Today, I’m posting a “FLUFF” piece on a Fantastic Few days I spent in New York City last week during Fall Fashion Week. Here’s a two word warning: Long and “Fluffy”- not super substantive.
Yes! Attending a live New York Fashion show was on Berit’s (my) Bucket List. It happened last week.
Last January at the St. Jude “Red Carpet for Hope” Gala that I founded and Co-Chaired, a NY Fashion week package was Featured as one of the live auction items. My husband generously bid on the package. Finally, he and another person who was counter bidding “won” the prize. I was the Fortunate person who got to attend the show. One of our Friends in New York had been kind enough to seek donations on behalf of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital that were components of the package.
The first part was a ticket to a New York Fashion show-specifically that of designers Mark Badgley and James Mischka. The best aspect about my getting to go to this particular show was that I had the pleasure of meeting them both many years ago when they were in Minneapolis. I sat next to Mark Badgley at a Gala at the Minneapolis Institute of Art many years ago. I remember him telling me that he and his partner, James Mischka, “dressed” Sharon Stone occasionally (maybe even frequently) back then and that they would bring their clothes to her home for her to select, openly disclosing that she was “a perfect size 6″. I believe she was at the height of her “stardom” at that time. (Still, I think Sharon Stone is one of the most beautiful movie stars I have ever seen in person). I subsequently purchased 3 items they designed at various points in time.
The first one I purchased was a black, long gown from the Dayton’s/Marshall Field’s Oval Room. I’m sure it was on clearance. I wore it on my 40th Birthday while attending a black tie gala in Hollywood for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. (Before my daughter who eventually was treated there was conceived). Yes, that Gala happened to fall precisely on the evening of my 40th Birthday. This is me pictured in said dress with my close Friends from elementary-high school-present day on that evening. They look positively beautiful – don’t you agree?
I have worn this particular gown several times since and plan to wear it again at an upcoming charity event for ABBOTT NORTHWESTERN HOSPITAL (See Link on Fill-Anthropy page) this October. I still love it 14 years after buying it.
The next item I purchased (circa 2002) is the suit I wore for the Fashion show. I Found it in my closet with the tag still on it. Ok, embarrassing I know. But I’m believing I’m not alone in having a few items in my closet with tags still attached. Come on, admit it, some of you have done the same thing. Am I right? It had been marked down 4 TIMES!!! In addition, I would have gotten an employee discount as well. It’s the type of suit I haven’t obviously had an occasion to wear. It was just hanging and waiting for the right opportunity to present itself. It only took approximately 12 years! Here I am pictured with a close Friend who came to the show and enjoyed the NYC package with me. I will tell you who designed and made her dress upon request! Pretty, isn’t she? And her dress too!
The third item is another gown that I got on clearance in Beverly Hills many years ago. I wore it to the Golden Globes Show in 2006 (?). (Being at the Golden Globes Show and after parties was one of my Favorite perks as a spouse of an executive whose company was a corporate sponsor of the show. I got to walk the red carpet next to the “stars” several times as a “nobody”. Or as my husband always said: “We’re the re-load people!” In other words, the photographers saw us, knew we were “nobodies” and had an opportunity to re-load the Film as we passed by. Things have changed on the red carpet since then too. Now the “other” people who are not “stars” are ushered along on a separate red carpet alongside the REAL one). These Friends pictured are extremely special to me and are equally beautiful in all ways. Having the opportunity to walk the red carpet once upon a time (or a few times) is an experience that I shall cherish Forever.
While wearing this gown at this particular Golden Globes Gala, I was caught in the photographer’s lens in the background. I unintentionally “photobombed” Isla Fisher and I think I may have made the cover of US WEEKLY that year. Or maybe that was just in my Fantasy life? More likely the photo was somewhere in the magazine contents somewhere?
Please allow me continue by telling you a bit about their current couture and my experience/impressions of being at the show. It was thrilling entering the room where the Fashion show was about to begin. The room was Filled and the spectrum of outfits was vast. I really had no idea what to expect. I’m hoping you can get a Flavor of it by viewing this small audience shot. I kept looking at this one paticular woman in the front row who was wearing a simple t-shirt and jeans. The shirt said “New York City”. I really think she was someone Famous. The “handler” who accompanied her was the “chic” one in my opinion though. She was noticable in her all black attire only sporting a pop of color with her hot pink smallish bag that she clutched. What is it about the New Yorkers who dress all in black and look so incredibly chic? Clearly, I am not of their ilk.
