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Ellin Saltzman's Fashion Diary

Thursday, September 16

The first shows of the day are Ralph Lauren. I truly love Ralph and his entire family; and the people that I know who work for him are great. His clothes are fabulous, his taste is impeccable. Then why do I not get an invitation to his show? Some answers: the PR department does not know who I am. I have been out of the retail limelight for a decade. I am not a name. Most importantly I am sure that Ralph Lauren would invite me if he knew I was taking a new turn in life and having a ball writing. However why would I dare bother him by asking for an invite. Next season I will and you will have my review from up close and personal!

Because of the free time this morning I finally marched through the Park to Lincoln Center. Not as easy as I thought. I overshot the exit and ended up at Columbus Circle; busy pondering this I missed the curve and fell right into the street. Two very cool men picked me up and got me restarted. I limped to Lincoln Center not being able to put any weight on my left leg. But of course I could not miss Isaac Mizrahi and Oscar late afternoon. Anything for fashion! Do I blame Ralph?

ISAAC MIZRAHI

I was well seated. Second row center. Right in back of the delightful and charming Chloe Malle. She is a top writer at the New York Observer and sure to be going far. She is the daughter of Candice Bergen and Louis Malle.

The spirit at Isaac was good and up in mood; that is hard to achieve on the eighth day of shows! But Isaac does manage to turn on the smiles. His shows can be tricky and funny. Two seasons ago he had models walking through rain, problem being that the rain also soaked first row press and merchants! 

This season it was all about the clothes; many were terrific. The only fault I found were in some of the hemlines; that below the knee length which ages every lady at least ten years.

Isaac had a group of super black dresses; something this season is missing. A fabulous caviar beaded top and coin size pailettes on black satin, it’s great! Some great black satin and net dresses; a fabulous black satin fly-away jacket with a diamond necklace like a collar to spark it up.
He had some bright floral prints, one in a patchwork pattern and two with smocking in the middle. And he had a super white self-tied jacket over sheer white embossed pants.

Isaac offers some great pieces and I think his customers will be very happy. I am for him.
Wednesday, September 15
 

NARCISO RODRIQUEZ. Okay. I have to make a confession. I did not receive an invitation to Narciso's collection. I really like his designs and have known him since he worked for and with Calvin Klein and designed Caroline Bessette's unadorned but beautiful wedding dress. Thus instead of attending the show I did the second best thing. I watched it on my computer. I was not disappointed. This collection is totally minimalist. No jewelry, no appliques flowers, no silliness.

Yes, it resembled the 1990s; but what is wrong with that? Purity in design, flowing clothes, wearable and workable shoes, long but elegant length as it moves. Bravo Narciso. I hope to see the collection in person next season!!
As I was trying to put on my makeup this morning (no easy task as I was very, very sleepy), I realized I forgot to tell you about the makeup at Donna Karan.

Donna had all eyebrows removed on each model. No, not waxed off, but covered with skin color concealer (or however one would do that).

She also had each model’s nails hidden, no not with gloves or casts, but with skin color polish then matte finished. You ask why? I presume it was to accentuate the pure natural clothes; no distractions of any sort!

And as I was putting on my ballet slippers, my choice for the shows, (today's are chocolate velvet to match a Michael Kors animal print pleated skirt) I goofed yesterday when discussing Dennis Basso's collection shoes!

They looked totally chic from the front, clear plastic and leather on a platform, but the heels were incredibly difficult. Needle in middle of high high heel, models did have a problem navigating as the heels bent under the shoe. I am sure this will be rectified by Ms Rogers, the shoe designer, for production. I also forgot to mention Marc Jacobs collection shoes. They had thick heels which make walking on high heels a cinch!
 
MICHAEL KORS
 
It's time for Michael Kors. One of my favorite designers both personally and professionally, so I am a bit biased! I was fortunate enough to be seated in the front row, between his very nice and young mother, Joan, and Suzy Menkes of the International Herald Tribune.

