Alex McCord reflects on Fashion Week, including Simon's runway run-in with Ramona!
I’m writing my blog this week at the dining room table with Spring Break-mad youngsters snapping at my heels wanting dried mango, swirly pasta and “Milk in the glass with the blue bunny on it, please!” Johan is now known as the keyboard bandit – he surreptitiously removed the "D" and semicolon keys from my laptop which I haven’t had a chance to replace, so I’m phrasing carefully this week to avoid having to press those keys too often. The D is easier than the semicolon, which I’m having to copy and paste from my character map. Tee hee.
Ahhh, Fashion Week. It’s fun. It can look frivolous to some, even many, who aren’t involved in the industry. It’s the mecca to which many people in New York bend and pray twice a year, and 20 minutes of high stakes runway action can make or break designers’ careers. There was a huge difference in the Fashion Week you’re seeing this week (September 2008) versus the one we just finished in Feb 2009 – the economy really took its toll. However, let’s go back in time briefly and celebrate the week that was…
I’m not sure whether Fashion Week will spill into next week’s episode, but so far Simon and I are only shown attending Russell Simmons’ collection. On the way to our seats, I said hello to Ramona and moved past her. She attempted to ignore Simon, which if you know Simon, is not a wise thing to do if you’re trying to avoid a confrontation. If he thinks someone is being fake or facile, he’ll jump right in and escalate the situation to bring out whatever the root issue may be. He asked Ramona what her problem was and she struggled to come up with an answer. Personally I would not have expended the effort, but Simon likes all people to like him. Me? I like likable people to like me. Johan did not take my "L" key.
We caught quite a few other shows that week, including Tibi, Rosa Cha-cha-cha whose flip flops I am currently wearing out, Alice McCall of the very cool insect prints and the fabulous Malan Breton. I’m hoping you get to see part of Malan’s show as he really outdid himself with that collection, but if it doesn’t make the series, Google him and check out his work. There were also several we were sorry to miss but couldn’t attend due to the shows being in the middle of the day – Luca Luca & Pamella Roland among others. If I’m ever in a job that facilitates me taking time in the middle of the day to see shows I’ll be in 7th heaven. Simon caught the talented ChoCheng sans moi, and this February I caught his show on my own – maybe one of these days we’ll see his work together! A big highlight of the week was meeting Valentino Garavani for the very first time at the premiere of his documentary The Red Thread.
Fashion Week is when creative people descend on the city, which is a wise time for photographers & artists to do installations. We caught up with designer Walter Baker (awesome, Google him too,) at the Nigel Barker Moon Warriors exhibit – really quirky and fun and I’m not just talking about Nigel and his all-night-long film exposures. I was not surprised to hear Kelly telling Bethenny about Mick Rock – he is a kick-a** photographer and great fun to hang out with – he and his wife Pati are really lovely. I didn’t see Kelly at Mick’s show or realize she knew him, but NY is such a small town in some ways and there is usually only one or two degrees of separation between people. Mick has a funny nickname for Simon and I’ve probably said too much already. Ahem.
What else was memorable? Vivenne Tam teamed up with Hewlett Packard to make some really slick laptops, which I remember was the same night as the Russell Simmons show since we were wearing the same thing – in my book it’s OK to wear the same things to parties on the same night. There was a great L’Uomo Vogue party at Barneys and, and, and… it was a fun week.
What else? Part of what’s exciting about living in New York City is the opportunity not only to see established designers’ shows & presentations, but also to be able to see the work of younger, up & coming designers who may be the future of fashion. One of these is the Christopher Deane team, Christopher Crawford and Angela Deane. Our friends Adele & Mike, the owners of Epaulet, did a pop-up shop with Christopher Deane and that’s how we all met. We then went to Williamsburg, a neighborhood north of us in Brooklyn where many, many designers have their workspaces including Christopher & Angela. The brown dress I wear in this scene (and others) is by them, and they also made that great blue jacket I wore in the yoga scene with Bethenny last week.
Jill brought everyone together for a charity meeting at the home of the lovely Christine de Simone, of People Reaching Out, an event-planning organization that executes charity benefits for individuals who wish to host them. I missed the lion’s share of the drama as I was even later than Kelly that evening due to work. Watching people snark at Kelly for being late started to make me nervous – I was glad the scene was cut off before I came barreling in like I was pursued by wolves. Yes, that was rude and thankfully not viewed by reality fans across the planet. However, it was neither rude nor presumptuous of the group to assume Kelly would lend her name to the event. Whenever charity meetings like this occur, everyone gets an email and a prospectus well in advance of the first meeting, and you would never attend a benefit meeting if you weren’t prepared to be on the committee. That’s just not how it works – people are too busy to attend meetings for events they’ve not going to get involved in. I can only think that maybe Kelly didn’t read the materials she received, or else Jill showed up at her apartment and threatened to have Ginger clean her nostrils if she didn’t come to the meeting.
While I’d love to keep writing, I am about to be attacked by hungry short people dressed as superheroes. Until next week, check out Simon’s blog as well and on Thursday I’ll post my next Huffington Post blog on job hunting.