Friday, December 12, 2014

New York Fashion Cool-Aid™: Big Ben Meet Big Apple


Kate Middleton in a Jenny Packham  three-peat but great jewelry
(Photo: Getty Images)

London's calling and the Big Apple not only answered on the first ring but put the Brits on speed dial. In the past week alone we've achieved transatlantic symbiosis by swapping with our sister city across the pond: 47 Angels for two Royals. I'm referring, of course, to the Victoria's Secret Fashion Show much of which, since it was taped last week and aired this week, was sort of anti-climactic. Likewise, Prince William and Duchess Kate who, while radiant and barely showing a bump at five months along, failed to capture the fashion capital's fancy in a teal Jenny Packham three-peat. The emerald earrings and bracelet didn't disappoint however and were a far cry from her usual Zara jewels

Victoria's Secret London bound

Let me recap the VS show for those who are not quite up to speed. This was the first time in the nearly twenty years of the show's existence that it took place outside of the U.S. although they did film a segment in Paris last year. Interestingly enough, Victoria's Secret is a new brand to the U.K. having only opened there in 2012. It seems that most women buy their "knickers" at M&S (Marks & Spencer) and don't give them all that much thought.

Ariana Grande is clipped  by an Angel

After the taping and before the airing we learned way too much from the press (Spoiler Alert x infinity)! We got to hear conjecture on whether or not Taylor Swift got VS model Jessica Hart fired. The former angel had made a disparaging comment last year about Tay saying that "she didn't really fit in on stage with us," words that I'm certain became a bitter mainstay of her diet, particularly after seeing the new totally dope "Lingerie Taylor." The media also let us know that tiny Ariana Grande got shredded on the runway by Elsa Hosk's pink wings. Ms Grande, ever a good sport, tweeted #bangbangintomyface referencing her hit song however the scene was unfortunately cut in post production. Perez Hilton and other clued us in to watch Ed Sheeran's performance of "Thinking Out Loud." He awkwardly avoided glancing upon Alessandra Ambrosio and Adriana Lima as they pranced by in their $1.5 million dollar bras lest he be turned to stone or perhaps risk the wrath of a jealous girlfriend (just a guess on my part).

Karlie Kloss dressed a a ceiling fan or are those snow shoes?

While many of the Angels costumes were utterly amazing in both beauty and workmanship, particularly the gold feathered, jewel encrusted wings, I could not stop thinking that Karlie Kloss resembled either a ceiling fan or someone with snowshoes on her back (maybe she's a "snow angel") during her segment with bestie Swift performing "Blank Space." T. Swizzle rocked her extreme push up bustier however am I the only one who would have preferred to see her just a bit "above the fray" in a cocktail dress as she appeared last year? It seemed like it was not only an effort to brand her as a VS girl but also to address the absent Ms. Hart and drive the point home with Ms. Swift's negligee display. In general, there's only so much winking, blowing of kisses, wide grinning and dancing down the runway that a person can take and I actually kept nodding off during the show.

British Royalty meets American Royalty

In exchange for sending winged beauties to England we got to host a glowing duchess. It's been written that dear Kate may have been instructed to tone down her glamour quotient so as not to upstage Prince William mum the way his mum Princess Di did with his dad Prince Charles. Some observers were particularly disappointed in her final night's Met Museum black tie gown declaring that an evening such as this in our fashionable city deserved a new frock. I think it's quite possible that even royals might like to get several wearings out of a gown costing 5k. Even Princess Di wore her outfits more than once (usually no more than twice though, judging from the dresses that were auctioned off right before her death). Much was made and continues to be made about the meeting of Queen Bey and Jay Z ("American Royalty") crossing the basketball court into King Arthur's Court to do a meet and greet. I would have liked to see Bey curtsy (can't quite picture it though) and I'm still mortally offended at King James draping his sweaty arm around Kate in a half hug. LeBron, that would have been cringeworthy even if she weren't a duchess!


Another of our "national treasures" known as Kim Kardashian West is set to "break the mould" if not the internet in her triple January cover of Elle UK. She appears in three different outfits: first in a striped sequin tank while licking cupcake frosting, second in a low scooped white bodysuit, tight skirt and leather jacket and third in a belted white tunic blouse for the "Confidence" issue. Her noteworthy quote on why she gained so much weight during her pregnancy with North: "I'd think God was doing this for a reason," she told Elle U.K. "He was saying: 'Kim, you think you're so hot, but look what I can do to you.' Yeah, I'm sure it had nothing whatsoever to do with what she was stuffing her face with. Sounds more like the devil made her eat it.

Meanwhile fellow notable bumster (and royal sister) Pippa Middleton has come out against KKW's Paper Mag cover.Read about it here, Pippa says that her posterior is not in the same league as Kim's and she questions why Americans are so obsessed with bottoms while dubbing 2014 the "Year of the Booty".

Carol Garber

Furthermore on the subject of cross pollenization (cross colonization?) It's been brought to my attention by Carole Garber, a stylist and transplanted Brit who I recently profiled here, that there's been a bit of a "British Invasion" on Fifth Avenue. of course, there's the newest installation of Topshop but also there are boutiques such as Karen Millen and Ted Baker. I recently visited the Paul Smith men's store on 16th and Fifth after my son lost a button off of last year's shirt. A match was miraculously procured courtesy of their ginormous button jar and a patient manager with eagle eyes. It is worth paying a call even without a similar quest as the downstairs is like a museum complete with rare posters and British art, collector's editions of rock band posters (Stones, Beatles included), as well as an interesting library of art books for sale.

Speaking of Ms Garber, I'm afraid that she is absolutely desolate having never received an invite to see the Cambridges on their recent visit. From her Facebook she writes: "Alas, my outfits, accessories including special hats have now been stored away in my wardrobe for there is always the next time!" As far as this trip is concerned she continued: "Seriously, I would have LOVED to have been at all of the events but the one closest to my heart was the reception at NEUEHOUSE for Inovation is GREAT. British people in the Art and Creative living in New York. I am quite sure The Royal Highnesses will be enticed to return to the Big Apple by which time anyone they will be presented to will not be SWEATY and will have been taught correct protocol."

Let's just hope that they are not so "chuffed" at Buckingham Palace that Will and Kate can never make a return visit; next time with big brother George and his sibling-to-be. They should plan to come back in the summer when there's no Nor'easter. Bey and Jay could lend them the Hampton's house.




- Laurel Marcus

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