To digress again, in the old days (probably the early 90s) when Michael was a struggling designer, he showed in his showroom. Part of the ceiling peeled off, and of course it landed on Suzy. She may have been saved by her great hair! It was a bit traumatic for all but she survived as did we all.

Michael Kors is no longer a struggling designer; and thanks to his talent and personality he is recognized everywhere, especially with "Project Runway." I am told that in one airport someone came up to him carrying one of her shoes. It was Kors by Kors and she wanted his autograph on it!

On to the collection. Michael was obviously happy when he designed it! I don't know if Leos are happiest in the summer but he sure is!

This is an ode to summer dressing, to casual dressing, for town and country. Lets start with the shoes .. they worked and the models walked! The shoes were very much like Cork-Ease (if you remember those) with Michael’s touch of sophistication. They are a must have for summer!! Both platform and flat!!! They are that great no color tan.

The show opened with Karmen (who also opened Donna's show) in a great white linen gauze pullover worn with a midcalf white linen gauze sarong; and continued with white crinkle trench. The men's clothes were great, but the male models were even greater!!! They were interspersed in each group.
The big white oversized pullover was seen over billiard green long pleated skirt, or in hemp over hemp linen shorts. Michael had great colors as well as white; daffodil (bright yellow) in a cashmere long tank dress or a silk jersey toga gown peanut in a smashing leather trench and skirt bright zinnia pink in silk jersey tank and sarong and a silk jersey "slide" dress.

He used heather grey in a cashmere and cotton double faced sweatshirt with heather cashmere sarong and the same hooded sweatshirt over hemp crystal beaded pajama pant which is on my shopping list of ten which you will have on Friday!

Love you Michael.
Wednesday afternoon, September 15

Back to the tents ... mobbed with women and their very young children and one truly silly lady with a very small, very cute dog who surely did not belong at a fashion show or in the crowd that was likely to trample him.

MILLY

The name is deceptive, it makes it seem like a collection for teen-agers (of course it could also stand for Michele Smith, its creator). Ms. Smith studied at FIT while working in the Hermes boutique to help pay her tuition. Upon graduation she wrote to Hermes' president and asked to intern in the Vuitton Paris headquarters. She got the job and worked for Hermes while also studying at a Paris design school. She also interned at Dior.

She came home after 3 years determined to open her own house. Why am I telling you all this? It makes you understand this attractive and determined young designer. She seems capable of succeeding with everything she undertakes. Now, after 10 years of Ready to Wear she is adding shoes and handbags.

She is also opening a "Mini Milly' collection for the 2 to 7 crowd and a Madison Avenue boutique. Her collection is fun, ageless, colorful and very commercial I presume. Saks Senior Merchants were sitting next to Bloomingdale's Senior Merchants and right across from Neiman Marcus and Bergdorf Goodman. It looks great!
MILLY by MICHELLE SMITH Spring 2011 Fashion Show.
She opened with great red, white, and blue in an accordion pleated skirt and boyfriend cardigan three-color cardigan. She gets very colorful in bright rose garden print raincoat, slim pant and dress (not worn all together). She has a bright multi-color cubist, print coat and silk/linen beaded dress. She gives her customers a great kelly green wool reefer coat over a lady bug print shirt and checked skirt. She has the perfect day dress in navy Italian Ponti jersey and a belted sheath with golf buttons down the side of the skirt. Michele continues with good looking whites and ivories and navies.

Very well done Michele. I will look for your label with great enthusiasm in the Spring!
Tuesday, September 14
Gabrielle Union, Kristin Cavallari and Denise Richards front row at the Badgley Mischka Spring 2011 fashion show.
A heavenly day. I vowed to walk across the park to Lincoln Center (face it, 77th and Madison to West 63rd isn't a long walk), but of course I was late and a taxi was right there. Shame on me! As I approached the Fashion Tents at Lincoln Center there were 3 girls leaning on the wall of the David Koch theatre removing their flip flops and putting on their Louboutins. Funny to see them walk away with red soles shining.
 
