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Friday, February 20, 2009

New York Fashion Week: Day 8

Yes, yes, I've already heard Zac Posen's show was too over-the-top, too excessive, too luxe, but c'mon people, we need that right now! Besides, do you expect anything else from such a poncy fop? Five Steinways were placed in the middle of the catwalk and the 5 Browns, a gaggle of brother and sister pianists, tickled the ivories throughout the show. A highlight was when Coco Rocha sashayed up to the photog pit and one burly man yelled out, "Now that's what I call a lady!" The audience giggled and Coco turned as red as her new locks.

Next up was V Man's ice-skating party. Luckily it was held at the end of Fashion Week because we witnessed one too many models and editors wiping out on the ice. Of course not one model from Eastern Europe had that problem. I was in heaven watching Bel Ami boys whizzing past—backwards.

Even drag celebs Brandy Wine and Brenda A Go-Go gave it a whirl. Brenda is from Kansas so she left Brandy in the dust. Her off-the-runway Margiela number was perfect for the rink—even Oksana Baiul would be jealous. After a couple of whirls around we hit the bar and watched as Olympic figure skater Johnny Weir took to the ice for a one-man dazzle dancing number.

Paul Sevigny, who grew up playing ice hockey, was even impressed with lil’ Johnny's moves. Later the skates came off, the booze kept flowing and the dance-a-thon began.

—Cator Sparks

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Thursday, February 19, 2009

New York Fashion Week: Day 7

Today I checked out Victorinox, designed by the dashing Pierre Henri Mattout. Not really my thaaang, but the clothes are great for the minimalist in need of a new hoodie. And a be-kilted Marc Jacobs is obviously a fan since he raced backstage to give a bear hug to Pierre. For me, the show was secondary to the space. In a cast-iron, glass-domed space inside the New York Public Library, I found myself gaping at the architecture and less at the clothes, although I found an aubergine Swiss Army knife on my seat. Score!


Killing time before the next event, I hit up the J.Press store and found a stellar sale. Thanks to the prepster label, my collegiate look is complete for spring, with a duck-print belt, hyper-colored plaid shirt and a smattering of silk shantung bowties.

Then I cabbed it to the National Arts Club for an art opening hosted by Patrick McDonald. The Duckie Browns were there, as was Stephen Knoll, Kenny Kenny and tie guy David Hart. After a boozy meal, we headed over to the Gramercy Park Hotel for a night cap on the roof and a peek over the hedge to see what fashion party was happening, since the host said he was were sworn to secrecy. Hoping to spot Donatella or even Kanye on the other side, I only found a bunch of garmentos at a bash for some tired label. Sigh. I guess they're the only ones who can afford a splashy party these days.

—Cator Sparks

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Wednesday, February 18, 2009

New York Fashion Week: Day 6

First stop was Trovata, another fairly safe collection, but we always love what John has to offer and his outwear was top drawer. The catwalk made for an amusing situation. With candles placed strategically, the models got a bit confused and often twirled around twice before figuring out how to get out of the maze.


I then hiked over to the tents for Max Azria. To my delight there was a box of chocolates on every seat—no YogaToes or crappy shampoos! Thank you, Max. The collection was kind of Daphne Guinness with lots of severe angles, plum colors and collar embroidery—Daphne on a dime.

Finally I took a break from fashion and headed to the Film Forum to catch the closing night of Chiara Clemente's documentary, Our City Dreams, profiling four women artists in New York City. The movie was exceptionally shot and yet another reason why I still love living up here in Yankee territory. Well done, Chiara!

Now I must get in my Emily Post post. Front-row people should not use Blackberries during a collection. I could write a thousand blind items about all the rude socialites and even editors clacking away in their seats. I’m sure whoever you are texting can wait till a show is finished. Life will go on. Promise.

