Following a rainy day spent trudging to shows, the fashion cognoscenti in New York City spent last night buzzing around town from one party to another. Considering the plethora of soirées this week, this is perhaps the best seven nights for stylish nocturnal creatures to come out and play. So when the ominous clouds finally parted, the city suddenly came alive with fashionistas in full hyper-directional regalia.
There were plenty of ladies with stealth style on the rain-soaked streets, but one woman spotted at the Metal magazine party was in a fashion-forward get-up that truly belonged in another stratosphere. She wore an oversize jumpsuit in an energetic shade of green and a fitted electric blue Martin Margiela cardigan topped with a large spiral Bernard Wilhelm necklace - a colourful assembly of clothes that would certainly make the Pantone company happy. As if that's not enough, she also painted her forehead white, making her fit for an intergalactic fashion battle that she would win if we were only to go by the fierce ensemble. In the morning, a statuesque editor with platinum blonde hair dipped in blue wore towering heels and a short denim dress to Victoria Beckham's presentation and nearly stole the show. Beckham, a style goddess in her own right, even paid a compliment by remarking: "I like your hair."
Speaking of competition, Beckham, who was clad in mercilessly high heels, could easily win style kudos, but to the fashion folks who attended her intimate collection showing in Midtown West, she also gets a gold medal for the most organised and civilised show of the day. In a marked shift from the typically frenzied atmosphere of many catwalk shows, Beckham, the former Spice Girl and the most famous footballer's wife on the planet, sat in the middle of a few industry professionals and described each piece as it went down the makeshift catwalk. In an easy and accessible manner, she engaged the fashion folks through a series of salon-like gatherings that showed off her winning, gorgeous collection.
"I wanted to push the boundaries of the collection," she said before starting. This aspiration yielded dresses with couture sensibilities that blow any other celebrity clothing line out of the water. While she experimented with softer silhouettes in flirty champagne-coloured duchess satin with abstract airbrush splatters, it was the flirty dresses with strict modernist lines that really showed her commitment to becoming a serious player in the upper echelon of fashion. These included the short peplum dress she wore, a double crepe neon pink number that had a flared skirt, and a black floor-length gown with metal encased embroidery on the shoulders, the rigidity of which "makes your waist look even smaller", she noted of the technique.
Chado Ralph Rucci also showed that he knows a thing or two about couture sensibilities. Rucci has sustained a high-end business marked with masterful techniques, seams that give structure to soft chiffon in skirts, and woven fabrics that serve as panelling or embellishments - all fine details that his client list of power divas (such as Martha Stewart, who was in attendance) appreciate. Behnaz Sarafpour, who showed early in the morning, courts the younger generation of well-monied ladies such as Ivanka Trump and attempted to win them over once again with black lace dresses and skirts for the season. Reem Acra adopted a slightly different approach, by offering diaphanous floor-length gowns and flowy caftan dresses, while Derek Lam used striking prints in winsome dresses to catch the attention of this coveted demographic.
At Y-3, Tavi, the 13-year-old blogger and Pop magazine cover girl, caused as much of a paparazzi frenzy as the football player Zinedine Zidane, the hip-hop mogul Russel Simmons, the model Devon Aoki and the singer Rufus Wainwright, all of whom were sprinkled across the front rows. The pixie-sized teenager is part of a cadre of online fashion personalities such as Bryanboy and Jane Aldridge who have caused a sensation with their brave get-ups showcasing their passion for fashion. The clothes in the show, however, were equally eye catching - there were voluminous harem pants in lightweight fabrics, asymmetrical tank dresses that moved mellifluously through the air as the models walked, and avant-garde pairings of skirts inspired by the net of a goalpost with a blood-red cropped jacket that reinforced sportswear's functional, yet structural edginess.
* Robert Cordero