BADGLEY MISCHKA

Richard and Mark are two delightful and attractive men, Mark is also a horseback rider and he looks great in riding clothes! Their collection was a combination of Mark & James (their lower price more sportif line) and their Couture Collection. They blend very well.
First a word on hair: cancel your Keratin Brazilian straightening appointments! Based on Marc Jacobs last night and Badgley Mischka this morning long, almost frizzy, hair is in!!! The Couture Collection has some beautiful chiffon or crepe or organza gowns in pale colors of ocean blue, petal pink, ivory, and white; often with petal details, or jewel embroidered. Smashing for their Palm Beach store and customers and for others come Spring and Summer.

The Mark + James (name written that way in program) was a fun combination of what one might call evening tops but put together with jeans (white or denim blue) or short shorts. A total solution to the invite that says "casual dress" but you know they don't really mean it!!!
DENNIS BASSO

It is Primary Day and Dennis Basso should run for office!! Everyone knows him and adores him and came to see his show. He is funny, witty, cuddly cute even though on a diet.

The perfect person to sell his fur designs. He is almost irrestible. There is no doubt that Dennis is known best for his furs, however what happens in warm weather?

This collection "represents the glamourous summer evenings of the Mediterranean."

It is all evening dresses in a variety of pale colors: sky blue, blush pink, champagne, silver grey and ombred aquamarine. There are cutouts galore, skirts ranging from short mid thigh to long as well as asymmetrical.

His fabrics are gazar, lace, horsehair, neoprene, mesh, taffeta some with very polished surfaces, and some hand embroidery. 

And he managed to soften and make two alligator dresses, one in pink and cream, the other sky blue and cream. Dennis proves that he is not only a fur maven but a fabric one as well!
Monday morning, September 13

Marc Jacobs, who through the years has been very late in starting his show, is indeed cured of that habit. His show started at 7:59 (called for 8).
 
MARC JACOBS

A return to the influence of the 1970s which Marc enjoys reading about and seeing photos of. It’s hot pants, gypsies, see through, crochet lace, satin flare jeans, and a few more tacky things that looked right then! 

It’s hair that is big and curly (not teased big but full out as in Grace Coddington and Sonia Rykiel with their flowing red hair). It was the era of Sonia knits, Missoni weaves and stripes, Yves St Laurent gypsies, and Chanel gold chained jackets. It was discotheques, occasional drugs, late night parties. It seemed everything was great and fun!

In this collection Marc revisited the happiness of that time with some joyous clothes. It was sophisticated with a brown leather full wrap skirt, big brimmed brown hat over a scarf-wrapped head, big tortoise shell sunglasses, and a rounded 4 pocket self belted tan and brown patterned. It was "wear to work" with a linen wrap cap sleeve cassis color dress.

It was gypsies for many, looking great and fresh again, as in a purple peasant blouse with dark red midcalf dirndl skirt and tan obi belt. It was Missoni-like stripes and zig zag knits, including one tight poor boy sweater with bright crochet pasties attached! It was gold leather hot pants and top; and a Marc-meets-Chanel, long beige jacket with large gold chain edge and matching gold chained tuxedo stripe pants; plus a grey knit bandeau top. And it was the trim and lean Marc in black shirt and pant.
Grace Coddington, prompt, as always.
Brian Bowen Smith, Alexa Chung, Alex Cespedes, Baelyn Neff, and Rachel Zoe.
Marvin Scott Jarrett, Sandy Brant, and Ingrid Sischy.
Diane von Furstenberg, Steven Kolb, Kate Lanphear, Joann Pailey, Alexis Bryan Morgan, Joe Zee, and Anne Slowey.
Monday, September 13

No more rain! Warmer than past two days. Tents now bustling with recognizable press and merchants.

Many attended Tommy Hilfiger's show and celebration of 25 years last night. I am told the collection was very clean and preppy and "Tommy like" once again.
CAROLINA HERRERA

It's Carolina Herrera's morning. 10 AM promptly Anna Wintour (editor-in-chief of Vogue in case you forgot) is sitting in her seat. She is always on time. Totally prompt and perfectly groomed. She nods hello as acquaintances pass her. She sits and waits 40 minutes for the show to start!

