As we sloshed, caked with snow flurries, into the Mandarin Oriental for the 2012 Phoenix House Fashion award dinner last Wednesday evening, we couldn’t determine whether it was the way-too-early winter outside, the Sandy-forced relocation or the early start after an endless election season, but at first glance, things looked a bit quiet. (In retrospect, we appreciated the venue upgrade, considering it was originally slated to take place at Pier 60.)
“Well there’s Linda Fargo, at least …” we uttered to a weary-eyed publicist as she sashayed passed us in a crisp black sheath dress, before we sauntered downstairs to cocktail hour.
Below, on the 35th floor, the considerably more lively and notable fashion crowd imbibed, heedless of the blizzard-like winds that howled without mercy on the commoners struggling to get around Columbus Circle.
With the exception of Glenda Bailey, this didn’t feel like a typical fashion event; nay, it was considerably more corporate—a bit cliquey, but not necessarily in a bad way. Dashing executives (well mostly dashing) in flamboyant tailored suits sipped scotch and red wine, while a more demure population of women squawked about recent highs and lows.
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.
“Pretty much every gay man in fashion is here,” a guest remarked at the AIDS Community Research Initiative of America’s “Cocktails at Sunset” benefit on Saturday evening.
And so it seemed. The air was heavily perfumed, and well-fitting white jeans abounded in the backyard of Ross Bleckner’s Sagaponack residence. Despite some wild weather earlier in the week—a smothering heat wave followed by a severe summer storm—the sky had cleared and the beach breeze was cool.
Photographer Stewart Shining expressed his relief at this, telling The Observer that, as the vice president of ACRIA, he’d been running around all day getting things ready and having nightmares about the rain. And with good reason—Kelly Klein told us that she’d attended the annual kickoff at the Bridgehampton Polo Club earlier that day, only for it to be canceled because of Friday’s harsh weather. “But everybody still showed up, so it was a bunch of people with nowhere to go,” she explained, a little exasperated.
But the grass was dry as Jeffrey Bilhuber, Tomas Maier and David Kleinberg milled around the tented lawn, sipping champagne and taking in the silent auction featuring Robert Mapplethorpe’s Fang (1987) and a Robert Longo portrait of Cindy Sherman, which sold for $9,000 and $11,000, respectively.
Fashion Week Observed
We braced for the worst on the last day of New York Fashion Week, when Calvin Klein (and KCD) sent The Observer this alarming email warning:
“As a reminder, you are confirmed to attend the Calvin Klein Collection Fall 2012 Women’s show today at 2PM. We have been made aware that the Occupy Wall Street Read More
The VIP row at the Calvin Klein show on Thursday, Sept. 17 included actresses Kerry Washington, Rose Byrne, Thandie Newton and the brand’s current poster girl, Eva Mendes.
Designer Francisco Costa sent out his models looking like futuristic newborns: wet hair in minimalist ponytails, bodies glistening with baby oil. They wore neutral-colored dresses in high-textured Read More
At around 5:30 p.m. on Monday, May 18, a procession of women in billowing gowns was making its way in the courtyard of the Metropolitan Opera House for the American Ballet’s spring gala.
“I cannot wait to see Michelle Obama!” said the fit morning-talk-show host Kelly Ripa, adding that she was wearing fake eyelashes for Read More
The actress Eva Mendes arrived at Parsons the New School for Design 2009 Fashion Benefit at Cipriani Wall Street on Wednesday, April 29, in one of Calvin Klein‘s charcoal, minimalist dresses from the fall 2009 collection. Someone in the crowd had yelled out that they liked it. And Ms. Mendes, brushing a strand of hair Read More
Francisco Costa, the Brazilian-born creative director of Calvin Klein Collection, was all boyish grins—he somehow manages to make dental braces look cool—after his fall 2008 collection debuted yesterday evening. As soon as all the attendees had taken their places in an I.C.U.-clean, boxy space at 205 West 39th St., sounds of approaching footsteps and solitary Read More