Fashion Week Observed
Fashion Week Observed
Successful fashion/tech mashups are tough. For every chic designer iPhone case, we can point to a gimmicky USB cord bracelet nobody asked for. Still, once in a while, the two industries blend seamlessly. This post is part of a series on tech and fashion collabs that got it right this Fashion Week.
Vivienne Tam is known for mixing Chinese influences with Western style in her sweet, feminine collections, and for integrating technology into her shows. She created a laptop with Hewlett Packard in 2008 and worked with Jack Dorsey’s Square in 2011.
As much as we love Fashion Week, anyone who has ever been to the shows will tell you that it’s not an easy stroll down the tents. Instead, you have to contend with late start times, harried ticket scanners, dying electronics (due to lack of outlets at Lincoln Center/Eyebeam), and a myriad of other FW-related crises. In that spirit, we’re covering this season’s Fashion Week with YOU in mind, sending our intrepid reporters out to cover the important aspects of the shows…well, the ones that have nothing to do with the clothes.
New York Fashion Week Spring 2013
The first time The Observer met Niki and Shaokao Cheng, it was July, during the opening night of Julio Gaggia’s art show. Mr. Gaggia, the boyfriend of the plastic surgeon Mark Warfel, was preparing his work “Living Art: Chelsea Boy Apartment,” during which he would live for five days as a window display model at the BoConcept furniture store on West 18th Street. He spent the week eating, sleeping, working—and performing other, less-mentionable activities—in a showroom that divided him from gawkers outside with a pane of glass.
While we lounged about on the display furniture, socialite photographer Patrick McMullan brought over a petite woman with short, pixie-cropped hair.
“Niki is one of the few Power Asians in New York society,” he loudly whispered, flourishing Ms. Cheng before us. She smiled shyly and posed for a photograph before excusing herself.
It would be two weeks before we realized that Ms. Cheng and her husband owned the store where we had dropped more than one canapé between the cushions of a $3,000 couch.
In fact, the couple owns all five locations of the Danish furniture store in New York City, and another two in New Jersey. But the stores themselves aren’t the reason Mr. McMullan calls the Chengs “Power Asians.” Rather, it’s the couple’s seemingly innate social instincts, their ability to leverage a fairly cookie-cutter, mid-market design base into a celebrity-filled social whirl. One might say “Only in America,” or (even worse) “Only in New York,” but this wouldn’t exactly cover it. There is a certain type that thrives in Manhattan no matter what they’re selling, no matter where they’re from, no matter how few resources they have upon arriving.
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
We spoke with designer Vivienne Tam for a few minutes after her very successful show (attended by a hard-to-account-for group of people), featuring lots of crocheted knits and relaxed silhouettes. The models actually looked comfortable, and the collection as a whole reminded us a bit of reading Victorian novels on a distant shore. We Read More
Vivienne Tam‘s show this afternoon was packed to the rafters; Ms. Tam drew enough spectators to fully pack the Theater at Lincoln Center. But it was the right-side front row that we were most interested in: in a perfect storm of randomness, its occupants included Denise Richards, Serena Williams, Kelly Choi, and onetime Hugh Hefner Read More
You Win Some, You Dim Sum
At Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s 66
I first came to 66, Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s new Chinese restaurant in Tribeca, for Sunday dim sum. The restaurant, designed by Richard Meier, wasn’t busy at all, unlike Sunday in Chinatown, where waiting an hour in a crowded lobby for your number to be called Read More