Saturday, September 19, 2015

New York Fashion Cool-Aid / Better Bets

 FGI Celebrates 85 Years

Margaret Hayes
(Photos: Laurel Marcus)

To cap off fashion week and celebrate their 85th anniversary, Fashion Group International held a cocktail party on the rooftop of the Knickerbocker Hotel in Times Square. The event was a fitting end to New York fashion week. "I'm not 85!" President of FGI Margaret Hayes was quick to announce to the major designers as well as other perhaps less known members who were present.

Mary Lou Luther and Ralph Rucci

Look at me -- I'm just having drinks on the roof with a few of the industry's legendary and key players, I told myself as did a few other star struck younger members that I spoke with. Fashion gods and goddesses including Ralph Rucci, Carolina Herrera, Norma Kamali, Stan Herman, Isabel and Ruben Toledo, Jeffrey Banks, Wes Gordon, Misha Nonoo and Nina Garcia, as well as plenty of important fashion executives such as Rosemary Bravo were in "da house."

Rose Marie Bravo

Chairman Donald J. Luftus spoke of the forming of FGI in 1930 with founding members including Elizabeth Arden, Margaret Case, Eleanor Roosevelt, Helena Rubinstein, Lilly Dache, Nan Duskin, Virginia Pope, Edith Head, Carmel Snow and several others who he called the "Fashion Nuns."

Norma Kamali

He mentioned that Case and Poke created the first fashion shows, while Snow, the "founding mother of Harper's Bazaar" gave the organization their second office space after the relocation from Louis Fairchild's Women's Wear Daily building on East 12th Street. In 1934, the move to 30 Rockefeller Center was accomplished using funds raised through a "Fashion Follies" member talent show lampooning the fashion industry. Today the organization consists of 5,000 men and women and has chapters worldwide. There were brief speeches by Carolina Herrera, Ralph Rucci, Rose Marie Bravo, Norma Kamali, Isabel Toledo, and Nina Garcia who all praised Margaret's ability as a visionary who "keeps things moving forward."

"A roof with a view..."

The evening was truly magical as the weather was perfect, the view amazing and the company legendary. Conversations ranged from those reminiscing over old times to those exchanging business cards and forging new connections.

Cheers to the next 85 years with FGI!

- Laurel Marcus

Better Bets
On and Off The Runway

Paul Frank Circus Jumble

Photo courtesy of Paul Frank Industries

Parents and children, including many celebrity moms and their offspring, crowded into the Hudson Mercantile on the first night of New York Fashion Week for a presentation and runway show of the Paul Frank Industries Circus Jumble Collection. In addition to previewing the Spring/Summer 2016 children’s collection, attendees were treated to sweet treats and performances by stilt walkers, hula hoopers and aerialists, as well as a DJ and circus games.

The collection featured bright pops of color as well as shiny metallics and geometric and animal prints. Notable moms in attendance included Rachel Zoe and Coco Rocha.

Yeohlee’s Playful Geometry

Photo: Rhonda Erb

The Spring 2016 collection of Malaysian designer Yeohlee Teng consisted of deceptively simple looks (basic coats and dresses, slim skirts, plain blouses) in neutral tones and blue and white. Fabrics ranged from natural silks and cottons to polyester and polyurethane. Upon closer observation, Yeohlee’s preoccupation with mathematical precision can be seen in the “6”x6” square pockets on a coat” or the 36”x36”x6” platform that the models stood on for the showing in her 29th Street store. After the show, Yeohlee and her team gathered in front of her store and posed for a celebratory photo, which the designer called “a great photo to have”.

Malan Bretan’s NYFW Wrap Party

Photo: Rhonda Erb

On the evening of September 15th, a variety of fashionistas mingled with celebrities at New York City’s Hudson Hotel at Malan Breton’s NYFW Wrap party to benefit Sound Affects, a charitable organization to fight cancer. The designer auctioned off two of his gowns in support of the organization, including the finale gown from his Spring/Summer 2016 show. The auction of the gowns and other items raised more than $10,000 dollars for Sound Effects. Celebrity guests included Sonja Morgan, Maye Musk, Farrah Krenek and Randy Jackson’s newest artist, Wil, who performed at the event.

Desigual Celebrates The Ever Changing Faces OF Women

Photo: Courtesy Desigual

Barcelona based Desigual always brings a touch of lighthearted fun to their runway shows. The brand’s Spring 2016 collection draws inspiration from the many facets of the free spirited modern woman.  Working with stylist Misha Janette and artist Lauro Samblas the runway styles feature playful layered ensembles, oversize blouses and midi skirts. Whimsical print dresses are paired with jumpers as turbans and bold accessories complete the looks. Famous faces in the audience included Laverne Cox, Karolina Kurkova, Nigel Barker and Iris Apfel.

- Rhonda Erb

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