Last night when we arrived at the Elise Øverland show at the Standard Hotel, Olympic skater Johnny Weir was gliding around the ice rink, clad in a silver fox coat plucked from his extensive fur collection. “I have a whole fur closet. I’m not afraid of PETA,” said Weir, who was summoned by Øverland to choreograph her on-ice presentation, which involved eight figure skaters and ten standing models. “I’ve always loved [Elise] and I’m Norwegian and she’s Norwegian that was a huge part of it. I like the idea of keeping people of the same nationality together and working on a team to push each other. It was completely free and carefree,” said Weir over a mug of mulled cider after the show.
For former competitive skier Øverland, the Standard’s rink was a perfectly logical place to hold a winter fashion presentation. “I saw the ice rink and I thought it was a nice idea to put everyone out there and have a gliding show, and so the clothes came out of that,” explained Øverland, who chose the location in mid-January. “This came together in two weeks.”
Crowds gathered along the sidewalk to gawk at the spectacle, and even New York Fashion Week founder Fern Mallis seemed impressed, noting, “I think it’s great. There’s a lot of fun and spirit, and it’s a wonderful way to see the clothes. It just could have used a little more organization around the perimeter but it will give everybody a lot of food for thought.”
When the models teetered onto the ice in towering wedge heels, we braced ourselves for some Olympic-caliber wipeouts. But the presentation went off without a hitch and culminated in a flamboyant performance by Weir, who skated to his own new single, “Dirty Love.”