Hotel Fashion Moment by Jeffrey Slonim

February 17th, 2010 by HFL Staff received Comments Off

Day Six: Neuro Gasm, Smart Car, and Happy Tears



Three As Four

Day Six:  Okay, I got a note from the pr guru Deborah Hughes yesterday that I had missed a letter or two in her name.  Oops.  She does tons of shows, and the most wonderful ACRIA benefit in the summer. And she works closely with Donna Karan on store fetes.  And she is a dear friend.  So Mea Culpa.  It is true, she sat me in the third or forth row at Georges Chakra. But to be fair, I am signed up for so many shows, and, at times, I realize at the last minute, one may be uptown and, the next, on Wallstreet five minutes later, so I am known to miss a show. So my seat wasn’t completely out of line (although I’ve been getting A LOT of great seats this year).  In any case, everything I have seen of Georges Chakra’s work on the red carpet has been terribly glam, which is why I went to check out the show.  And many dresses were terrific, I’m recalling some very big scoop dresses. Didn’t love everything, but then again, I don’t have time to mention everything.  XXOOs to Hughes.  Hope she can forgive.  Her question was, What is HotelFashionland?  Well, this is it baby.  Personally, I’m lovin’ the look.  And there are some great characters involved. Shout out to Duane, Caroline, and genius Jake Torem in Tinsel Town.  Oh, and I also neglected to mention that hottie, Natalie Press, of Fifty Dead Men Walking Fame, yesterday, who showed up at Chris Benz, which, by the way, was sponsored by Neuro beverages, that are meant to help with focus and weight loss and  . .. and sleep!  Nuero is also sponsoring Elton John’s AIDS foundation Oscar fete, and at C. Benz, they INVITED ME TO THEIR TABLE! YEEHAH!  I’ve actually tasted the stuff at the Elise Overland show, the day before that, and everyone in the front row loved.  Also loved Lauren Santa Domingo’s Smart Car parked out front.  Morning six began with Badgley Mischka.  The boys, who are tall and handsome and uniquely successful, I think they have a horse farm in Kentucky, and they were telling me about their place in Palm Beach before the show, were launching a lesser line. They called it, simply,  Mark and James, and were presenting right after their quick first show of the usual Badgley Mishka line.


The first show had the full length, full on ballgowns, with lots of sparkle and umph.  The second show, and again, I wanted to love it, had some great daytime looks, but, then again, some shorter sparkling numbers, some a lot of fringe, that was giving me Show Girls and Russian hooker.  That’s likely why they are so successful, because show girls and Russian hookers still buying dresses.  But here I am, again, sounding mean about the NICEST GUYS on the planet.   Oh, and Christina Hendricks from Madmen, who loves their work—neither a show girl nor a Russian hooker—brought her mom, who was seated behind her.  Mom looks just like Christina, but she’s tiny. Same red hair, but cut short.  Merle Ginsberg, from Launch My Line was also in the house. I had to tell her she was robbed (when she lost).  She really does plan to launch her own line.  Merle’s line was the prettiest.  And if they didn’t like the idea of clothes that could convert from short to long, and with removable pockets and such, they should have told her long before the end of the show.  STRANGE.  Rodarte showed down at Eyebeam Atelier on 21st Street downtown.  And it didn’t stick, but there was a blizzard going on today.  Before the show, I was talking to Jason Schwartzman about sleep and he freaked out, because he knew ahead of time the show was about sleepwalking.  The runway opened with a cross between a white volcanoe and a birthday cake (on a small scale). And it was covered with tall white candles. And when the photogs saw the candles in the dark, they started singing happy birthday.  They can take the art and glam out of most sophisticated moment.


After the show Kate Mulleavy, one of the two sisters who design the line, told me it was based on boarder towns and sleepwalking.  And the dresses looked like dreamy fantasies, ghosts walking, floating on tall heels with little green lights shinning, right there in the heels.  Her mom’s family is Mexican. To be fair, I was irked because they didn’t let my buddy, Caroline Torem-Craig, who founded Hotelfashionland, come shoot her beautiful, arty, fab pictures during the show.  So while everyone I talked to, loved, loved, loved the clothes, I was thinking of Caroline, and the fact that the clothes looked like you could wear them once and they would fall apart, and that only waifs could even dream of wearing these little sewn together bits of flounces.  There were broadly knitted sweater tops, with little streams of fabrics wrapped around, and floating trains sailing off behind the dresses.  The whole color scheme was muted and soft, like, as Kate mentioned, like a dripping candle. Yes, beautiful in the extreme. But sooooo rarified.  What everyone loves is that you go to a lot of other shows and there is no real art, the merch is a commodity, and then at Marc Jacobs, and Rodarte, and, of course, the late Alexander McQueen, there are concepts and beauty and not just thundering music to rock your chest and to try to keep you from thinking.  That said, while Morticia Addams would look terrific Rodarte, the clothes are very not cheap, and one would have to be living a rarified lifestyle indeed before they would make sense for anything but photo shoots—or to inspire a fragrance one day that everywoman could own. That said, Rodarte was terribly ethereal and dreamy.  I hope Caroline can come photograph again next year.  Back to the tents for Max Azria.  Max, with his wife, Luba, designs Herve Leger, and BCBG, and this eponymous line.  Anna Lynn McCord, who had been seen rocking a backless Jill Stuart dress the day before, and several other looks, was in a tight tan skirt and sandy sweater at Max.  And Max was smoochin’ all the gals in front of a step and repeat backstage, including Estelle, who Max said looked great in the outfit that they had sent her. But it was a definite miss.  I mean, what’s he going to say, “Oh, my God, you look horrible, someone on my team should be fired?


