Look, Max Fischer is all grown up! Photos by David Wentworth.
“What are you doing to me?” a model was overheard saying to the makeup artist backstage at Band of Outsiders who was covering up her creamy pale complexion with a thick layer of golden-bronze makeup.
Sorry, dear, but you were just not tan enough for designer Scott Sternberg’s beach-themed Fashion Week installation at Milk Studios.
Sternberg, formerly a Hollywood agent who made the switch to fashion in 2004, is beloved by a young, stylish set not just for his sly twist on preppy style, but also for his smart, elaborate movie-set presentations. In the fall, he took inspiration from Jean-Luc Godard for a 1960s Parisian feel. This time the L.A.-based designer brought the California beach (Malibu circa 1978 to be precise) to New York, covering the gallery floor in pounds of sand, plastering the walls with a sunset image, and giving his bronzed models beach-y activities to perform (paddle ball, hammock swinging, remote control boats on an actual pond)…
In fact, the installations are always so cool that you almost forget the clothes. But there were lots of great pieces to admire. Boy — the name of Sternberg’s women’s line — featured masculine navy worsted wool double-breasted tuxedo blazers, Liberty print drawstring dresses, and short tight navy-and-white suspender skirts (picture suspender material wrapped around the body like a bandage). Highlights on the men’s side included blue dip-dyed shirts and ties, a washed black leather jacket, grey cotton boat shoes (another one of his collaborations with Sperry), and, of course, Sternberg’s signature shrunken suits (think Wes Anderson).
And speaking of Anderson, Anderson favorite Jason Schwartzman as well as Kirsten Dunst were both mingling in the crowd — which was no coincidence as they are both models for the line. Sonic Youth’s Kim Gordon, wearing the raddest studded, fingerless driving gloves, was also there to congratulate Sternberg.
We’d actually seen Gordon earlier in the day (at right above, sans rad gloves) at the United Bamboo runway show at the Altman Building, where lots of prints (a spring trend) and big bows were on display. Designers Miho Aoki and Thuy Pham said they imagined their beautiful clothes being worn to a garden party, specifically the kind thrown by the Duke and Duchess of Windsor. From the black sculptured hats to the metallic linen jumpsuit paired with glittery purple sequined pumps, they had it right on. The only trouble was, in this economy, we’ll be eating Spam at this garden party.
Anyway, at least the idea of enjoying the outdoors is something we’ll be able to do for free. And at Zero + Maria Cornejo at the Hosefelt Gallery, nature was a huge theme for the designer’s sophisticated collection, which was divided into four parts: white noise, wood, grass, and water. Cornejo has gained a great deal of attention for being a favorite of Michelle Obama. And though Obama wasn’t in the front row, the artist Cindy Sherman was. Also in attendance was the precocious 13-year-old fashion-blogging sensation Tavi Gevinson, who was diligently taking notes on Cornejo’s marvelous back-to-nature collection that featured a black leather jacket with bark-like creases, wood cuffs for the neck, wrists, and body, and floating silk dresses with grass and water prints. In other words, more than a few brilliant pieces for Obama’s next trip to the Grand Canyon. We hope she’ll be rocking the white linen short shorts!