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Show And Talk

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    Blogging the Costume Institute’s ‘Blog.mode’ ExhibitThe Metropolitan Museum of Art Costume Institute’s “blog.mode” exhibit opens today, and to give you a sneak peek, we sent our Fabiola Beracasa to check it out. Click above to watch as curator Andrew Bolton explains how hooker boots from the twenties influenced modern fashion and why the controversial “Incubus Necklace” was impounded by police the first time it was shown to the public. blog.mode: Addressing Fashion [Video Archives] Update: You may be wondering, as we were, why the Costume Institute exhibition is actually called “blog.mode: addressing fashion.” It’s because the exhibit is interactive, and you can write about your reactions and inspirations at a “blog bar” in the museum. Mmm. Blog Bar. Sounds unhealthy and delicious.
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    The Fab Life: Manhattan Vintage Clothing Show New York fashion correspondent (and socialite extraordinaire) Fabiola Beracasa knows vintage. So we sent her along to the Manhattan Vintage Clothing and Textile Show to look at what’s available and dole out some advice. “There’s something sexy about plaid on a girl,” Fab explains, checking out a cowboy shirt. Watch the video to see why you should shop for linens at antique shops and how to tell the difference between Chanel Couture and Chanel Boutique (it’s easier than you think!). The Fab Life: Vintage Clothing Show [Fashion Video]
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    Footage From London Fashion Week Last week’s mix of shows, parties, models, and high-heel-induced blisters may have left you in a haze — and in massive fashion withdrawal. Luckily, our pals across the pond put on their own Fashion Week, with freakier clothes, wilder makeup, and, let’s face it — a lot more fun. Couldn’t get your passport in order? Check out our runway videos and interviews with the designers, from stately Paul Smith to monochromatic Sinha Stanic (where a stampede nearly caused a real fashion emergency). What was Christopher Kane (see above) thinking with the chiffon and snakeskin combo? Did Eley Kishimoto drop acid and take a trip down Strawberry Fields? Watch the videos to find out. And check out slideshows of all the London collections. Video: Christopher Kane Collection Videos: The London Collections [Archive]
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    There She Is, Your Overdressed Pet The imprecisely named Pet Fashion Week was held in New York over the weekend — perhaps two days to a human is like seven days to a dog? — and New York’s Elizabeth Cline was there for the big pet fashion show Saturday night. What was the scene like backstage? About what you’d expect. Take a look; it’ll make your Monday. Backstage: Pet Fashion Week [NYM]
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    Saks Loads Up on Logos at New Shoe Department The new shoe department at Saks opened this morning, and, much as we’d love to gush about it, we can’t. Don’t get us wrong: It’s nice. It’s very nice, and it’s a major upgrade from the well-to-do-suburban-mom- attempting-to-be-fashionable selection the store formerly offered. But we’re shoe addicts, and we were expecting more. The floor was buzzing with camera crews, waiters were serving breakfast munchies, and salespeople were announcing every two seconds how proud they were of the new space. They had the patent-leather Miu Miu spectators for sale, and the two-tone Pradas with the curved heel. They even had our knee-high Chloé boots, with the gold zipper going up the calf. But what they also had was way too many logos for our taste: Gucci, Chanel, and Dior; sneakers, loafers, and ballet flats.
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    It’s Evan Rachel Wood at a ‘New York’ Fashion Shoot New York’s fall fashion issue is out next week, and its theme is edge. Who better to embody the concept than actress Evan Rachel Wood? Not only does she appear soaked in blood in her boyfriend Marilyn Manson’s videos, she’s also starring this September as a naïf turned radical in Across the Universe, Julie Taymor’s trippy take on the songs of the Beatles. How did Wood practice for the shoot? “I’ve been watching a lot of America’s Next Top Model and taking notes,” she told New York fashion director Harriet Mays Powell. Watch the video for a sneak peek and more on Wood’s personal style. Photo Shoot: Fall 2007 Fashion Issue [NYM]
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    Video: Inside Proenza Schouler’s Dark Resort Collection At Proenza Schouler’s studio recently, New York’s fashion director Harriet Mays Powell found designers Lazaro Hernandez and Jack McCollough with a dark resort collection. “We’re just really attracted to dark colors,” McCollough said. “We like tons of grays.” A new metallic tank top displayed the duo’s high-low aesthetic. “We’re inspired by the idea of mid-century couture,” Hernandez said. “Mixing that sensibility with the reality that we’re kids from the nineties and it’s a dressed-down generation.” See three new Proenza garments and hear more from the designers by watching the video. Fashion Studio: Proenza Schouler [NYM]
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    CFDA Welcomes New Members, Prepares for the Tents As New York’s fashion designers count the days till Fashion Week, which starts this year on September 5, two days after Labor Day, battles for models and tent times are heating up. But at the Council of Fashion Designers of America’s party for new members at Diane von Furstenberg’s studio last night, no one would name — and only a few would acknowledge — the most diva-ish designers, who politick to cast and schedule most fiercely. “There are model problems sometimes,” acknowledged Stan Herman, a board member and former president. “There are time-slot problems sometimes. There are moments that designers go, ‘I can’t show next to that person’ or ‘I won’t show next to that person.’ But not very many.”