Anna Lynn looked sensational in sand.  As Max had told me the day before, tan is the new black.  He started the show with sand, and there was a lot of sandy tan in shows come.  A poof on one shoulder is another Kooky trend I’m seeing.  Donna Karan did one number with a huge poof on one shoulder yesterday.  Sheer shirts or just sheer sleeves are omnipresent.  The pancho thing is big.  And sometimes the pancho can just be on one shoulder. Oh, and there is a leather thing happening, very Planet of the Apes, tan leather.  And furs aren’t just big they’re massive, see Dennis Basso, below.  Max had one whole section of clothes in his show that looked like someone had tried a look for Herve Leger, with wide bandages, they didn’t make it into that show, and, as plan B, they were put Max A.  That said, the man is a business genius to keep three lines going at once.  Dennis Basso, too is a lovely gent.  He has a deep booming voice as if he were knocked in the throat at some point by a boxer.  Alfrie Woodard was seated next to, I believe, Denzel and Samuel L. Jackson’s wives.  Some of Dennis’s furs were massive. Personally, I’m no fur lover. But the fashion kids do love their fur.  And Dennis had huge purses that resembled whole animals, the way the drooped down on their chains.  Did I mention that Lee Radziwill was in the front row next to Andre Leon Talley (in a big fur, but of course!).   He was sweet the way he walked out her at the end of the show.  Anna charged out.  Wow can she move.  But that isn’t Lee’s style.  And Andre tried to wrap himself around her to protect her from the crowds, but she turned and grabbed his arm and he simply escorted her. She likely had work done, but the very, very best work.


Diesel Black Gold showed at an empty building that runs between 41st and 42nd streets, right near the tents.  But the snow was comin’ down crazy at that point.  And at 5 pm when the show was supposed to start, there was this huge courtyard full of fashion editors, waiting in the sleety, raining snow.  So not good.  There was as plastic tent where they were checking people in.  And just when everyone thought it couldn’t get worse, all the wet snow just slid off the tent and onto fashion editor heads. Bam. Inside, Renzo Rosso, who founded the line, was seated in the front row. He is a real guy’s guy.  I visited him in Bassano di Grappa in the hills outside of Venice once.  I had to get up really early and go running with him in the hills. That was fun, but then his team wanted to know if I wanted to go do the sauna thing with them.  Wasn’t feelin’ it.  And Renzo had just bought the Palladian Villa that he was restoring.  We went to see that and it still had black plastic, that looked like trash bags, covering the windows.  Loved that look.


The Diesel line looked like macho denim.  Diesel always has cool stuff at the stores, but they lost me with the netting that covered the dresses.  Kind of dug the James Nares-like swirls on some of the women’s clothes.  Of course, the fashion calendar is so dense that there are always tons of shows one wants to see that take place at the same time. Christian Cota showed at the same time as Diesel.  And I know his work is arty and wonderful, but couldn’t make it. Love threeASFOUR usually, but they showed at 7 pm, at the same time as G-Star, who always do a really inventive fun presentation, and Narciso Rodriguez, another fashionista darling, was showing at 8.  Instead, I took the night off to accept an invite from Donna Karan to see Demi Moore’s new movie with Rip Torn, Happy Tears at her Cinema Society screening at MoMa, the Museum of Modern art.  Demi had on the first look from Donna’s show the day before. She looked better than the model who wore it.  Ashton had on a big Russian-style fur hat (fur trend).

This is one kooky movie.  And I wanted to walk out through a lot of it, but then at the end, they all moved into this really great modernist house, and I suddenly loved that part. Usually, it is the arty fantasy parts of a film (Lovely Bones), where the director looses me.  But in Happy Tears, the arty drug-induced fantasy scenes were great.  Demi remembered me from the day before, backstage with Donna, and was really open and generous and lovely.  The dinner after, was at Mr. Chow.  Oh, Lord, I just flipped the page of my fashion calendar.  I have Tory Burch at 9 a.m.   And it is now 3:08 a.m.  Yikes!  Maybe I’ll sleepwalk there with candles. Time for a delish Neuro Gasm . . .

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