The show commenced and I was busy trying to get pictures while “drooling” over the mostly pastel, ethereal like clothes while aghast at how emaciated the young models were. Incidentally, my Friend who accompanied me noted that these models have a different walk now than what we think of as their Former typical “strut”. It was all about a very grand back lean and arched back. Well, it certainly doesn’t look comfortable but they do it so gracefully. Amongst the model crowd, I am an ancient amazon woman from the midwest. I can live with that. In comparison, that is exactly who I am! I thought the collection as a whole was stunningly beautiful.
Truth be told, none of my videos or pictures turned out remotely like the ones I subsequently found on line. Therefore, here are two professional links of the collection: (The first is a video, the second a slide show).
All in all, the show was approximately 12 minutes from start to Finish. The designers along with model Naomi Campbell appeared at the end while receiving a standing ovation and that was “it”. Show over. I could have watched for much longer.
The people-watching at Lincoln Center was Fascinating as well. It appeared that anyone who looked interesting to the peripheral photographers were stopped and photographed.
We also came upon an artist (Martha Napier) in the Lincoln Center Plaza who intrigued me. (Note all black outfit with hot pink again). I asked her if I could post her renderings and her in my blog. She gave me permission. Here she is, along with examples of her work in progress quite literally:
Check out her superb and colorful website as well:
Isn’t she (and her work) lovely? I sure thought so. Her paintings make me Feel happy!
I didn’t want my time at the show to end. I really wish I could Figure out a way to have a reason to come back and see more shows. Does anyone have any brilliant ideas as to why I might have the NEED versus just the DESIRE to come back? I will entertain all suggestions! I mean it!!! It was truly a memorable experience and definitely one I would repeat in a New York nanosecond.
I suppose no trip to New York City is perfect without having a gastronomic element. The trip’s package included a gift certificate for dinner at the iconic La Grenouille. (Meaning The FROG-another “F” word). The restaurant’s doors opened in 1962 and quickly became a location of choice for the Fashion industry’s most elite designers. Rumor has it that it is Isaac Mizrahi’s Favorite NY restaurant! Aside from Fine French cuisine, it is Famous for its lavish Floral arrangements. It was spectacularly well appointed with gorgeous Flowers the evening we dined there. I’m not much of a Food connoisseur but this meal was memorable-divinely delicious. Joining me/us for dinner and in this picture is another wonderful Friend of mine from high school. She has lived in NYC or the surrounding area since college. She told me she hadn’t been to La Grenouille in over 20 years but that it largely has remained the same. It’s nice to know places like this still exist.
Another part of the package included a gift certificate to C. Wonder. I am going to write a separate blog about that store at a later point. DO look it up on line if you haven’t heard of it. It is reasonably priced and contains SUPER CUTE, COOL merchandise. More to come…
The remaining time I had in NYC I spent shopping in SoHo and at a Fairly new discovery: CENTURY 21 (a discount department store located near Wall Street). This place provides THE BEST Bargain Hunting experience. It’s a lot of “work” sifting through mounds of merchandise but when you Find something it’s well worth the hunt. Unfortunately, this trip, I didn’t come away with any exceptional Finds. Other times when I have visited, I have Found marvelous designer apparel marked down considerably. I know the store has a reputation for being a “hit or miss” type of place. I spent a few hours wandering around the boutiques in SoHo as well. I always love simply looking too. While out looking in several retail venues, I noticed a Few trends that I am going to identify in the FINDS section of this blog soon.
On the last Full day I spent in NYC, my friend and I went for a run in Central Park in the morning. In the midst of my run, I looked up and thought I saw someone I knew from my home town. I called her name and immediately she recognized me as well. What a welcome surprise to see such a Familiar Face. It always strikes me as odd running in to some one you know in a city where you don’t live. Yet, running in to someone in a city where over 8 million people live and still having this happen seems even more incredibly uncanny! After the run, I went in to the hotel bar to get a coffee and I ran in to another Friend from Los Angeles. HOW BIZARRE! Is the lesson here: “You can run but you cannot hide”? Indeed it is a very small world.
On another note, upon leaving “that city that doesn’t sleep”, I Felt a tremendous resurgence of energy. It doesn’t Feel possible that 53 years of my life has already passed and I may only have 50 more. I Feel like I have WAYYYY too much left to do and Find myself concerned and anxious that I may not be able to Fit it all in. I suppose it’s cliche to say the city has a way of making people Feel that way but I Felt it so profoundly this recent visit. I’d love to know how the city’s energy manifests itself in others too. Does it “amp you up”, tire you out? Please Feel Free to share on this subject or on anything else!
In closing, suffice it to say, I had a FABULOUSLY FANTASTIC FALL FASHION experience in New York last week and look forward to many more trips there in my FUTURE!