Bottom Feeders Of New York Fashion Week Spring 2011

I am aware that I have been somewhat derelict in posting day to day reports about New York Fashion Week. So here are some of the rather, er, strange people one sees every day. Most of vanish into the darkness until the next Fashion Week rolls around.
Number One:

Painted Suit Man

A perennial habitue’ of the central tent, this silent, eerily affectless gentleman shows up every day in a different hand-painted suit and matching hat. He never goes to the shows. But he is willing to stand for up to 10 hours, waiting to be photographed. The strategy rarely works. Note that with this newest suit, he is also rocking a pair of tight gold lame leggings. Dear God.
Number Two:

Milk Carton Man
This gentleman, who bears an uncanny resemblance to Seth Rogen, is the acknowledged master of getting into the front row. Even though he is supposed to up in the back in standing row. He tends to be dirty and disheveled. Often he is moved from the front row when a actual celebrity or Fern Mallis shows up. But in a few moments he pops up elsewhere. Nobody knows who he is. My image of this men is his photo on a milk carton, asking, “Have You Seen Me?” If anyone knows who he is, please tell me in the comments section.

Number Three:
Quiet Good Taste
You have to admire this woman. Her look is distinctive. The huge white bouffant can be easily spotted. Both she and her assistant wear outfits that defy description. Well, one descriptive would be “Huh?” Apparently she has a public access show based in Long Island. Which explains a great deal.

In the interest of fairness, this is what I wore today: a dress designed especially pour moi by SKWilbur, made of denim with satin detailing on one side front and back; and a hat from 1939, made of velvet with a large satin bow in the back.

More reportage on the morrow.

Elisa & Bucky the Wonderdog

My BFF Tim Gunn! New York Fashion Week, Day Three


Nothing, not even the forces of New York Fashion Week, can keep Tim Gunn and moi apart. On Saturday afternoon, I stepped out for a bit of fresh air (one of the definite advantages of the new Lincoln Center location–you can find fresh air!).

If only to stand out from the SEA of black and gray, I wore a strapless 70s dress with design saying “Fashion” in gray, black, and red in a fluid print, along with a ruffled shrug and a divine 80s does 40s Empress Eugenie (look it up) red hat with a black veil.

When Tim Gunn came striding through the crowd, he was mobbed, of course. One of definite disadvantages of the new Lincoln Center location is that one can get mobbed by a tremendous crowd, despite the police presence everywhere.

That did not stop my BFF from stopping to exchange a few words and to have our picture taken together. (Note: I am still waiting for one of the the photographers to upload it to his DAMN website. Je me prosterne devant vous, mes lecteurs, dans des excuses!)

Back to the fashion. The Vivienne Tam show, well, it was very nice. The generational problem is easily apparent. I am a classicist who believes that the 1970s were the nadir of fashion. Unfortunately or fortunately, the 20-something set did not have to live through it, so they think it is all impossibly thrilling. Les imbéciles mal informés peu. But perhaps I am being ever so slightly harsh.

From my front row seat, when the first few “lace” dresses came out, all I could think was, macrame. The heavy cotton yarn that women made belts and hanging plant holders out of. Even dyed white and called crochet, it was still…macrame.

And were would the 1970s be without maxi-dresses?
I am sure I haven’t the faintest notion, because the damn things were everywhere.

However, the rest of the collection was pretty, well made, and the 1970s lived again. Forgive me if I was not excited. The 1970s were bad enough the first time.

Later, when I am less exhausted, I will write more about my adventures under the tents. Because I have had adventures.


Elisa & Bucky the Wonderdog

Almost Killed Tadashi Shoji, Fashion Week, Day Two


Your faithful correspondent almost inadvertently killed designer Tadashi Shoji at his Fashion Week presentation on Friday morning.

In my defense, may I point out that my recent illness has required me to use a cane or walking stick. (Do you know how HARD it is to find a decent looking cane??). And I was wearing black stilleto heels, the better to complement my black 1950s wiggle dress covered with velvet flowers and my matching black 1950s veiled platter hat. Walking in very high heels when you have to use a cane is NOT recommended.

So, I stepped up and entered a pitch-dark room, crammed with the usual rude masses, and the press. On one side, the models stood among wooden hand-made trees. This was supposed to be some sort of garden motif. One only wished the dresses had not been same color as the decor. I mean, there’s qui and feng shui and all, but really, would making something bright red kill the man? Oh, I forgot, I almost did.

Photo: Ms. Fabulous

The dresses on the far left, which unfortunately you cannot see in these photos by blogger Ms. Fabulous, had those circular petals all over them which you can see on handbags at every street seller’s corner in New York City. Who knew Mr. Shoji would use them as an inspiration?

Photo by Ms. Fabulous

IN ANY EVENT, the dresses are lovely, shimmery, the usual. Very red carpet, you know the kind of thing. So I determined to make a quick exit. Not easy when you are impeded by both a huge crowd and a cane. As a result, I found myself not only bumping into people, but crashing into people. I stumbled, and smashed into two small Asian gentleman! (Since even without heels I am almost six feet tall, you can imagine.) One of them turned–

And you know where this is going. It was Tadashi Shoji. With a stunned look on his face.

“Oh I’m so sorry Mr. Shoji the dresses are beautiful it’s a lovely presentation is that a security guard must dash congratulations ciao!”

And back in the corridor was I, only slightly flustered and grateful that there would NOT be a headline on the nightly news: “DIMINUTIVE DESIGNER CRUSHED TO DEATH BY BLOGGER”.

I had meant to get to the Guli show, but it takes quite a while to look truly fabulous. And it started at 9 AM! So, I went straight to my ill-fated visit to Tadashi Shoji’s presentation to the BCBGMaxAzria runway show.

Do you recall the dress on a recent Project Runway that Ivy created? That was called “shapeless,” “dull,” “not resort at all”?

Photo courtesy of

I don’t think Mr. Azria was watching that night. Eer…um..

What else can one say? Gaunt models speedwalking down the runway in silk dresses of various shapes and sizes and all I could think about was Ivy. Which is NOT a good thing to think, believe me.

This was my favorite. It was darker under the lights, and the fabric had very feminine movement. As it happened, I was sitting next to Mr. Azria’s financier, quite a handsome man, so I made appreciative sounds in a voice an octave higher than my own. We’re seeing each other after he returns from Morocco.

By far my favorite show of the day was Ports 1961. Fiona Cibani’s sister Tia has left the company. You would never know it by all of the wonderful, youthful designs. Ports 1961 always has something fresh to show, and they did not disappoint. The theme was “urban Sahara” , and although by then I had seen enough neutrals to last me the rest of my life, there was a parade of GORGEOUS liquid dresses that had me lusting to own a copy of each one.

That was a perfect show to end my day on. Being extrêmement fatigué, I opted out of attending Betsey Johnson’s party in favor of a cold cocktail and a warm bed.


Elisa & Bucky the Wonderdog
Photos courtesy of Getty Images