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    Nicole Miller Likes to Show in the Early EveningIt’s still early summertime, which makes even the most precocious among us think ahead only to this fall — except for fashion designers, who are all prepping their spring 2008 lines (which, natch, they’ll show this fall). We bumped into Nicole Miller the other night, at the Soho Grand after the Interview screening, and she told us all about planning a new show — the science of picking dates and times, and the dreaded curse of model-hoarding.
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    Anna Sui Opens Macy’s Art Exhibit, Loves Psychedelia The Herald Square Macy’s — New York’s great middlebrow shopping mecca — is now, perhaps surprisingly, the place where high fashion meets high art. The department store has installed pieces by contemporary artists like Misaki Kawai and Shannon Plumb in its windows, and at a Q&A session to launch the “Art Under Glass” exhibition, designer Anna Sui touted both the project as well as an upcoming retrospective of her work, which Macy’s will display during Fashion Week in September.
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    Fabiola on Fashion: Dispatches From the European Couture Shows With the European couture collections almost finished — Valentino will wind things up tomorrow with a show in Rome — fashion correspondent Fabiola Beracasa checked in with Daily Intel via BlackBerry last night. What follows are highlights from Beracasa’s lengthy account of fabulousness — we’re holding the rest back because we don’t want to blind readers with too much of the lavish excess. So what did Fab learn this year? That even when you pack 28 dresses, you still forget the right one; that military outfits are hot; and that the power of Karl Lagerfeld’s genius extends even to the weather. After the jump, her lessons from this season’s runways.
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    Christian Louboutin Makes Shoes for Showgirls Who gets inspiration from sea anemones and showgirls? Christian Louboutin, of course. The French designer shares some of his new shoes (and handbags!) with New York’s fashion director, Harriet Mays Powell. The video’s got sexy boots and a sassy designer. Watch to see which is naughtier. Fashion Studio: Christian Louboutin [Video]
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    Feathers and Ruffles and Discounts! Cavalli to Design for H&M Shoppers, mark your calendars. On November 8, H&M will unveil a new collaboration with Roberto Cavalli, the chain announced this morning. “The Roberto Cavalli collections represent an exuberant, successful lifestyle,” H&M’s design chief, Margareta van den Bosch, said in the announcement — which is something of an understatement. Cavalli has cultivated a notoriously wild aesthetic — his latest collection featured cowboy hats, leopard-print trapeze coats, skintight, sequined gowns, and jodhpurs — and one wonders how H&M’s mass clientele will react. Should we expect watered-down versions of these outrageous efforts, or will Cavalli stretch outside his trademark sensibility and design for everywoman? His canned quotes shed no light. “I love freedom and challenges: breaking down barriers, experimenting in different directions,” he said in the statement. The new collection “will add a dash of festivity and dreams.” Of course. —Kendall Herbst
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    Americans Persistently Uninterested in Victoria Beckham The jury is still out on whether Americans can be forced to care about David Beckham — the whiny-voiced British footballer plays his last game for Real Madrid this weekend, after which he’ll descend upon L.A.— but if yesterday’s Saks Fifth Avenue appearance is any indication, we’ve already made up our minds about his wife, Victoria. The former Spice Girl was there to launch her new sunglasses and denim line, DVB, and initially it seemed as if a lot of people showed up. But as we listened closely to the confused buzzing behind cell-phone-camera flashes, giggles, and tittering from starstruck shoppers, we overheard one person explaining that “Angelina Jolie is here to promote her new clothes,” while a Saks security guy admitted, “We’ve got people all the way down the block. But it’s majority press that’s here.”
