"Vulgarity is a very important ingredient in life,” the endlessly quotable Diane Vreeland once opined, and you can’t help but wish that Calvin Klein designer Francisco Costa would now and again add a splash of something really tacky to his impeccably conceived garments. His show is classic CK — butterscotch leather dresses, creamy shifts — but the only thing even minimally surprising is that the models’ bare knees are showing, since this has been a season of long lengths and covered legs (sometimes wackily so, as in the striated black affairs at Prabal Gurung, which I loved, but many people hated.)
It’s the 30th anniversary of Michael Kors, and though it is 10 a.m., the stars are aligned — Bette Midler sitting next to Anjelica Huston sitting next to Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta-Jones! The clothes include a plethora of cashmere tanks, halters, and catsuits that looked so scrumptious on Patti Hansen back in the day — and here is Hansen herself in the audience. Practically everything is sleeveless, since you are apparently meant to keep warm with one of the many fluffy furs on the runway here — and at a multitude of other catwalks this week, from the Row to Joseph Altuzarra. But will young people embrace these controversial cats, goats, and lambs? Is there a new generation of cool kids out there anxious to don these politically charged garments?
I wear my best vintage reindeer sweater to Ralph Lauren’s show — it’s just the sort of thing his minions snap up as they sweep through flea markets — since I am expecting to see some version of Ralph’s home-on-the-range ersatz-vintage winter dressing. But wrong again. He has exchanged the turquoise jewelry for swinging ropes of jade and red lacquer and cranked up “Little China Girl” (at least it has words, unlike the cacophonous banging and bonging that has assaulted us at so many other shows).
Lauren offers a lesson in what constitutes, at least in his eyes, Chinese-themed dressing, by which he means overwhelmingly black examples that round up all the usual RL evening suspects — tuxedo jackets, etc. — but enhanced with dragon motifs, along with beaded flapper dresses that in this context make you think of Anna May Wong. If this is a naked ploy to corner the Chinese market, Lauren should bear in mind that the prospective customer in Beijing and Shanghai would probably much prefer a Fair Isle cardigan.
You know how sometimes by a miracle you meet someone and the attraction is so immediate, the atmosphere so charged, that you can barely look at the person and have to turn away? This is apparently what has happened between me and Mick Jagger, a man I have been convinced I will marry since I was 12 years old. Mick can barely bring himself to glance in my direction at the L’Wren Scott show, which he attends because Scott is his girlfriend (well, at least for now — it certainly has been a week for Glimmer Twin consorts). Maybe because it is the last day of the New York presentations, but everyone is in a celebratory mood — and not just since the show comes with a free lunch, though that certainly helps. As we eat our chicken pot pies — lots of crusts left untouched on plates in this crowd — a purple brigade, a veritable mauve decade parades in front of us, all trussed up in Scott’s trademark ultranarrow, tailored silhouettes. And if some of the sequined extravaganzas lay on the glimmer with too heavy a hand, who can resist the naughty Goth child bride who closes the show, in a beaded black and gold number, a bit of black veiling askew on her dazed empty head?