New York Fashion Week Fall 2012: Model Turned Away at Monika Chiang, Susan Sarandon at Costello Tagliapietra, High Drama at Tadashi Shoji


Fashion Week has quickly gone from exhilarating momentum to a slow-motion punch in the gut–and it’s just started.

Each season we look forward to this one week of pure fashion craziness, in which we always manage to RSVP to too many fashion shows (usually overlapping), continuously loading up our Metrocards on treks back and forth between Uptown and Downtown, and the only thing keeping us on our toes is the caffeine, free alcohol, and the wannabe diva who’s sitting in our assigned seat.

Plus, dressing to the nines (by this we mean attempting to look hot, albeit nonchalantly), takes a lot of damn work. It makes sense initially to dress up, but by mid-day our feet ache so badly that by the time day one is over, all you want to do is go to bed…forever.

Alright, we’ll stop bitching about the whole thing and tell you the cool stuff we encountered on our first day including a model getting scolded, Susan Sarandon looking mighty casual in jeans and a cap, and lots of drama (the classy kind).

Designer Monika Chiang, known mostly for her accessories collections, began her show promptly at 9:30 a.m., though we arrived at the Stanley H. Kaplan Penthouse at Lincoln Center at 9 a.m. (blame it on first day butterflies). As we waited in the lobby, a model, in damp hair, rushed in.

“Call time was 6 a.m., it’s now 9:15, there’s nothing I can do,” said a woman obviously in charge of something.

The humiliation didn’t end there. The model sat down near me and started crying. When the woman walked back out to the lobby, the model made another plea, this time on her knees! “There’s no reason to beg, it’s just a show.” The model then ran out in a huff.

But it wasn’t just a show, it was a beautiful presentation. Chaing, inspired by contradictory elements, showcased a show with a combination of fur and leather. It was quite preppy and yet very chic. We adored the use of bold colors like burgundy, forest green, and splashes of purple. The subtly of color was really a great contrast to the leather in this fall collection.

At Tadashi Shoji, a designer beloved for his bridal collections, exhibited a gorgeous display of alluring lace. With actress Aisha Tyler, and Angela Simmons (daughter of Rev Run) in the front row, each dress, from long flapper-style gowns, to a red velvet floor-length dress, it was all stunning. It was like a modern take of exuberance of the 1920s. A sort of Mad Men meets The Great Gatsby.

We then scurried to the Downtown 1 train to Milk Studios to see the fall collection by Costello Tagliapietra, founded and directed by the bearded, burly, couple Jeffrey Costello and Robert Tagliapietra.

We somehow made it on time, though arrived in a state of perspiration, and with a huge knot in the back of our hair. But of course those seated in the front row like Susan Sarandon, Padma Lakshmi, and Simmons (who was also at the previous show), looked flawless. Sarandon, in fact, looked quite relaxed in her casual attire but hey, she’s Susan Sarandon, she can do as she pleases.

The collection, which featured lots of prints and wrap dresses made by eco-friendly materials with an AirDye technology they’ve been using for a while now, also felt very casual, yet uplifting. They reminded us of the dress in which you can wear 60 different ways, though a lot more sophisticated. The kinds of dresses we should be wearing to work.

We especially liked the marriage equality pins left on the seats.