—Cator Sparks

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Monday, February 16, 2009

New York Fashion Week: Day 4

I ran out of steam and slept in on Sunday, but did manage to make it out to see Y-3. The room was pitch-black so finding one's seated was a bit tricky. But when the lights went up and Carole King was blasting, the crowd was thoroughly impressed with the sportive looks and gave a communal coo when a gaggle of children came out holding hands and sporting miniature Y-3 looks.


The crowd then crammed the 1 train and headed uptown to see Tim Hamilton's show (or Tammy, as he's known to his sassy editor friends) at Lehmann Maupin gallery. Like Robert Geller, he was inspired by old Vienna, and the textiles and cuts were right up this editor's alley.

We popped by the Topman party at Bungalow 8 (yay for grilled cheese!) before heading to the much-hyped (by yours truly) Club Sandwich at Norwood. As expected, the party was a showdown with diamond-bedazzled drag queens and Paris club kids twirling away and smoking up a storm. But I was most happy to finally meet the Birkin bag fanatic Bryan Boy, who was holding court on the second floor. After gyrating till 5 am, a massage was needed the next day.

Club Sandwich crew

And now for your blindy. Which bespectacled men’s editor pretended to dance with me, only to swivel around me and cut in line at the bar?

—Cator Sparks

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Sunday, February 15, 2009

New York Fashion Week: Day 3

Love was in the air on Valentines Day. Who wore red in support of l'amour? Hamish Bowles had a red origami pocket square, Meredith Melling-Burke toted a red patent handbag and Fabiola Beracasa sported Vreeland-red lipgloss. For the rest of the fashion flock it was mostly bloodshot eyes from a night of debauchery. Blackberries were lost, editors were escorted out for falling too much (so not me!) and others simply made out with strangers in public.

We also saw some major fashion yesterday. For her VPL line, former stylist and old-skool Boy Bar door gal Victoria Bartlett showed a drag-a-rific collection of sheer and body-hugging pieces, including one dress with a back made out of hair. Unbeweavable! There were also accessories resembling rocks wrapped in jersey.


Spurr was, well, classic Simon Spurr. This editor was hot for one particularly modern black tweed suit that he'll wear for eons.

Loden Dager was another hot-to-trot show, held in the General Society of Mechanics and Tradesmen, the perfect setting for the workwear-inspired collection—in cashmere!

Loden Dager

Finally it was a drive-by to Elise Overland to cringe at the models in impossibly high trannie pumps and gobs of loaned Alexander Calder jewelry before a quiet dinner at La Bottega, where the entire Club Sandwich crew was dining and prepping for Sunday night's blow-out at Norwood.

Elise Overland

—Cator Sparks

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Saturday, February 14, 2009

New York Fashion Week: Day 2

First off, at the tents I was amused when I took a break in the VIP lounge—free food, people!—and asked the bartender how he was doing. His response: “Hey, free booze and hot chicks.” Well said, my friend.

Highlights from the day were Duckie Brown and David Delfin's shows, where it was all about proportion—very Balenciaga for boys.

Duckie Brown

CFDA/GQ award winner Robert Geller was a fave, the inspiration being turn-of-the-century Viennese imperial fops. Right up my ascot.

Victor Glemaud and Camilla Staerk joined forces for a dual fashion show, which was top drawer. Hot boys in knits and sassy ladies in flowy gowns.

Victor Glemaud

Wrapping up the day, I took a gander at the McQ for Target collection, which had fashion mavens disrobing on the spot, trying on tops, dresses and tees.

Finally, ever notice how people drone on about how tired they are from Fashion Week, then end up in your face at 4 am at an after-party? That was us last night, at Vic and Cam's after-party, where all the most amusing people landed: Vogue's Lauren Santo Domingo and Meredith Melling Burke, Philip Crangi, Kate Lanphear of Elle and KCD's Adam Shapiro. Then someone bought shots and I was done.

