the many shows I didn't get to see, my favorite out of the ones I did attend has been sticking in my mind since I saw it last Sunday.

I've noticed that most people have trouble appreciating the aesthetic of others. Not because of a disdain for the style but because it can hard to understand what you do not like for yourself. Or to accept that someone might look good in something that would make you look lumpy, stumpy or whatever negative adjective one can imagine. I've never had much of a problem with this.

Back in the early to mid-90s when very thick glasses hid my face and braces clouded my smile, my older sister spent a lot of time experimenting with her look. She wore classic attire for the time. Denim with denim. Chunky platforms. The occasional mesh shirt. More colors than I knew existed. (Many of which made their way back onto the runway last week.) But she made the biggest statement with her hair. Almost every week there was something different about it. There were shots of pink and green and yellow. Sometimes it sparkled and glitter would float toward me if she shook her head too vigorously. I never wanted to wear her clothes and do that with my hair, but I loved the way she looked. It worked for her.

This is the same feeling I had about the Preen girl as I left their show. I arrived early and disgruntled. As I stood directly behind the last row of chairs, I looked to see who was populating the front row. This was a show for all the cool New York kids. I recognized all of them. Knew all of their names from my backlog of Vogues and Vanity Fairs. (I wonder if the fact that I study the fashion world in the same way I used to study Organic Chemistry makes me a complete dork. I think the answer is yes.) The set still smelled of paint, and the fumes made their way straight to my head causing what was a simple bad mood to spiral out of control. I spent several minutes wishing I had followed my instinct to keep my ass in Brooklyn that morning.

After what seemed to be an eternity in my mind, the lights dimmed and the bass shook the room. I'm pretty sure my eardrums were irrevocably damaged. I considered placing my fingers in my ears but thought better of it. All of my gripes with the paint and the waiting and the sound fled when the first look appeared from backstage.

The first two thirds of the show didn't stray far from black, gray and white. For a brand best known for its Power bandage dress, there were a number of coats that would be more than capable of shutting out the bitter cold. I was particularly fond of the various iterations in oversized houndstooth.

The Sexy, however, was still prevalent. The bandage, which has taken over the world to the point of irrelevance, was absent and replaced by cutouts and shots of transparency.

I was prepared for the show to stay in this moody palette but was presently surprised by the shock of color in the last group.

I did find one dress that I could see myself in.

At the end of it all, I rushed out as quickly as possible, complimentary Pom Iced Coffee and Fiji water in hand. I stopped outside to stuff them in my purse. My ears continued to ring. I felt a strange lightness. I watched The Sartorialist take the picture of a girl in a denim dress. And then I made my way back to Brooklyn and leggings and bed.

Photos via

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