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    What to Wear to Turks and Caicos Behind closed showroom doors (and in the Santa Monica airport), designers have been showing off their resort and cruise collections the last few weeks. The lines are bright, colorful, and chock-full of obscenely expensive bikinis. We hit up the target demographic — Fabiola Beracasa and Byrdie Bell — to see what the ladies planned to buy for their next vacations.
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    Fashion Studio: Narciso Rodriguez Designer Narciso Rodriguez partnered with Liz Claiborne last month, and New York fashion director Harriet Mays Powell visited his studio recently to discuss the new venture. Rodriguez, who has maintained a minimalist aesthetic for over a decade, first became averse to trends while working in Paris. “There was so much creativity on the runway, but no clothing,” Rodriguez recalls. “When you can dress people, then you’ve done your job.” Fashion Studio: Narciso Rodriguez [NYM]
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    Walking the CFDA Red Carpet With Jack, Lazaro, and Oprah The big winner at the CFDA awards last night was … well, actually, it was two winners: The venerable Oscar de la Renta shared the Best Picture–ish womenswear award with Proenza Schouler whippersnappers Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez. Ralph Lauren won for menswear, Derek Lam for accessories, and Lauren was awarded the first-ever Fashion Legend Award. But the real question remains: What did they all wear? Our fashion folks can answer that for you, no problem. Check out our CFDA slideshow to see what Ralph, Derek, Jack, Lazaro, Oscar, Anna, Oprah, Tinsley, and many, many others wore on last night’s red carpet. The 2007 CFDA Fashion Awards [Slideshow]
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    An Accessories Grudge Match at CFDA Awards Every June, the CFDA awards bring the fashion world to a screeching halt. Who’ll win? Will there be catfights? Whom is Anna Wintour voting for? This year, the answer to every question: Who cares? Though top designers will win on Monday — Oscar de la Renta battles Marc Jacobs and Proenza Schouler for “Womenswear Designer of the Year,” while Phillip Lim, Thakoon, and Rodarte compete for the Swarovski Womenswear Award (for “emerging new talent”) — there’ll be no big shocking upset.
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    Isaac Mizrahi’s Not a Middle Man A few years ago, Isaac Mizrahi’s Target collection became a “paradigm-shifting event,” the designer told New York’s fashion director Harriet Mays Powell. But between couture and clothes that retail for less than $30, what happened to the middle? “When you get old, you figure out you’d better do your own thing or you’re going to be miserable,” Mizrahi says. “That’s just a matter of being honest.” To preview some new looks and to find out how Mizrahi lives his high-low aesthetic at home, watch the video. Fashion Studio: Isaac Mizrahi [Video]
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    H&M and Kylie Minogue Want You to Support Water By Dressing Like It Kylie Minogue is continuing to follow in Madonna’s footsteps, this time by launching her own collection at H&M, as the Material Girl did two months ago. As you know if you’ve passed through Soho lately, Minogue will have you covered this summer, with a small, fifteen-piece beachwear collection. It debuted today, and we visited the Fifth Avenue flagship for a peek. The line is done in sea colors — aquamarine, turquoise, sea foam, silver, white — and breezy cotton and rayon. The clear hits will be the embroidered tunic dresses, in white and aqua, and the metallic bikinis and one-pieces with sexy, dipping necklines. Of course, in typical Minogue form, there’s a splash of camp: silver turbans and mini-skirts so tiny they leave little to the imagination. Even better, you can feel good about your purchases; 10 percent of the proceeds will go to WaterAid projects in Africa. —Kendall Herbst Earlier: Madonna Excitement at H&M? It’s Like a Prayer
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    Nutritious, Delicious Couture What could be better than fashion and food? Yesterday we rushed to Vanderbilt Hall to catch Tim Gunn hosting the Wish-Bone Salad Show. Designers Richie Rich and Traver Rain compared the experience to summer camp, and the models looked bewildered. “There’s some lettuce going on there. Or maybe some other vegetables,” the Asian Salad said vaguely. Backstage, one model sported onion shorts while another counted the string beans on her dress. Gunn said he preferred to accessorize with food, but our favorite model embraced the whole aesthetic: “I am the carpaccio salad.” Wish-Bone Salad Fashion Show by Heatherette [NYM]
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    Real-Life Fashion Editors on Madame Alexander’s Fashion-Editor Dolls Couture doll maker Beatrice Alexander Behrman is long gone, but her cheeky spirit lives on at her Harlem doll factory, Madame Alexander. We were recently notified of additions to the company’s collection of so-called fashion-editor dolls, pictured above, which prompted us to check in with some real-life fashion editors for a reality check. After the jump, Linda Wells, editor-in-chief of Allure, Eva Hughes, editor-in-chief of Vogue Latin America, and Cleo Glyde, style director of Marie Claire present their reviews.
