Discussed: Michael Kors, Anna Sui
Cast your votes, Gothamites: Right up there with the ape climbing the Empire State Building and Woody Allen mewling about masturbation, we have a new contender for The Most New York Moment Ever. At the Michael Kors show this morning at Bryant Park, one of the most important shows of the season for high-end fashion editorial players (and, also, the Voice), Donald Trump and wife Melania caused a media furor unprecedented even for Fashion Week. Upon their entrance in the tent, hundreds of flashbulbs popped, normally stoic attendees leapt from their seats like popcorn, and reporters clamored aggressively for quotes about Kors. (A sample of that Trump volubility: “Sure, he’s great.”)
But what was really amazing was that all of this happened not two feet from Anna Wintour, the most powerful and famous figure in current American fashion — and as hundreds of backs turned away from her to ask probing questions about The Apprentice (“Sure, it’s terrific”), her expression steadily, dangerously darkened. No one puts Anna in the corner! It was just a reminder of the fickle, glamour-seeking current of this town and, of course, that famous fashion adage: “One day you’re in, the next day you’re dogmeat compared to Donald Trump’s spray tan.”
Speaking of tan… if you like beige, you’ll want to wheedle a new Visa limit just for Kors’ Fall 2010 line; it abounds in the neutral hue, from wide-knit cable sweaters to blonde furs. Even the underwear on the opening model, nonchalantly exposed underneath a hip-length cashmere bodysuit and coyote-fur vest, was taupe. Camel cashmere/angora sweaters and bronze lurex sweaterdresses offset occasional black sequined separates, including one pretty combination of a softly draped shell and tight floor-length skirt, but the fur overemphasis was grating; it’s fall’s biggest trend, but few designers have dared to bare an entire, bulbous shift dress made of sable.
Kors’ line was predictably understated, conventional Americana, just with a new un-PC twist; it will be perfect for nestling by the fire at a ski lodge and/or reasserting humanity’s dominance over nature when the apocalypse comes. And again, Kors sent out scores of models at once; instead of the usual staggered treks, there were literally 10 models on the runway at once, pacing up and down the split runways and very narrowly avoiding atomic, beige collisions.
Anna Sui paced her models out more evenly; the face of her cosmetics line, supermodel Agyness Deyn, enjoyed a long solo jaunt with her newly bowl-cut black hair. A homage to Ringo, perhaps, for the famously rock ‘n’ roll-loving designer? (Even her new fragrance is called Rock Me and shaped like a guitar bottle; it’s as pretty as Stephen Malkmus.) Sui’s fall line fell heavily to patchwork prints and somewhat matronly cuts, i.e. the “granny chic” ethos of Marc Jacobs–outfits were heavily layered in contrasting tones, with fluid, brassy metallics underpinning olive wool tweeds and houndstooth-print lace skirts. Sui also skinned a few cats for her line; one model plumped a raccoon fur collar and a rabbit fur bolero was dyed in leopard print.
Sui is no slouch (Time magazine anointed her one of their “Top Five Fashion Icons”) but her aesthetic is a difficult one–its abundance of ideas can seemed jittery as often as not. Happily, this collection felt tempered and attainable in casual, bohemian chic. Ms. Wintour, had she been present and not occupied making a big-haired voodoo doll, would have approved.