Fashion Week: Bustiers Galore at Mackage; Flowers in Bloom at Mimi Plange; Porter Grey Keeps It Classic; B-Listers Cause Stir at BCBG


While today is officially the first day of Fashion Week, tons of designers featured presentations yesterday, and we were there bright and early even in the dreary weather. Most people care less about fashion and more about the spectacle, but we consider ourselves balancing nicely between both, eying the details of color and fabric while also eavesdropping on the drama. And at Mackage, there was quite a buzz backstage, with directors scrambling over models running late, while others were getting their hair teased and being told they look “fab-u-lous.” But the real showdown was at BCBG, where cameras flashed away at Jordana Brewster, Sophia Bush, and Elisha Cuthbert posing prettily in the front row.

The dismal climate worked perfectly at Mackage, which designers Eran and Elisa featured as a presentation at Hudson Hotel’s 24th-floor private terrace among its towering trees and ivy-covered walls.

The lively lush was a splendid, and much-needed, contrast to the collection, made up of lots of black leather and white satin, which had dramatic tailoring with a ’50s undertone. That’s right, more Madmen-inspired clothing, although at Mackage it’s less refined and much sexier. Even more dramatic was the sight of Elisa backstage, making last minute changes to the models, running around in stilettos (higher heels than what the models were wearing). Impressive!

Many of the dresses had linen tees partnered with either leather shorts, black tuxedo or white-trimmed pants, or pleated skirts (pleats are still in!), oh, and charmingly topped off with a poofy flower.

At Mimi Plange’s presentation, at Asia Society’s Garden Court Cafe, the show titled “A Flower in the Desert” was more like a flower in torrential rain — the storm would not let up. We took shelter at the cafe among long, beautiful dresses, many of which also featured a bustier top. Though it seemed the big attraction here wasn’t so much the dresses, but the Manolo Blahnik floral bootie.

We liked the use of florals and color-blocking at Mimi Plange, and BCBG Max Azaria also featured contradictory color schemes, though we found the flowy dresses with fin-like sleeves a bit dull. By the looks of it, we think Bush felt the same — she was making cutesy faces at a baby seated across from her the entire time. Cuthbert looked completely bored, too. The crazy house mix didn’t help matters.

That’s why we’re so grateful for lines like Porter Grey. There’s no fuss, no weird celeb antics, just magnificent clothes that we can see ourselves actually buying. And even if we can’t afford these in particular, how hard is it to find a beaded mini-skirt and silk collar blouse? We loved the pattern chiffon dresses, the nude pleated skirt, and the print-tank with a denim skirt. This is the second time we’ve caught this collection, and once again design sisters Kristen and Alexandra O’Neill have left us amazed at how effortless fashion can be.