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    The Ladies, and Bergdorf, Love Posen Zac Posen, clad in a white tuxedo, gabbed with the ladies at Bergdorf Goodman today. After a luncheon to celebrate his new beauty product, the Front Row Facial, Posen dropped down to the third floor to show off his new and hugely celebrated fall collection. His latest designs have a newfound touch of sophistication — from joyful outbursts of color, like neon-green cocktail dresses, to architecturally inspired pieces, like Gwyneth Paltrow’s Oscar gown (pictured), Posen has made an aesthetic advance. We aren’t the only ones taking notice. Actress Lucy Liu, Posen’s date to last week’s Met Gala, “really loves” the collection, Posen admits. So how did the two meet up? “We dressed her for Vanity Fair, you know. And I sort of met her through that and really liked her.” “She’s a powerful, intelligent woman,” he adds. Considering the crowd at the trunk show today, Liu isn’t the only smart girl placing orders. —Kendall Herbst
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    It’s a Steal! Fashionable sources tell us that some Marc Jacobs bags are on sale at his Mercer Street store today. The Mixed Chain pouchette and handbag are starting at $200. Get down there!
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    Video: ‘Poiret: King of Fashion’ at the Met A special exhibit of clothing by self-crowned “King of Fashion” Paul Poiret just opened at the Met, and our cameras took a tour. In the early twentieth-century, the Frenchman liberated women from the corset, introduced a vivid color palette, and was the first designer to socialize with his clients. His “naïve and spontaneous” approach continues today through designers like Proenza Schouler, says Andrew Bolton, associate curator of the Costume Institute. “Poiret believed that women should dress in the way that suited them most, not just following trends.” Poiret: King of Fashion Video [NYM]
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    The Queen Comes to America: A Fashion Report A visit by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II may be a state occasion, but it’s not exactly a fashion event. After all, she’s been wearing boxy suits, major hats, and skirts of that curious Hasid-chick length for as long as anyone can remember. How’d she do on her just-winding-up American tour? Here’s a blow by blow.
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    Video Report: Mingling With Celebs at the Costume Institute Red Carpet If you didn’t make it to the red carpet for last night’s Costume Institute Gala at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, boy, do we have some good news for you. New York’s intrepid party reporter Jada Yuan was there, and we’ve got her on video admiring the outfits, chatting with celebs, and learning that Harry Connick Jr. knows little about fashion and Christina Ricci knows even less about her date. Watch Jada’s report; it’s almost like being there — but with no need to get dressed up. Video From the Costume Institute Gala [NYM]
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    Costume Institute Celebrates Freedom, Almost LiterallyThe Costume Institute at the Metropolitan Museum of Art held its annual gala last night, celebrating the Institute’s new exhibit, “Poiret: King of Fashion.” The theme for the night? Freedom, as Paul Poiret famously released women from the confines of corsets. And perhaps in his honor, or at least continuing in his tradition, Jessica Simpson nearly busted out of her Roberto Cavalli dress, while the usually well-dressed Julianne Moore was thisclose to having a nip slip in her white tuxedo blazer. Kate Moss, America Ferrera, and Cameron Diaz, however, all looked stunning. But the big winner was Sandra Bullock — yep, Sandra Bullock! — who looked drop-dead gorgeous. There are pics of all of them, plus many, many more, in our Costume Institute slideshow. Pictures From the Costume Institute Gala [NYM] Earlier: 21 Questions: Harold Koda [NYM]
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    Stella McCartney Has Something Up Her Ecofriendly Sleeve Stella McCartney popped by Bergdorf Goodman yesterday afternoon, peddling her new fall line to the adoring, middle-aged crowd mobbing the third floor. The collection, in typical Stella form, gave a nod to the environment: Polar-bear sweaters and oversize knit coats are her alternative to glamorous fur toppers. “I think it’s important to stress that you don’t have to be 100 percent perfect,” McCartney said of the fashion industry’s recent moves toward greenness. “Every little bit helps. We try to do what we can.” One way: She’s offering a new vegan cosmetics line, which she coyly whispered is now available now at Barneys and Sephora.