I must quote the words on the program "for Spring 2011 colors, prints, and floral appliques were taken from botanical plates collected in the 18th century. The cut and details of this collection were inspired by traditional clothes from Korea. The hat customarily worn by men and the wrapped belts complete the silhouette." Not knowing a great deal about Korean style nor Botany the show proceeded!
Backstage at Carolina Herrera.
Opening the show was a perfect jasmine white twill wrap jacket with matching double pleated pants, shown with a big black straw hat with the hair in a perfect chignon under it. It was clean and neat.

There were some beautiful silk floral print and solid organza embroidered dresses which came in two lengths: one above the knee and the other below the knee. The longer length in this case looked a bit frumpier.
Carolina in her botanical frame of mind used green. But it is olive green, not necessarily a spring color. She softened the look with lime floral jacquard long gown. She knows her ladies and produced a group of long gowns with much jeweled embroidery, at times a bit too much but very beautiful. And for those who have lots of their own jewels. an aster (shocking pink to me) satin gazar gown with Korean stitched bows (not sure how Korean bows differ from American bows but I am reading the program!)

Carolina took her bow dressed in her style of white shirt, rolled cuff, and blue tweed slim above the knee skirt!
MONIQUE LHUILIER

Monique designs totally feminine dresses for the red carpet on Oscar night, for brides and their pretty youngish mothers, and for evenings from cocktails to charity balls.

This season she was inspired by the Garden of Eden; with its red apple and snake; and angel like colors and soft cloud like fabrics. Her lengths vary: above the knee, two to three inches below the knee (I have a problem accepting that), midcalf, and full length. Three out of four work, the other just looks dowdy!
The show opened with blush gazar with a pleated petal bodice, midcalf length. This was the good in the garden; and then came the tempting red apple draped wool cocktail dress with lace insert on the side. She uses a cherry blossom print from her garden in taffeta as a strapless cocktail dress (above the knee) and an ivory re-embroidered lace corseted dress with cut out back for some sex appeal and a smashing red apple chiffon knotted keyhole bodice gown a show stopper and entrance maker.

Ms. Lhuilier ended her show with several grand evening gowns. She lives in Los Angeles and her stars are there. Both are fortunate.
DONNA KARAN is, through her yoga, retreats, and healthy living "embracing nature" (as her program notes). There is not one tough or hard note in this collection, it is all air, and very fresh air at that.

The show opened with a group of ivory and nudes; all soft, wrapped, layered silks; some under a crushed stretch jacket. The lengths are all long. but soft, between the lower calf to ankle, and all look beautiful.

This is not necessarily a "wear to work" collection as Donna's clothes once were (remember her padded shoulder jacket and body suits and wrap skirt? it was power dressing to the max). This is truly sexy office dressing; for those with great bodies and great weekend party dressing. No bright colors here, but she doesn't need it! The customer might, however, have to find a good cleaner for all these pale nude long outfits.
Sunday, September 12

The good news: it did not rain on the thousands of runners in the Susan Komen Race for the Cure this morning. The bad news is that the US Tennis Final scheduled for 4 PM may have to be postponed!

DEREK LAM designs clean American sportswear. Born in San Francisco he studied at Parsons and fortunately for him he began work at MICHAEL KORS, truly our top American Sportswear designer and recipient of the Lifetime Achievement from The Council of Fashion Designers (the CFDA) this year. His training shows!
Front and center for Derek Lam.
Derek opened his collection with great American denim (but not jeans) including flat front wide leg trousers (is it becoming a trend for Spring?)

Derek's length are mostly mid calf. However he does a smashing white trench coat at knee length and a white popover tunic and wrap skirt slightly above knee height. His collection ended on a high note with a smashing long sleeve beautifully cut white dress.
DKNY

Donna does not go the flat heel way. Her shoe is a high heel pump with an ankle strap (beware, if you do not have perfect legs and are not the perfect leggy lady, this ankle strap cuts your leg and makes it appear wider!)

