(Photos by Shao-Yu Liu)
It’d be easy to confuse Asher Levine’s Tribeca basement studio for a special effects laboratory rather than the work space and showroom of one of Hollywood’s favorite emerging menswear designers.
Inside the door stands a cloaked and hooded figure in a red-ribbed death mask. Farther back, there is an assortment of horror-movie ephemera hanging from the ceiling and lying in glass cases: skull-shaped caps, rubbery monster gloves and a gigantic mold of what looks like a tyrannosaurus egg. In the middle of the room, veined human-size bat wings bloom out of slim leather jacket, a grotesquely beautiful Alexander McQueen vision in polyurethane.
On the Tuesday before New York’s Fashion Week, a group of young men joked around in the studio, taking off their clothes to show off tattoos and abdominal muscles. Unlike their female counterparts, these models come in varied sizes and ages: there was a 6-foot-4, soft-spoken Channing Tatum lookalike who was only 16, a 38-year-old with a grizzled two-day beard and a meaty build, and the emaciated blond Beau, who resembled Pete Doherty as rendered by Larry Clark.
New York Fashion Week
Moncler, the foremost design label for premier puffy coats and Fashion Week presentations involving people sculptures, held its exhibition in New York’s Gotham Hall Saturday night. It did not disappoint: The “Human Forest” show involved 370 boys and girls wearing the label lining up on different tiers underneath a mirrored ceiling, while flashing lights and a Star War-y soundtrack blared.
Of course, the biggest fans of Moncler that evening were the Brant brothers, who have yet to see a Fashion Week event that they couldn’t throw their teenaged two cents on.
Fashion Week Fall 2013
A Winter Advisory warning for two feet of snow couldn’t have come at a worse time for all those fashionistas who make their biannual bread during the upcoming weeks. While we’d never encourage anyone to take risks during Blizzard Nemo (awww … even the name makes us sleepy!), it’s also not a day to slack off! There is Fashion to reported on, people! However, there’s definitely a “right” and a “wrong” way to cover it. Here, our friends Goofus and Gallant take us on a journey through the Fall 2013 line during a snowstorm.
Shindigger is simply mad about all things Italian: the food, the language, the people, the clothes, the midday naps! And so we had no choice but to jet off to Milano to take in Men’s Fashion Week, one structured cashmere blazer at a time. Shindigger was front and center at shows including Ermenegildo Zegna, Dolce Read More
After the Runway
As New York shovels up the Fashion Week embers around town after the onslaught, The Observer still has a few loose ends. One thing we wanted to know in all the ruckus was how the new comers had fared.
Kara Laricks, the winner of NBC reality show Fashion Star, is certainly a new face in the crowded sea of designers. Under the tutelage design mentors Jessica Simpson, John Varvatos and Nicole Richie, Ms. Laricks convinced the buyers’ judging panel from H&M, Macy’s and Saks Fifth Avenue that her creations were worthy of the $6m capsule collection award. The show was a hit: Nielsen TV Ratings Data reported 4.81 million viewers for the finale, and NBC has already renewed Fashion Star for a second season and begun casting. We caught up with Ms. Laricks after her first presentation at Runway@Pier 57 last week to get all the buzz about her début. Were her masculine-feminine-meets-1920s-Japanese matchbox looks a triumph or did she she fall flat?
What did it feel like to finally present your first bona fide fashion week presentation?
I felt vulnerable! In the past, if my collection was not well received, I was under the protective wing of The Academy of Art University, NBC, Saks Fifth Avenue, Macy’s, H&M … this time, the pressure was all on me. However, there was never any question as to whether or not I would continue designing post Fashion Star and I knew “sticking my neck out there” would be worth the risk no matter what the response. Now that my first collection has been shown at New York fashion week and the reviews are rolling in, I feel exhilarated, proud and accomplished. Can’t wait for the next!
We love the clean lines and abstract nature of Francisco Costa’s designs for Calvin Klein Collection. Of Brazilian descent, he has an unmatchable talent for creating wearable art that is minimal and wearable—perhaps the only one who provides a Parisian level of artistic thrills in New York.
We had some time to spare before the show began—a departure from our general habit of sprinting four blocks and arriving sweaty and out of breath at the last minute. We left our seat-mates Bianca Jagger, Julie Macklowe and Kelly Klein, to name a few, to explore the front rows.
Amy Adams, Diane Kruger, Emma Stone and photographer Patrick Demarchelier were all present, but our vigilant eyes sought out someone less obvious: W Magazine’s Fashion and Style Director, Edward Enninful.
There is something organized and memorable about the last day of fashion week. Despite the grueling pace, late nights, early mornings and simply divine personalities we endure, there is an orderly sense of energy at the Ralph Lauren and Calvin Klein Collection shows. Publicists are graceful and polite, photo check-in is straightforward, seating disasters are delicately avoided and celebs are accessible, or, if not, polite about it.
Such was the case yesterday morning in West Soho when Mr. Lauren held his 80th runway presentation. His front row of stars dressed in his premium line included Jessica Alba, Olivia Wilde and most of the members of the Ralph Lauren Royal Family.
For spring 2013, Mr. Lauren progressed from something South American to ornate looks that were undeniably Catalan and Castilian, with tomato suede jackets, amethyst silk marocaine trousers, cotton ruffle shirting in white and beautiful scarlet dresses. There were black calf woven totes and hats. The styling seemed a bit overwrought, but the majority of this overload was eliminated when the evening wear flowed in.
Incredible brocade and beaded boleros influenced by los toreros of Spain, black double-faced wool jackets and dresses, a stunning, full-length beaded tulle skirt, and scarlet dresses with embroidery and beading. It was wearable and eternally elegant.
“Please return to your seats!”
The typical orders were barked from the front row at Michael Kors on Wednesday, September 12 at 10 a.m. Too much too early. Due to some recent Team Kors PR shifts and rifts, we couldn’t locate the familiar faces that would help The Observer with its conquest. Where were Savannah Read More
New York Fashion Week Spring 2013
Vivienne Tam was clear about one thing at the launch of her jewelry collaboration with TSL at Hakkasan New York on Wednesday, which brought out the likes of model Jessica Hart and Julie Macklowe: individuality is key. This goes beyond style to the Five Elements of Chinese cosmology, Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal and Water. The Read More
Fashion Week Spring 2013
“I hope I have a job tomorrow.” That was personal shopper Betty Halbreich’s reaction to the Sept. 12 preview of Matthew Miele’s fashion documentary Scatter My Ashes at Bergdorf’s. Ms. Halbreich explained, “I spurt things without thinking!” But to others, her brutal honesty and WASPish sense of humor made her one of the film’s firm favorites. Gossip Girl costume designer Eric Damon spoke for all when he said, “It’s all about Betty.”
Ms. Halbreich, The Observer thinks you’ll be just fine.
As Fashion Week comes to a close, the celebration of Bergdorf Goodman’s 111th anniversary stepped into the spotlight. Swapping Lincoln Center’s front rows for the old-style stadium seating of The Paris Theater, a confluence of fatigued fashionistas enjoyed a show that for the first time in seven days allowed them to remain in their seats for more than 10 minutes.