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    ‘Runway’ Winner Dao to Design for Neiman’s?Project Runway’s second-season winner Chloe Dao is in talks with Neiman Marcus about designing a line for the high-end department store, Tim Gunn said earlier this week. “Chloe wants to contain kind of a bubble of a career, and she has it,” Gunn told us at the Parson benefit the other night. “I mean it’s not going to be overnight, immediate commercial success, only because of the daunting aspects of production and how you wind all that up and seize the market.” Gunn heard the news from Neiman’s execs; Dao’s rep at Lizzie Grubman PR declined comment on any deals in the works but could announce one to design iPod accessories for a different Texas-based company. “She likes her life,” Gunn said. “She likes living in Houston. She manages it well, and I’m really proud of her.” —Amy Odell
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    Runway Repeats at Parsons Senior Show! Monday’s senior collections shown at Parsons — spotlighting the class’s top designers — raised a question: How closely did these students study the runway? These “top collections” looked like top knockoffs to us. Julia Medvedev’s black bodice dress (above) echoed a Versace silhouette. And Sean William Salim’s gold pants were all too reminiscent of Ghesquière’s robotic creations at Balenciaga. Lora Nova even regurgitated Gareth Pugh’s see-through stripes. But it wasn’t all copycats. Boaz Eli, one of Parsons’ Womenswear Designers of the Year, showed garments that were flattering, well cut, and most important, original. More look-alikes after the jump. —Kendall Herbst
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    The Rodarte Designers Don’t Mind Bad ReviewsThe Rodarte designers, sisters Kate and Laura Mulleavy, had their turn for a Bergdorf Goodman trunk show this afternoon, and they brought along both their acclaimed spring collection and the less-well-reviewed fall line. There’s “controlled volume, draping, curiosity, playfulness” to these new designs, Kate said, but some critics haven’t been too impressed. Robin Givhan of the Washington Post, for example, argued that the work “needs maturity and better technique.” How did the designers handle that reaction? “We have a vision, and it’s going to take a lot of time to develop it,” Kate told us. “You’re not always going to get everything perfect.” She said that she was pleased to have critics talking, even if they didn’t love what they were saying. The worst thing is when it’s more of a lukewarm reply, she said. “If you do a collection, it should be that a lot of strong opinions come out.” At least the Rodarte collaboration with the Gap has been critically praised. But don’t hold your breath for a full low-priced collection. “We’re still experimenting with our own label and growing it,” Kate said. “All of our efforts are going towards that.” —Kendall Herbst
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    Thakoon Panichgul Goes to Bergdorf’s, Talks GapDiminutive designer Thakoon Panichgul had his Bergdorf Goodman trunk show this afternoon, providing a first look at his fall garments, a markedly more somber palette than his rose-hued summer wears. Bergdorf bigs were helping privileged clients find their perfect pieces, but what we were curious about was the couturier’s new collaboration with the Gap. How does a high-end designer make clothes for the khaki-clad masses? “What it boils down to in this day and age is about the ability to design for all sorts of people,” he told us. “They’re two different worlds, but what links them together is the design sensibility. I think that as a young designer you can never take for granted anyone’s business. It broadens the interest by doing things like the Gap.” He would consider doing more low-price projects, he told us, if the right opportunity came along. “For me, it’s never about low-end,” he said. “It’s a lower price point, but it doesn’t suffer in design.” For now, though, he’s considering a menswear collection. “It’ll be interesting to see what I might think up for it,” he said, “because I’m so … small.” —Kendall Herbst Earlier: Proenza Schouler Comes to Bergdorf Goodman, Finally At Marchesa Show, Harvey’s Girl Wishes Halston Well
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    Will Dior Homme Designer Hedi Slimane Head Out on His Own?Hedi Slimane, the hollow-eyed waif designer for whom Karl Lagerfeld lost 90 pounds, is out at Dior Homme, according to WWD’s redoubtable Paris bureau chief, Miles Socha. Even though Slimane is an international superstar who single-handedly made a moribund label into the hottest thing on the planet — his ultraskinny black suits changed the way men dress — he’s reportedly getting tossed from the LVMH-owned company for diva-ish behavior and protracted contract negotiations. (His contract was left unsigned for nearly a year, as reported yesterday.)
