No theorizing was required to bask in the wonderment created by the real stars of the alternative fashion world, the masterful Michele Savoia and the quartet that calls itself Future Planet of Style. Savoia's runway show would have been a smash no matter whose auspices it was held under. A completely realized triumph of serious, grown-up, black, white, and gray menswearhigh-waisted tweed pants, double-breasted suits, velvet smoking jackets, lavish overcoats, suspenders, two-tone spectator shoes, and other mid-century masterpiecesproved that being true to your desires (Savoia's been making this sort of thing for 16 years) is always superior to a half-baked, watery vision that changes every six months.
Future Planet of Style didn't bother with a runway show at all. Instead, they bought 44 cheap mechanical dancing dolls, popped off their heads, re-dressed them in tulle ponchos, foiled leather capes, and other shrunken versions of Future Planet's collection, and set them twirling on a table. There was something inexpressibly touching about the valiant dolls, spinning and banging into each other, toppling and being set right by the enthralled audience. With their little arms held high, their pinheads surrounded by metallic leather hats, turning and turning to the booming strains of Wagner, it was, in the words of The New York Times's Bill Cunningham, the sort of thing one sees only every 10 years or so. Not since McQueen spray-painted a model had Cunningham witnessed anything so wonderful, he said later in the week, still thinking about the little dolls as he trundled from one human fashion show to another and another.