Discussed: Pamella Roland, Thuy
That one’s gotta smart; Milk Studios founder Mazdack Russi recently summed up the updown/downtown divide of Fashion Week with, “We’re MoMA, and the tents are the Met.” (Which makes Cedar Lake, say, the Museum of Sex?) Russi’s Chelsea space does have a trendy credence that Bryant Park just can’t grasp this season; the MAC & Milk week, now in its second full cycle, lures a younger and hipper crowd to its postmodern installations and industrial-chic lounges. It seems as though their designers are more ambitious with shape experimentation; they’re not all wearable on the casual clotheshorse, but at least someone is trying to melt the clock.
But sometimes, a seam is just a seam; Pamella Roland has never been interested in reinventing the wheel, just bedazzling it. Today at Bryant Park, she again showed basic shapes with exaggerated, iridescent flourishes. Under the watchful eyes of Brooke Shields (perched with clasped hands and doubly folded legs in a way that looked remarkably uncomfortable), models blinked from behind beaded Venetian gala masks and displayed a strange disjointment of ideas: a short metallic navy skirt suit, an imposingly bulky shearling coat, a one-shouldered and backless plum dress with casually unfolded bow detail, a long-sleeved black shift with geometric sequin art-deco adornment, and enough thick fur stoles to satisfy Sarah Palin.
The closing look, a white halter gown with dreamlike feathery puffs, was Roland’s first step towards either bridal wear or delicately reinventing Bjork’s Oscars swan dress. The collection was conservative and generous with frills, but these came piled atop uninspired silhouettes. Then again, last season she proudly displayed a baggy, shimmering, tangerine jumpsuit that seemed to absorb all light and oxygen in a four-block radius; subtlety is a good step.
Thuy, also in Bryant Park, at least offered unexpected embellishments on her professional separates; an appealing mustard-yellow shift featured sharp panels of small, glittery sequins and stalactites. As with Roland, her collection favored foxtail (where were the PETA inflammatory agents today, cowering from the snow?); Thuy let them dangle wantonly from a shirred petal-pink boatneck blouse and atop an A-line cocktail frock with random paisley-inspired sequin clusters.
Camel skirts and belts frequently accompanied strong fuchsia toppers, an interesting union; Thuy also playfully reimagined her waistlines with folded-over fabric trestles — but be advised, these aren’t a wearable fad for anyone over size 2. And in the “Met” of Fashion Week, anyone larger than that is downright Rubenesque.