We arrived a half-hour after the Douglas Hannant show was scheduled to begin, so, naturally, we were right on time. Disarray is the name of the game five minutes to fashion show time, and we were there at minute four; publicists and handlers were shooing people gently into seats and clearing the runway. The unexpected Upper East Side meets East Village crowd sparked our interest; monochromatic and sophisticated peppered with bohemian grunge makes for some absorbing people watching. Soon after taking our seat in the front row between a woman in snakeskin pants clutching an iPad and a chatty guy rocking red suspenders just visible beneath his 1960s-style charcoal suit jacket; everyone settled down. A dog barked. Did a dog just really bark?
Music provided by DJ Xavier began to play, and the first lovely, leggy model flounced down the runway in what may have been our favorite look of the day: a brilliantly orange-colored military double-face coat. Perfection.
As “Burning Love” filled the room with its hearty, upbeat tune, we noticed several people gesturing towards one of those perfectly postured, lanky beings who was dressed in a black three-quarter sleeve pullover, black knee socks, and a gorgeous ivory skirt, covered in bows. Certainly, this look is the epitome of what Mr. Hannant described to The Observer as the inspiration behind his show: “classic collegiate, redesigned.” We were hoping he would elaborate on what sort of colleages he had in mind when he designed his Fall/Winter “Pink” collection, and perhaps even name-drop a NESCAC school or two, but “rich college girl” seemed to be the designer’s most specific muse.
After we got to relive our New England liberal arts school days in the form of twenty-six different outfits, most of the viewers ditched their seats for some runway schmoozing. Designers Alvin Valley and Bonnie Young could be seen, along with Lady Liliana Cavendish, Saks’ Joseph Boitano and Neiman Marcus’ Ken Downing. Also seen was a small grey terrier in a preppy getup, tucked under the arm of what was surely an Upper East Sider, clearly enjoying his front-row status.