Now for blind item goodness. Which gossip editor just lost loads of weight and sashayed into the tents wearing an outfit he couldn’t fit into for ten years, only to realize hours later that his fly was agape?

—Cator Sparks

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Friday, February 13, 2009

New York Fashion Week: Day 1

Mary Poppins must have been the honorary muse to kick off Fashion Week because yesterday was one blustery day.

It was also a day of international male debuts, most notably Jurgen Oeltjenbruns, who returned to the American menswear scene with a well-tailored collection inspired by cold-weather uniforms. Those Germans always know how to keep toasty.

Jurgen Oeltjenbruns

Next was the debut women's line from Bibhu Mohapatra, formerly of J. Mendel and originally from India. A highlight from the collection was a hand-loomed peacock feather coat that this dandy wanted to rip off the model and strut out the door with. Vogue's Lauren Santo Domingo did the styling, resulting in a calm and cool 20s' sensibility.

Bibhu Mohapatra

Finally, former Bill Blass designer Prabal Gurung sent out a stunning collection that turned out the ladies in the house—as well as some of the menz, who were giving snaps and "Gurl betta wurk!" shout-outs. One of them, our fave drag queen Brandy Wine, was the first to speak to Prabal when Bill Blass folded, telling him to keep the momentum going and launch his own line. Ta da!

Dinner was supposed to be a break from the fashion pack, but when Linda Wells and Jon Bon Jovi rolled into The Little Owl, all eyes were on the center table.

Oh, and you heard it hear first. Kesner, New York's swankest new men's store, will be carrying Westwood Man for fall, the only place in the U.S. to carry the line. Here's hoping the recession has lifted by September!

—Cator Sparks

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Thursday, February 12, 2009

Men at Work

Hurray! I'm done with Fashion Week! At last night's hot box that was the CFDA/GQ nominations party (the champagne ran out because everyone was so parched!), I caught highlights from most of the men's collections I'm looking forward to and saw every editor/stylist/gad-about-town I'll see over the course of the week.

The first person I got a moment with was nominee Robert Geller, wearing a stunning bronze bow-tie pin. His father, meandering around the collection, was excited to tell me that even he, generations older than the models, could pull off some of the pieces. Well, if Dad approves, you're in like Flynn, right?

Next up was Andre 3000, who I didn't recognize because he was running around sans chapeau. He had nothing but great things to say when asked about his nomination, though he was a little chagrined at having to be stuck in the showroom presenting the line all week instead of gallivanting to the shows. Gotta sell, baby!

Now for a little blind-item fun. Which accessories designer, who had the sleeves of his blazer pushed up à la Miami Vice, did I say “Hi, Don Johnson” to, to which he retorted, “No, it's Westwood!”?

—Cator Sparks

Robert Geller, Andre 3000

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Wednesday, January 9, 2008

While the focus of last night's launch at Max Lang gallery were customized shoes for Repetto, the famed French maker of ballet flats, the buzz was who went where for the holidays. It seemed everyone in attendance of the 60th anniversary bash had spent time lolling on a tropical beach—if not uptown salon Tanz’mania. Bronzed and rested attendees included Thom Browne and participating artist Tobias Wong, who dipped his flats in 18-karat gold because “it was the most obvious thing to do," he said, "I wanted to preserve them!” Others who took a dip in the customization pool included Helmut Lang, Comme des Garçons, Colette's Sarah Lerfel, Proenza Schouler, Waris Ahluwalia, Barneys' Julie Gilhart (who glued her googly eyes on herself) and Vanessa Beecroft, who seemed to be channeling Amy Winehouse with a pair of bloody ballet flats. The show remains on view through Sunday, before going into the windows of Bergdorf Goodman, then around the world and on to Paris, where the shoes will be auctioned off to benefit The Repetto Foundation, in partnership with UNESCO.

Vanessa Beecroft, Julie Gilhart, Sarah Lerfel

Comme des Garçons, Jean Paul Gaultier

Helmut Lang

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