Donna's collection is clean and fun. It is all lengths and moods. A borrowed-from-the-boys great shirt and vest under a blazer is followed by a short ruffled white dress which is followed by a taupe mid-calf shirt dress.

Donna introduces some great color and color combinations into her show starting with the perfect bright red dress. Bright coral blazer over red sweater vest combined with calf length pants. If no jacket, there is the Donna's ubiquitous sweater tied around the model's waist (I personally do this hoping it hides the rear...but nowadays I would have to wear a sweater around my shoulders hoping it hides the neck!) Donna solves the neck issue by wide scarves being tied in various ways around the models still perfect necks)
She combines aqua and turquoise blue in a top with blue pants and goes all out in an adorable sort turquoise print ruffled mini dress. Donna's DKNY show ends with a great group of Liberty style black background prints in everything from swimwear, skirts, dresses and evening dresses.

With this collection Donna could dress two to three generations of women (as in her household) the young grandmother (Donna), her beautiful daughter, and very soon her fabulous granddaughter. The collection is very good!
DIANE VON FURSTENBERG

Diane is working with a new designer. His name is Yvan Mispelaere. Their new styles are much softer and very colorful with clean and crisp sporty separates in great bright shades of black and white, yellow and turquoise, coral and red, lapis blue. Nary an ordinary jersey wrap dress in the collection (which will be in the showroom because they are bread and butter).

The most like a wrap dress was the opening bold print wrap jumpsuit. Her clothes were of all lengths; and the city short shorts with great boxy jackets were shown with FLAT sandals (that proportion looks better than heels with shorts!).

The models often wore John Lennon shaped sunglasses; one even with a white frame, with their strappy print sun dresses. Other outstanding looks were a yellow halter-neck silk top worn with a turquoise skirt and a great coral-hooded silk top with a brilliant purple long skirt.

Outstanding and elegant to me was the black/gray/white multi-square print silk chemise with elbow length sleeves, mid-calf length. (Now you know this had to be good as I am not an elbow-length sleeve person or a mid-calf length one either...but here it looks great!) This dress also had what I think from afar was a brilliant blue/black and white belt bag giving it the finished look.

This collection was almost totally unadorned or accessorized which made it all the better by not hiding the clothes!
September 11: The perfect sky and temperature. Very similar to nine years ago when I was late to Liz Lange's show. It was fashion week then. Fortunately the only catastrophe was Federer's loss in the semi finals. Preventing a Nadal/Federer final.

A brief shift: I took a taxi to the Lincoln Center show tents. My driver said to me "They have fashion shows here? What a waste of money. Everyone looks alike with jeans and tee shirts"! Ummm...think I. The driver then explains that in India women dress with beautiful saris in different colors and wrapped differently; and in Pakistan, his home, the women embroider their own dresses so they look individual. I told him I might include this in a column. He is very excited and took down the name, asking when??? I will admit it did make me think (admittedly I was in white jeans and a black tee shirt and shirt. Saturday casual as well as a refusal to admit summer is over).

The tents are functioning better than Friday. Essie is giving mini manicures; Tresemme is doing quick hair; Maybelline is already out of all the mascara they were giving out!

"Get here very early tomorrow when we get the refill order!"

People are very busy on their laptops in areas set up for them. Fiji water is in containers surrounding the tents; only complaint is the bottles are warm.

But best of all are the "card readers"! All emailed invitations have a confirmation barcode number and a logo to be read. Just as at airports you scan this and "voila" your seat assignment pops out! It’s a small printed ticket about 1/4 the size of a boarding pass...but it works! If you are puzzled they have people standing there to help. Note the more established designers with a slightly older clientele attending their shows do not have this. They are sending out their printed invites as always. They call it the "old way"

PRABAL GURUNG

a brilliant newcomer to the fashion scene. His business opened in 2009. He has dressed Michelle Obama, as well as Oprah Winfrey, and that sexy cougar Demi Moore. Prabal was born in Singapore but raised in Katmandu, Nepal. He did work with Bill Blass which may explain his way of showing in groups; with the finale matching the start. It works brilliantly.