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    At Marchesa Show, Harvey’s Girl Wishes Halston Well The Bergdorf Goodman parade of trunk shows continues, and today it was Marchesa’s turn. Designers Georgina Chapman and Keren Craig were there to talk about their line of feathered, beaded gowns, seen often at red-carpet events. But we were more interested in asking them about a different label. Chapman dates Harvey Weinstein — which might have something to do with why you see their designs on those red carpets so frequently — and Harvey just bought Halston. A new opportunity for the Marchesa girls, perhaps? “That’s nothing to do with us,” Craig was quick to say. And Chapman was quick to position it as someone else’s project. “I’m very excited for them,” she said of the new Halston family. “I think Tamara” — that’s Tamara Mellon, the fashion exec Weinstein installed to run the brand — “is a fantastically talented woman. I mean, what she’s done with Jimmy Choo is just incredible, and, um, I keep my fingers crossed for them.” Got that? For them. Not for her. —Kendall Herbst Earlier: Proenza Schouler Comes to Bergdorf Goodman, Finally
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    NBA’s Fashion Forward? Last night’s “Court-ture ‘07” fashion show (featuring clothes by Jared M. and, of course, Rochester Big & Tall) was another odd development in the NBA’s attempts to get classy. It was only last off-season that commissioner David Stern instituted the league’s dress code, to the chagrin of players like Tim Duncan, who called the rules “retarded,” and Stephen Jackson, who said the ban on chains was a “racist statement.” Fast-forward to yesterday’s event at the NBA Store in midtown and there’s Jared Jefferies (in a “very spring” pink shirt) and Kenyon Martin (wearing dubious fabbed-out golfer chic) hanging lefts on the catwalk.
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    Madonna Excitement at H&M? It’s Like a Prayer Omigod! A new celeb-driven line at H&M! Let’s get there fast, before everything sells out! Knowing the mob scenes that develop whenever a new, hyped H&M collection launches — we’re veterans of the great Viktor & Rolf Rush of ‘06 — we headed over to the Swedish chain’s Fifth Avenue flagship this morning to witness Madonna Madness ‘07, the debut of the Material Girl’s second H&M collection, the first that she actually had a hand in designing. Drew Barrymore, Kirsten Dunst, Carmen Electra, Stella McCartney, and Gwyneth Paltrow have all reportedly ordered pieces — and, if the scene on Fifth was any indication, they might be the only ones wearing them: The line had barely reached the corner of 51st Street when the doors opened at ten o’clock. “So I guess everything will be gone in two hours?” joked one shopper, who said she was a veteran of H&M’s crazy Karl Lagerfeld debut. Not likely. —Kendall Herbst
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    Proenza Schouler Comes to Bergdorf Goodman, Finally You can find lots of high-end labels at Bergdorf Goodman, but you couldn’t find Proenza Schouler there — until today. The Proenza boys — Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez — brought their latest designs to a trunk show at the Fifth Avenue department store to celebrate their line’s new home in the store. Mannequins displayed the fall collection, as did a few real, live, wandering models, and the boys mingled with Bergdorf execs and other invited celebs. McCullough explained that their design process starts with sketches focused on silhouettes and colors, rather than with larger themes, and Hernandez added that they usually start with the details and move on to larger shapes. These days, he said, “we’re really into designing coats and jackets,” which explains why so many showed up on their runway last month. And what’s coming for the September shows? They wouldn’t say. For now, they said, they’re focused on Proenza’s first-ever resort collection, to be followed by a sunglass line — “classics like aviators, but with a twist” — and, after that, bags. All of which you’ll now be able to find at Bergdorf. —Kendall Herbst
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    Madewell? Ask Uma Thurman for the Number On Monday night, Uma Thurman scheduled a special preview appointment to shop the Madewell spring collection, located in a private showroom near Astor Place. The “store” is open to New Yorkers for just eight days (tomorrow through Friday, and then next Monday to Friday) by appointment only. And to make the call, you need the “secret” phone number. Inspired by the Massachusetts workwear company founded in 1937, the spring women’s collection (currently available only at the label’s two stores in Dallas and L.A.) includes garment-dyed denim, washed “boyfriend” shirts, and an assortment of cool and girlie skirts, dresses, and accessories, ranging from $12.50 for tanks and tees to $248 for the flat, equestrian boots. The renowned jeans range in price from $75 to $115. Often likened to the hip and modern French label A.P.C., Madewell is owned by the J. Crew Group but bears virtually no resemblance to the classic, preppy label. The Manhattan pop-up store has garnered impressive fashion buzz owning to its semi-secret, exclusive viewings. For those who are not privy to the private shopping experience this week, do not fear: More Madewell stores are opening soon. This Friday, a branch opens in Austin, Tex., and in May, stores arrive in Short Hills, New Jersey, and Las Vegas. New Yorkers will have to keep waiting, however, as a permanent Manhattan spot has not been chosen. Sources swear that it will open before the end of 2007. Until then, women can just scour the city for that secret phone number. —Doria Santlofer
