By Jocelyn Noveck
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
NEW YORK _ Here’s the thing about holding Fashion Week in February: No one really talks about the clothes _ they’re too busy talking about the weather. This year, it was even colder than usual, which meant even more painful moments slip-sliding along icy streets and shivering one’s you-know-what off waiting for someone to decide to open the doors. Still, some lingering images from the actual shows stand out. A look at what was weird, wonderful or both:
KANYE ARRIVES _ AND ARRIVES. AND ARRIVES.
There’s no question who the biggest celeb was this Fashion Week: Kanye West. And boy, was Yeezy everywhere. First, there was his very own fashion show, a collaboration with Adidas.
The A-list event was memorable in many ways. There was the interminable wait to get in. There was the frenzy surrounding the star-packed front row: Beyonce. Jay Z. Justin Bieber. Rihanna. There was the odd sight of models in nude body stockings and underwear, a look that is not flattering even on attractive young people.
And then there was the youngest fashion critic in the room, toddler North West, who ran around happily before crowds came in but was clearly more perturbed as showtime neared (what? a little kid who doesn’t like pounding music, darkness, crowds, no ventilation, and having to sit still and be quiet?) Mom Kim Kardashian wisely rethought things and brought her backstage.
North reappeared, back in form, in the front row at Alexander Wang, looking very hip in toddler Wang (Goth-style black dress with metal studs, bomber jacket).
As for Kanye, he also showed up at Jeremy Scott and at Ralph Lauren, where he smiled and gushed about his host: “He’s the No. 1 inspiration. He’s the greatest designer of our time.”
KENDALL JENNER ARRIVES, TOO
Only a year ago, Kendall Jenner (half-sister of Kim K) was making news with her first appearance at Fashion Week, at Marc Jacobs.
Well, she was the “it” model this year, appearing on no less than EIGHT major runways. Her versatile look went from dark, messy-haired Goth (Alexander Wang) to fresh and bright (a white wrap dress at Diane von Furstenberg).
She even walked for Oscar de la Renta, wearing an elegant tulle and organza gown by the new man at the house, creative director Peter Copping.
A NEW ERA AT DE LA RENTA
Speaking of Copping, it was “an emotional day for the house,” he said, as he presented his debut collection, just a few months after the beloved designer’s October death of cancer at age 82.
The late designer’s clients and fans _ including singer Taylor Swift, wearing bright red de la Renta _ packed into his showroom to show support and see what Copping had to offer. The looks were, in many ways, classic de la Renta _ ultra-feminine, ornate and romantic _ but Copping also showed some enthusiasm for more daywear, in mixed tweed patterns, and for shorter lengths, as in the chic cocktail dress that ended the show.
A CUPPA ON A COLD DAY AT BECKHAM
One celebrity designer who’s been at it for some time now is Victoria Beckham. In the grand, high-domed setting of Cipriani Wall Street, once home to the New York Stock Exchange, she showed a refined, focused collection featuring what she called “bouncy” fabrics with sexy design twists like cutouts.
Also noticed on this very cold Sunday morning: Beckham’s guests were treated to hot tea in glass cups as they came in from the cold. Nice move.
NAOMI CAMPBELL MAKES A SPLASH
Also a nice move: Getting supermodel Naomi Campbell to close your show in grand style _ in the grandness of Grand Central Station. That’s what Zac Posen did, putting Campbell in a glittering, full-skirted ruby ballgown. Campbell wasn’t the only high-wattage name in the room: Rihanna selfied with Lee Daniels and sat front row with Mary J. Blige. Earlier in the week, Campbell had put on a celebrity studded show of her own, a fundraiser for her charity, Fashion for Relief, to help eradicate Ebola.
MOURNING BECOMES HIM
If you’re going to be in mourning, you might as well look fabulous, right? Designer Thom Browne put on an elaborate wake for his winter collection, and like so many of his shows, it was a marvel of creativity. Guests filed into wooden pew-like seats, set up to resemble an old operating theatre in a bygone era. On three gurneys lay women all in white. They had died of broken hearts, the story went. As angels accompanied them up to heaven, their mourning friends came out _ all in black, 40 of them, in spectacularly tailored outfits made of wool, cashmere, lace, mohair, satin and anything you could think of. A funeral to die for.
A NEW KIND OF STOCKING CAP
At Hood by Air, designer Shayne Oliver put a new twist on the idea of a stocking cap: His models wore pantyhose on their heads, pulled tightly across the face and tied securely at the back of the neck. Add to that some face paint and glittering mouth hardware, and it was quite an imposing look.
“The person was supposed to look unapproachable, but not scary,” explained the Brooklyn-based Oliver, 27, a fast riser in the fashion world with his street-inflected style, particularly in menswear.
THE BIG SECRET _ OSCAR NIGHT
Ask a designer which actress they’re dressing on Oscar night, and you might as well be asking the CIA for a rundown of upcoming espionage activities. No one wants to reveal a thing.
“I hate to name names,” said Jason Wu. “We’ll never say someone’s in our dress until we see a picture of them,” said Georgina Chapman of Marchesa. And at Calvin Klein, where designer Francisco Costa was also mum, guest Sienna Miller wouldn’t say what she was wearing _ allowing that she likes to take the decision to the wire.
A VODKA NEAT, COURTESY OF MARC JACOBS
Three things we loved about the final big event of the week, Marc Jacobs’ closing show at the vast Park Avenue Armory: One, the models, beautifully dressed in a combination of Victorian, Goth, and other styles, looked dramatic with their grey eye shadow and hair in distinctive top-knots, intended to elongate their necks. Two, Jacobs always starts RIGHT ON TIME.
And three, how can you not love a designer who has handsome waiters serving tumblers of vodka with a twist before the show? See you next season, Mr. Jacobs.
Associated Press writers Leanne Italie and Nicole Evatt contributed to this report.