Monday, February 09, 2004

30 'Easy Pieces':

Is there such a thing as being just, well, too 'well-edited' for your own good? Perhaps. With the high cost of staging a runway show these days, the really short and to- the-point Tuleh collection (see photos), shown on Sunday evening, seemed to be a true splurge. (I think the entire show may have made the Guiness Book of Records, taking all of 7 minutes).

The well- attended collection, traditionally shown at this time slot, has become somewhat of a fashion happening, drawing front row celebrity editors (Anna Wintour looking exceptionally wonderful in a chinchilla jacket, and ex protege Kate Betts also turning out), and the requisite uptown (and downtown) social set, all dressed to the nines, in their limos and town cars, and ready for their closeups.

But was it my imagination or was Bryan Bradley's show so short and to the point (30 pieces to be exact) that the whole shebang seemed to end before it even began? In terms of time, let's just say that the entire thing most probably took a fraction of the time it took the average socialite to get dressed for the event.

That said, it's hard to complain about the looks presented. On parade were all the signature and at this point, expected pieces we have come to love and expect from Tuleh (with or without Josh Patner) including animal prints galore (zebra and leopard), endless variations on the tweed jacket and coat (worked and re-worked in ways that have made Coco 'loco'), and color, print, pattern, etc. etc. etc. And yes, there were a few coats to almost literally kill for.

You know that now famous Vogue spread in October that all the designers are supposedly taking inspiration from this season? It was certainly alive and well and living on this runway- though in all fairness, Tuleh has always stood for this brand of style. The black finale was a bit disappointing, and fell a bit flat, but all in all, it was a very good collection.

Speaking about well edited....Marc Bouwer would have been wise to think about properly editing his collection, presented on Sunday as well. The theme was dressing for the Red Carpet (in case you didn't 'get it'....a huge red carpet decorated the runway as well as several of the walls)...and many of Marc's decidedly 'old fashioned' and glamorous evening gowns (long, short, and everything in between) were quite beautiful and well executed. BUT- that said, it all seemed to get repetitive after awhile, and there were just so many gowns, the woman next to me fell asleep.

In addition, there were lots of empty seats, including many in the first two rows, and many with standing room only tickets, began to fill in. This is the same problem that plagued Alice Roi's 11 am show as well. Usually such a well attended 'draw', I was surprised at all the empty front row seats. Though there were some perfectly sweet pieces and items, I didn't understand all the Prada influences. Haven't we already seen enough of that now famous crocodile glove that resembles an oven mit?

While I'm griping, I may as well add another thought....Shalil Upadaya, the Nepalese gentleman who shows up regularly each season, dressed in dizzying patterns of his own designs (themed accordingly), is a complete enigma. The guy has no press credentials, does not write, edit, or run a business based on fashion. His only mission in life seems to be getting himself pulled together twice a year, show up, and hopefully, get photographed. To this end, he hangs around the Tents with his 'possee', almost always gets into shows (often procuring better seats than some of us journalists and fashion pros) and is later seen at all the parties, drink in hand.....Not surprisingly, he was one of the first people I saw at the Jeffrey/Paco Rabanne party last night. Yikes! What started out years ago as an interesting and quirky sighting has become rather tired. Shalil- the thrill is gone.

Curious about who made those fabulously over the top (and toasty warm) Finn raccoon fur trapper's hats at the Catherine Malandrino show today? Kokin, the milliner whose been in business for many years. He is located at 20 West 36th street, 10th floor, New York, NY 10018 and you can reach him by phone (212 643 8225) or fax (212 643 8284. By the way, I was hardly surprised when I realized that the label of one of my most favorite vintage finds (a tall black ostrich feathered hat) happens to be Kokin. He has not lost his touch.

-reported by Marilyn Kirschner


Calling a Spade a Spade:

As a longtime member of the press, I've had to rely on PR firms through the years. Since Fashion Week has gotten underway, this relationship has been even more exaggerated and important. Simply put, at this moment in time, they are the bane of our existence, it seems.

Happily and thankfully, most of the companies (you know who you are) we've had to deal with (for tickets to shows, events, parties) have been nothing but professional, easy to reach, and consistently helpful.

Of course, there are always exceptions.....without getting really ugly...let's just say, the names could be changed to reflect the real situation:

Paul Wilmot: Paul Wil 'not'

Pierre Rouget: Pierre 'Rude' get

PR Consulting: PR 'In' sulting

MGI: MG'Try'

Hood Public Relations: 'Should ' Public Relations

Ogan/Dallal: 'Ugh' an/ Dallal

Rand.M: 'RanduM'

Harrison & Shriftman: Harass & Stiff-them

Okay, I got that off my chest - I feel better already...

-Marilyn Kirschner


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