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    Dispatches From Milan Fashion Week New York Fashion Week might be long over, but the fashion fun never stops. Last week was the Milan collections, and both Ann Watson, Henri Bendel’s fashion director, and Linda Fargo, Bergdorf’s fashion senior veep, filed reports for nymag.com. Ann liked Moschino, Dolce & Gabbana, Alessandro Dell’Acqua, and Linda dug the shows at Jil Sander, Marni, and Fendi. Their full reports are at Show & Talk. Linda Fargo of Bergdorf Goodman Likes Jil Sander, Marni, and Fendi [Show & Talk] Ann Watson of Henri Bendel Likes Moschino, Dolce & Gabbana, Alessandro Dell’Acqua [Show & Talk]
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    Fashion Report Card: Critics Rate London Shows Over at Show & Talk, our fashion team has scoured dozens of reviews to bring you the critics’ opinions on London Fashion Week. Marc by Marc Jacobs was universally admired, and Biba failed to impress anyone. Fashion writers had a fantastic time dissecting Gareth Pugh: “The boy is showing promising signs of outgrowing the thrill of being poor and mocked,” Sarah Mower said. Get more opinions about these designers, and Giles Deacon and Christopher Kane, over at Show & Talk. Fashion Report Card: London Fashion Week [Show & Talk]
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    Meanwhile, Back at Bryant Park…While you’re huddling for warmth under your desk, our sister blog, Show & Talk, is braving the tents at Fashion Week. Here’s what’s going on. There’s dirt: • Jay McCarroll unloaded both barrels on Tim Gunn. • We tracked down why Marc Jacobs shows are always late. • Model May Andersen explained why anorexic women are ruining it for the naturally skinny ones. • And what does a straight man do at Fashion Week? John Legend knows.
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    Fashion Week Is Here! Oh, happy day! It’s the start of Fashion Week in New York, and everyone from designers to models to socialites to — of course — New York Magazine is gearing up for it. We’re especially pleased to bring back nymag.com’s full Fashion Week extravaganza. We’ll be posting next-day slideshows of all the shows. We’ll be giving our fancy new video player a good workout. We’re bringing back our Show & Talk fashion blog, which will bring you instant trend reports, lots of Harriet and Amy, plenty of Video Look Books, and, most thrillingly, the return to New York of our beloved Fug Girls. All that, plus we’re letting you post comments on Show & Talk. (We expect to regret that last bit.) It’ll be more fun than a Marc Jacobs costume party. New York Fashion Week Preview [NYM]
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    The Menswear You Missed in Paris Snappy suits, ninjawear, Technicolor hues, and icy whites. That’s what we found at the Paris menswear shows this week. We’ve got Gaultier and YSL, Vuitton and Watanabe, and more. Watch our slideshows to find your favorite looks for fall. Then click and repeat until the tents go up at Bryant Park. It’s almost Fashion Week! Fall 2007 Menswear [NYM]
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    The Fashion Emperors’ New ClothesHelmut Lang and Tom Ford came back into circulation this week, and here’s the thing: Neither of them had clothes. Link Theory Holding (parent of Theory) owns Lang’s name now, and the Helmut Lang S/S 07 collection is being designed by Nicole and Michael Colyvos, themselves ex-Habitual designers. The new line lacks the old Helmut’s transgressive touches, and in a way, that’s appropriate. One of the reasons Lang was so beloved by the Zara–Club Monaco–Gap supply chain is that his minimalism was really easy to reproduce in more commercial form — just remove the kinky leather harnesses and bondage straps, leaving fitted trench coats, neatly geometric dresses, slim trousers, and narrow jackets. They probably won’t be smoothing out Lang anymore, because Theory has already done it.
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    Ask a Retailer: Paris Edition The buyers from Kirna Zabête and Intermix reported from Paris on their favorite collections from the spring 2007 shows. What will you be wearing next season? Space-age outfits, goddess dresses, and Lucite heels. One hopes not at the same time.