I woke up this morning to the sound of dreary raindrops, and realized that the outfit I’d picked out for my last day of Fashion Week wasn’t going to work. I’d planned to wash my hair, too, but decided that “big hair” wasn’t going to be a chic look, so I took take a page out of Spring 2007’s fashion “must-haves” and put my hair up in a slightly messy, chignon. Umbrella in hand, I walked into the tents at Bryant Park for the Lisa Thon show…one I had a seating assignment for. Since I didn’t have to stand on the standing room line for 20 minutes, I wandered over to the WE (Women’s Entertainment) booth and asked Amy, the girl on duty at the moment, how many tote bags WE gives away. “500” she said (that’s a day). By the time I got there at 11:00 however, the 3,500 bags allotted were all given away. I suspect there will be a few more given out to the die-hards who make it to the last shows, this afternoon. I thanked her (and Amelia, her cohort) for being so nice, and went to my seat the Lisa Thon in the Third Row. It wasn’t a bad seat, but due to the hour (lunchtime, honey) and the rain, there were empty seats. I got one in the front row, bringing my front row tally this season, to a whopping, two. But it does make a difference, especially if you want to really experience the clothes. This Puerto Rican born designer opened her first store in Puerto Rico, in 1999, and had her first show in 2001. She presented her fashions to the American Market at a show at Parsons in New York, in 2005. I’m assuming that this was Lisa’s first show at Fashion Week and she made it memorable. For starters, the clothes were luxurious, with gorgeous tafetta and chiffon fabrics that shimmered in soft and beautiful (and flattering) tones of copper, coffee, and rose, with more color (soft yellow, peach, ivory, black). There were flouncy peasant and prairie style flounces, but also sexy, bare bikinis and one-piece wonders that really were spare and bare, and quite alluring. One coffee-colored tafetta fabric was used in everything from evening skirts to minis and shorts, featuring gorgeous, heavily embroidered roses with gold thread. Another chiffon evening gown had tiny metallic threads so it shimmered, but wasn’t over-the-top. One of my favorite designs was a stunning, red, shimmery, wrapped, tafetta cropped top over thin-as-you-can-get-them cigarette pants. Word with gold sandals, this outfit would turn heads no matter when you wear it. As with Cynthis Rowley’s show the day before, I kept thinking as the models walked down the runway…”I might even be able to wear this.” These are clothes for women who love clothes, and fashion. I loved this show! I wasn’t alone either, a smattering of applause punctuated the heavy Latin soundtrack from time to time, and there was literally a cheer for Lisa when the models took their last turn on the runway. I didn’t get backstage to get the complete picture on the hair and makeup, but the hair, done by the stylists from Aveda, was yet another version of the updo, this time a slightly messy, teased “beehive” with a long but thin ponytail out of the back. It was modern and pretty, but I doubt you or I could do it ourselves, at home. On the eyes, I could see a very warm, rusty brown (very pretty with the chocolate and cocoa colored clothes) and a peachy lip. These are colors I think you’ll want this Spring, and I’ll check with Aveda and let you know exactly what was used, and how (and when you can get them for yourself). The overall look was relaxed, warm, bronzed (but not too) and dewy (but again, not over-the-top). Well done, Aveda!
Show over, I headed for the line for the Manuel Show, where, mercifully, I also had a seat. It is so much less exhausting when you know you’re not going to be standind for 20-40 minutes and then lugging your bags to the back, to stand some more while you jockey for position. As a reporter of beauty and fashion, being able to sit and take decent notes and photos, is a must. At the Manuel show, being able to see details on the rhinestone-studded rock-star clothes, was also a plus. I had a seat in the 7th row, but got one in the 3rd row before the show started. In the program notes, it says that Designer Manuel Cuevas and his son, Manuel Jr. take their inspiration from Manuel’s long standing relationship with Marlon Brando and his collaboration on the wardrobe design for Marlon in the 1962 movie, “One Eyed Jack.” The collection, for men, women and evening wear, captures the essence of true earlyu days of Ole California and it;s romance of the Spanish heritage as envisioned in Manuel’s timeless style. On the cover of the Manuel program was a copy of a movie poster of Karl Malden in One Eye Jacks. The first model to walk down the runway was dressed in beige leather pants and was shirtless, except for a huge set of Swarovski rhinestone bandeleros. But after that, the collection features lots of denim, and then even more denim, mostly in black or distressed black/grey. But there was also linen combined with silk and lots of distressed leather. This, I am assuming, is the influence of Manuel Jr. Although Manuel (Sr.) is known for “rock star” outfits dripping with glittering rhinestones, this collection was toned down a lot. Even the evening clothes for women were mostly chiffon. One that was more showy and that I loved, was a long, silk dress with Swarovski crystal just on one shoulder, and a draped scarf detail that floated behind her as she strutted down the runway. Another outfit I paticularly liked was a graceful and very classic, short trench coat worn with boot stich embroidered denim jeans. I wasn’t backstage for this show, but the hair, done by For Click Salon, was an elegant, low ponytail wrapped with the model’s own hair. It was sleek, simple, and elegant. The makeup was by M.A.C. but I couldn’t really tell what it was. I think I saw a flash of violet on the eyes, which, given the amount of purple and violet I saw this week, would be a pretty good assumption.
Show over, I wandered backstage, took a few photos of Manuel. I needed to meet someone and I had to leave fairly soon, but I saw a group of women at the Women’s Entertainment booth. I learned that they were putting rhinestone decals on cell phones, for those who were willing to wait. I did, and while I was there, a lovely young woman who was there to hand out samples of Tresemme hair spray brought me a cookie from the Delta Lounge (with a photo of Michael Kors standing in front of a Delta Airplane on it). I selected a ring of six orange and pink rosettes affixed to the back of mine.
It was time to go. I said goodbye to some of the guards, and opened my umbrella. I walked across the street and looked back. The tents were still going strong, but I was done with Fashion Week for this season. Over the next few weeks I’ll try to make some cohesive sense of what I saw, and write it up with photos, for those who are interested. As someone noted: for those who are involved in Fashion Week, it’s a BIG thing. For the rest of the world, perhaps, not so much. But it’s always an exciting week and mine, was fantastic!
What does all of this mean for you? If you’re a fashionista, please comment, and if you’re not, tell me how fashion affects you (if at all)