The fall 2007 shows officially began on Friday, although technically they really started on Thursday with a breakfast at Barney's New York in honor of the designers who received grants from Ecco Domani. The wine people give out awards to young designers so they can put on fashion shows in spaces where the audience doesn't risk getting clobbered on the head with pieces of falling plaster.
These sorts of events are always a bit awkward because the winners stand uncomfortably in the various corners of the room not quite sure who everyone is but trying very hard not to offend anyone. It's not that much easier for the editors who are also trying to tell one winner from the other without actually having to say, "Excuse me but who are you?"
I didn't get to any other shows Thursday afternoon because I had my nose against my computer screen trying to finish up a story. I did manage to go to the Douglas Hannant show at Gotham Hall that evening. It was billed as a celebration of 10 years in business. Somehow, as soon as the word "celebration" or "anniversary" appears on an invitation, bad fashion ensues.
Hannant is a talented man -- I say this not only because I'd like to be invited back to a show but also because it is true. But he must have gotten hold of some bad Kool-Aid because that is the only explananation for those shiny, heavy black tights he showed with everything from a day suit to a cocktail dress. I left just as the stinky cheese trays were being laid out for the party following the show.
Good champagne was to be had at Barney's on Friday night when the store hosted a cocktail party to celebrate the relaunch of the legendary French house Vionnet. Sophia Kokosalaki has taken over as designer and she was on hand. The collection is beautiful -- all fluid shapes and draping -- but it is so expensive I practically started hyperventilating when I looked at some of the price tags. $1,750 for a camisole! What the heck? Does Sophia come over and personally style it on me and then do my hair?
I did not actually meet the designer because she showed up fashionably late and I was politely on time. In fashion, it does not pay to be prompt.
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