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Letter from New York

Was one of the world’s biggest fashion show a non-event? Editor of Zinc Magazine, Casey Gillespie tells us why New York fashion week was all a bit of a bore.

Written by . Published on September 28th 2006.

Letter from New York

We’ve all got a fashion hangover

So it seems another New York fashion week has come and gone. Thousands of bottles of champagne have been glamorously consumed, hundreds of emaciated models have trotted down runways all over town, countless after-parties were crashed, goodie bags have been sifted through and unwanted swag re-gifted… all is well in the land of fashion. Well, almost anyway.

Perhaps my hangover is hanging on a little longer than usual this season, but I’m rather disappointed in the scene (or more accurately, lack of) emanating from the tents in Bryant Park. Last season, we had lights plummeting from the rafters injuring editors front row. Marc Jacobs kept everyone’s Manolos tapping impatiently for two hours before sending hideous potato sack-looking dresses down the catwalk (the air backstage was surely thick with smugness). There were models slipping and sliding over the Baby Phat runway in front of more diamond-drenched celebs than you can shake a stick at — and this season? Hmmmm.

No doubt there was naughtiness going on somewhere, but what fun is that if we don’t talk about it? To be fair, Lindsay Lohan did fall and break her wrist, but who invited her anyway? The most excitement was at the Rogan party when the crowd of beautiful people spilled out of the store and on to the sidewalk. One partygoer, looking exceptionally dapper in his skull ascot and grey patent leather Fluevogs, was just finishing his last sip of beer when two surly NYPD officers issued him a citation for drinking in public. (Meanwhile, elsewhere in the city, a slew of real crimes were being committed — report at 11. But I digress.)

The real fashion week story developed only after the lights dimmed and the last model strutted past the audience off into the wings. Word broke immediately that the Council of Fashion Designers of America’s (CFDA) lease at Bryant Park would not be renewed. And so the heated debate ensued over where the shows would be held six months from now. The Javits Convention Centre? (Corporate America — gasp!) Chelsea Piers? (That’s practically in California! Will there be car service?) Lincoln Centre? (Art, jazz, gays … possibly.) Everyone is so stressed about it, I’m shocked any of us have made it out of the spa and into the office.

The real tragedy here is that no one has asked me what I think — because I, of course, have the answer. It’s so simple, so brilliant! Why not take the fashion festivities a few blocks uptown and stage it on the Great White Way? Broadway is the perfect solution! Picture it: models in Times Square, runway shows broadcast on the looming Reuters screen, the Zeigfield theatre with a catwalk jutting out into the audience!

Half of the shows currently on Broadway practically beg for a mega-marketing deal with the fashion industry anyway: The Color Purple, Hairspray, Wicked, Beauty and the Beast. And since American designers insist on plopping Hollywood starlets onto the runway and calling them “models”, we should at least give them proper lighting and good acoustics. We might even be able to give some of the Paris shows a run for their money. OK, maybe not, but it was a nice thought. See wasn’t that was easy, darlings? Now about that little glitch in the Middle East…

Ta for now

Casey Gillespie, Editor of Zink Magazine

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