Signaling a return to COLOR for Spring 2011 he opened the show with fantastic bright color block MID CALF length dresses. They were in coral, saffron gold, aqua (which I call turquoise), and red.

The opening dress will be photographed by many as it totally works. It is sleeveless, skinny, mid- calf (here the length looks young and not dowdy). He followed all his color block dresses (and these may have been in lightweight cashmere. I was not close enough to tell) with shaped, curvy, intricately detailed but never overdone, or glitzy black, and also white dresses, as well as a smashing tuxedo with black lapelled white jacket and black full pants.

His finale were mid-calf evening dresses in saffron yellow, in red, in coral/orange, in clear red, and in aqua/turquoise and in black and white. Perfect for North South dressy parties, black tie or otherwise. Watch for the PRABAL GURUNG label to appear in your specialty stores come February. An exciting collection Prabal! Saleable but never boring.
ADAM

Ever clean and neat with some great jackets and wider leg pants (this seems to be a trend). He has some young white dresses which are actually ageless. His collection gets more and more feminine every season (he is known as a menswear designer)
Courtesy of IMAXtree.com and Matteo Volta
VIVIENNE TAM

Vivienne was born in China but raised in Hong Kong. She never lets her Asian heritage escape her, and this is not a criticism.

Her show was "dedicated to the people of the Silk Road. The summer of 2010 experiencing devastating floods across Asia. In both China and more recently Pakistan. Each leaving millions of people homeless."

Vivienne's collection was a wonderful mix of crafts: crochet, patchwork, applique, and macrame. All the sandals were macrame and thong tie back flats. (Please note that many of these early collections have featured flat shoes. A relief to some and a horror to others).

Her lengths were for the most part short, almost mini, which works oh so well with flats.

Her predominant color was ivory with touches of lapis and midnight blue and a touch of jasmine print.

Vivienne is a survivor and she looks great as well as very much younger than her Wikipedia profile (born in 1957 making her 53).
Courtesy of IMAXtree.com and Matteo Volta
HOT HOT FLASH: Tom Ford previews his women's collection for 90 people only. All of them were sworn to secrecy and had to sign a "no disclosure" paper. No photographers were allowed.

It was shown in a 1960 couture manner with the audience sitting on gold chairs and the designer explaining each look. It was a true salon. Tom introduced each look and the personality that inspired him and were showing the clothes (Beyonce, Rita Wilson, Lauren Hutton, Marissa Berenson, Carolyn Murphy and some other very special models and personalities).

It was a perfect couture type collection with perfect couture like clothes putting other long expensive runway shows to shame (but to be fair showing to 90 is much chicer and more elegant than to 750 or more).

There was a grand tuxedo or smoking, a leopard print pantsuit, and a smashing white leather trench coat. There were some hand fringed dresses and some feathers that I will have to see. All the jewelry was gold and I imagine for this collection it was 14 or 18k.

I am overusing the word PERFECT but that is what the word is ... a collection that we would adore wearing and sounds like one would break out of the recessionist mode to purchase one piece!

BRAVO TOM! I cannot wait to see it!
Friday, September 10, 11:30 arrival at Lincoln Center. See many chic people entering Avery Fisher Hall following a be-suited Andre Leon Talley (thank heavens he is out of his robes!) and an always chic Hamish Bowles (both are very special editors at VOGUE). Quickly realize that this well dressed and recognizable group are NOT going to the fashion tents but rather to a luncheon in honor of Karl Lagerfeld (Chanel, Fendi etc., brilliant designer — See DPC’s Diary).

MICHAEL ANGEL

He is a young designer, born in Melbourne Australia. His first collection was for Spring Summer 2008. He has received excellent press coverage, in particular a 2008 VOGUE editorial on "people to watch.” He does not seem to have any real retail presence in specialty stores but does have a private clientele. However BARNEYS had a team there to see the show so perhaps ...?

