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Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Haidee Findlay-Levin warms up to the cold shoulder...

While waiting for the Givenchy show to start today, I couldn't help but notice (well, how could I not?) the unmistakable Anna Piaggi of Italian Vogue, sporting black-and-white, prison-stripe leggings—among a million other things. She was with her show companion, London designer Gareth Pugh, who was also dressed in prison stripes, but head-to-toe, in his case. What a fantastic image! I couldn't help but wonder if they planned it. Then Gareth reminded me of the Rick Owens show (one of my faves of the week) and that he, too, seemed to have a convict moment, albeit softer, with neutral stripes in cascades of chiffon contrasting beautifully with more structured jackets and dresses. I was just about to record the graphic pairing of stripes when the music came up (a fantastic mix by the super-talented and charming Frederic Sanchez) and the first model and Givenchy muse Maria Carla Boscone walked right across my photo op! And wearing giant black-and-white polka dots, no less! The vision of dots on stripes is forever recorded in my mind—until it resurfaces in one of my photo shoots.

Now back to Givenchy, a show that deftly articulated that onetime fashion faux pas, the one-shoulder dress, or what I call The Cold Shoulder. This week it cropped up in various places and permutions, at Karl Lagerfeld this morning and later at Costume National, where we were transported to India and saw an Ashram-chic version or two. At Gaspard Yurkievich, I saw a one-sleeved cape dress, if that's possible. Junya Watanabe did wonders with bolts of Liberty and Laura Ashley prints all thrown over one shoulder—apparently African-style. But in the deft hands of Riccardo Tisci, chez Givenchy, I saw the ultimate one-shouldered dresses, super strong and sexy leather versions that fit on the shoulder like a perfectly formed gun holster. By the time I saw his oversized bumbags and motorcycle bags with rivets the size of a large hoop earring, he could have convinced me of anything. I'm ready to put my best shoulder forward.

- Haidee Findlay-Levin