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With an intro of Jimi Hendrix’s “Star-Spangled Banner” and a soundtrack made up of the Black Keys and the Rolling Stones, Monday’s William Rast show has got to be the biggest fashion rock spectacle of Fashion Week. It’s the line co-designed by Justin Timberlake and three others (old friend Trace Ayala, Swedish designer Johan Lindeberg, and Lindeberg’s wife, Marcella). And so the Hiltons are here, as is Timberlake’s girlfriend, Leonardo DiCaprio’s Sports Illustrated cover-model squeeze, Timberlake’s ex-boy band cohort JC Chasez, actor Emile Hirsh, a former Danity Kane member who’s best known for wearing hooker rags (and the Las Vegas showgirl mess she wore kept to that reputation), some D-listers, and elite fashion editors Anna Wintour (with daughter Bea Schaffer) and Carine Roitfeld.
The schtick with this William Rast show was novelty cinema–the Americana-inspired line’s intent was to contemporize styles from “classic” films such as Rumble Fish and Thelma & Louise. So what we got was leather-clad biker jeans, Star Trek-style shoulder pads, and fugly fringed jackets. This wasn’t William Rast for K-Mart, but that’s how it looked–like they belonged beside Chia Pets.
So the clothes were terrible, but the over-the-top production wasn’t, completely encapsulating what Fashion Week is really all about: mayhem. In my third row section A seat, the cameras seem to be aiming all in my direction. Literally blinded by the lights, I understand why: I’m informed that Paris and Nicky are actually seated just one row away from me.
As each model made their way down the runway, I spot Wintour, behind her signature shades, shaking her head in abject disapproval. There’s nothing about sleeveless denim jackets, high-wasted jeans, studs and fringes that exudes freedom and confidence, as William Rast would have you think. Clearly we’re all just here for a quick glimpse of Timberlake.
Earlier in the day, high fashion at its most glamorous was at the Carolina Herrera show. With top fashion editors in attendance, including Marie Claire‘s Nina Garcia, each model was illuminated by spotlight, in full contrast of the darkened tent, and walked down the runway in lace skirts, suede pants, and chiffon strapless gowns. Herrera’s rich color collection with an emphasis on defining shape was spectacular, and the silk tulle corset and strapless, ruffled gown really executed this point. Herrera’s line is definitely bringing back a thrilling sense of sophisticated class with a youthful take.
Like Charlotte Ronson’s line that we saw earlier this week, Carlos Miele also joins the list of mediocre designers attempting to create buzz by spectacle, rather than clothes. For example, Miele thought it’d be a genius idea to have a lone guitarist strut down the catwalk along with the models.
The photographers weren’t happy. As the Lenny Kravitz wannabe danced around with his electric Gibson cordless, inching closer to the models, the photographers actually bellowed out in disapproval. He was obstructing their shot! Agreed: what a waste of tent space.