Michael specializes in digital and manual artwork printed on several fabrics. The prints are very colorful and shown over white or even eggshell leather. His looks are all layered but delightfully light and fluid looking. Almost everything is asymmetrical — skirts, dresses, tops.

Two fascinating things took me back to the 1950s: he had starched white collars and fronts under many of his clothes. Could this be the return of the "dickey"? The models had very flat and lacquered tight "page boys." A look which people way back when would accomplish by setting their hair wrapped around a sanitary napkin!

I am hoping that in the future we will see more of Michael. I would like to be a retailer working with him to make the collection a little bit more saleable. So some of us could buy and wear his pieces.
Photos by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images North America.
Lincoln Center Tents: Well merged into the south side of Lincoln Center. Very well done. Certainly not looking like a tent at all.

A bit discombobulated as it is the first day -- some of the electronic stations fail to function; some of the advertised booths seem not to be open or I did not see/find them. With great curiosity I was looking for the EFFEN vodka stand, being totally in love with that name!

It takes a while to locate your seat if you do not have a bar code on the invitation or a seat assignment, but I think about 4 different groups of the "real housewives" seemed to have no problem. Quite frankly I do not see their attraction. They do not represent style or fashion. Why have them in the front row??? Am I suffering a generational thing?
They don't call it Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week for nothing.
Now what do I think of Lincoln Center as the setting rather than Bryant Park (2 blocks from most designer showrooms)? I am not sure. Think Bryant Park is easier for designers to get added pieces from their showrooms; and for department store buyers to visit the showrooms and actually buy for their stores; and for many magazine editors whose offices are on 44th street ... but Lincoln Center is part of the art of theatre, dance, music, and film world ... and fashion is now considered an art, whether harmonious or not, colorful or black and white, comedy or tragedy or straight drama, models on catwalks as ballerinas on stage. So the jury is still out, whether it is my jury of one or many of our readers.
Under the simulated tent.
CHRISTIAN SIRIANO COLLECTION:

Christian was a winner of Project Runway 6 years ago. Probably the most talented designer ever on that show. Also the most ambitious and self confident. I had the pleasure of working with him slightly while I was at bluefly.com. He made a small collection for the site right after he won the competition. It was very successful.

Katrina Bowden, Christian Siriano, and Maggie Grace
When Christian first started his clothes were spectacular, entrance making, dramatic, but not very wearable. With his collection for Spring Summer 2011 he seems to have overcome that obstacle. This collection is very salable and very beautiful with some dramatic (entrance making) pieces as well.

The show starts with a fabulous cognac leather belted safari jacket and slim cotton stretch white trousers and a stretch cotton bateau neck white dress with beaded shoulder (very discreet) and a great cognac belt. White is the basis of the first part of his collection ending with a one-shoulder flounced white silk blazer and boot cut trousers.

Then we go to color (it is Spring after all) in a turquoise giraffe print dramatically shown in a satin faced organza bubble dress or for fun in a wing sleeve blouse shown with pleated cognac leather short city shorts (or if nervy) Palm Beach ladies luncheon.

Christian had a group of amber giraffe prints shown with gold -- probably great for his blond ladies with their fair skin, and he ended on a high note of red...from red snake embossed wing sleeve jacket and shorts and ended with a red tulle striking one shoulder draped gown

Well done Christian!
Sparkle Sterling Leigh Lezark Sia Furler
Ken Downing and Teri Agins Mark Consuelos
Christian Siriano for Payless shoes: it is great that he has this franchise. The shoes this season are influenced by "Africa, India, and China together into a single design aesthetic" (Christian's words). They are indeed powerful and strong and platformed with very interesting heels. Not for the faint of heart but great for the young customers who want an adventurous shoe by a known designer at Payless prices!
CHRISTIAN SIRIANO's spring/summer 2011 collection ...
 
Photographs by Patrick McMullan.com/(c) Jill Lynne 2010
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