|Vionnet Fall 2014 Couture|
|Marilyn and two girls wearing the marimekko polka dots|
Indeed, the evening felt like a "mixer", with New York and the Metropolitan Museum of Art as a fabulously seductive backdrop, and that was precisely the tone of an article that appeared in The New York Observer, July 11, written by Alexandra Sternlicht, (“Appreciating art, fashion and macaroni balls with young New Yorkers”). When asked what the objective of the evening was, one 21 year old man said he was “trying to find a wife out there”, and another actually admitted “I’m trying to get laid with a girl who appreciates art”, as he watched the sun set over Manhattan. Oh well. So much for high minded culture.
|Marimekko for Banana Republic Kivet Patio Skirt|
In any event, the dress code was ‘summer chic’ (better known as “anything goes”), and that was certainly the case. There were lbd’s and lwd’s (some so abbreviated they resembled swimsuits); flowing maxis; bi level slip dresses; garden floral printed cocktail dresses; a smattering of Clover Canyon’s vibrant digital prints; graphic black and white stripes; and polka dots. As for the latter, perhaps the biggest coincidence was that several guests (including moi), showed up wearing versions of Marimekko’s iconic black & white Kivet circle print (designed by the late Maija Isola), which had been translated into different pieces for Banana Republic. The collaboration, a limited edition capsule collection which launched in May, was wildly successful, with most of the pieces selling out in pre order before hitting the website or the stores. In fact, for many, the only way to get the patio skirt, was through EBay, where wily sellers doubled or tripled the price in some cases (the skirt was initially priced at $98).
|Louis Vuitton Resort 2015|
Like leopard prints, polka dots (from teeny tiny pin dots to oversized circles) are perennial favorites with both designers and customers alike, and they seem to reappear after they’ve been absent for a while. Even though there is always a playful element to them, depending on the size, scale, and the way they are used, they can be sweet or sultry; retro or futuristic; dowdy or daring; childlike or grown up; edgy or classic; sophisticated or silly. Speaking of silly, who could forget that December 2013 WWD cover featuring George Clooney in black & white polka dots, the theme carried on to the background? It puts a smile on my face whenever I see it (or think about it).
|Rei Kawakubo glassed elevator covered in polka dots at the Dover Street Market|
|Ralph Lauren Resort 2015 Collection|
They have also turned up on a number of collections for resort 2015. At Ralph Lauren, (a chic study in navy, white, and gold, with nautical undertones), one of the main themes was large polka dots; they were sometimes mixed with stripes, and they even covered his chic satchels. At Fendi, they were made of shearling and had a 3d effect. For Nicolas Guesquiere’s second outing at the helm of Louis Vuitton, they appeared as cut out circles on several tops and he covered a chicly tailored navy pantsuit with white circles. For his Demi-Couture Collection for Vionnet, shown during the Haute Couture collections in Paris last week, Hussein Chalayan designed a black mink collarless jacket emblazoned with a pronounced white circle on the front.
|Fendi Resort 2015|
It seems like everyone’s going dotty these days, including the always fabulously dressed. Last month, I spotted Iris Apfel at the FIT Foundation Gala at Cipriani 42nd street, wearing a vintage two piece long dress in black chiffon covered with large silver coin dots (she continued the theme with her polka dot covered bangles). Several weeks ago, at a party at the Whitney Museum in celebration of the Jeff Koons Retrospective, China Chow wore Stella McCartney’s wonderful asymmetrical charcoal gray dress covered with large white polka dots from her pre fall 2014 collection. This past Saturday, Lisa Perry attended the Parrish Art Museum’s Midsummer Party in Watermill, wearing a long ivory silk halter dress of her own design, printed with green, aqua, and orange circles, and navy and yellow rods. It reminded me of one of Wassily Kandinsky’s abstract paintings, which is not surprising, considering that Lisa has always been inspired by art for her collections, and she and her husband Richard, are renowned collectors of modern art masterpieces.
- Marilyn Kirschner