The Good, the Bad, and the Glittery of Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week
Mirror, mirror on the wall, who’s the fairest one of all?
Fashion weeks across the globe all vie for that very thing, assembling a bevy of renowned, up-and-coming, and otherwise talented designers in the hopes of luring fame and fortune to an industry at once beloved and reviled the world over.
But Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week 2013 in New York City, the twice-annual gala of all things bold and beautiful, stands above the rest in towering stilettos — even when Snowmageddon II hits.
Despite the snowstorm, perhaps the biggest of the “Big 4” fashion weeks (which also includes London, Milan and Paris) shone brighter than ever.
It wasn’t just the stage (or stages, as shows were spread throughout the city), or the ubiquitous social media saturation. The bread and butter of the week were exactly what every fashion week should be: the designers.
And oh, how they delivered!
JILL STUART: MERCEDES-BENZ FASHION WEEK FALL 2013 COLLECTIONS. Video Courtesy of: Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week
Old stalwarts like Betsey Johnson, Tracy Reese, Jill Stuart and Diane von Furstenberg provided the necessary star power requisite for a week as big as New York, while Prabal Gurung showed once again why he’s the LeBron James of fashion: a refined, top-heavy (literally, with sweater separates the starring attraction, in colors inspired by the architecture of New York itself) show that echoed brutish potential delivered with understated greatness, and which got better with each look (particularly after a bizarre series showcasing — as God is my witness — faux fur sleeves).
There was energy too, with Tadashi Shoji presenting sophisticated prints in fun hues (reds, blues and blacks chief among them) and tapered skirts that just screamed office bombshell. Expect Shoji’s name to take off as a result.
TADASHI SHOJI: MERCEDES-BENZ FASHION WEEK FALL 2013 COLLECTIONS. Video Courtesy of: Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week.
Perhaps the strangest — but most electrifying — show of the week came on February 13, when Jeremy Scott brought the house down at Milk Studios with a cacophony of shaggy faux furs, cut not just into the clothes themselves, but even in Mohawks and, in easily the strangest look of the entire week, an entire outfit that the Children’s Television Workshop would be well within their rights to file a lawsuit over for its similarity to Big Bird. There were also animal prints, eyeballs and a profusion of green that can only be compared to another New York icon, the Ninja Turtles. The audience was just as eclectic, from indie fashion bloggers to Terry Richardson and Olivier Zahm to a small army of Korean pop stars.
Appropriately, Scott’s show was titled “A Fantasy of Monsters.”
Then there was Rafael Cennamo.
With a theme of “21 Shades of Gold,” the designer’s show was an exercise in over-the-top opulence not seen since the days of the Titanic. Every inch of his collection was smothered in luxury, from breathtaking floor-length ball gowns to the shimmering pale gold pedicures and edgy gold-flecked manicures of the ghostlike models. The lacquered red lips — a shade so bright they made Taylor Swift’s preferred color look downright dull by comparison — formed a stunning contrast with the golden hues of the shining couture designs. Calling to mind the glory of ancient Egypt, even Cleopatra herself would have been jealous of the sheer wattage these silk-heavy outfits had. So, too, would Lady Gaga — especially when coupled with the exotic headpieces that blurred the line between headwear and bandages.
RAFAEL CENNAMO: MERCEDES-BENZ FASHION WEEK FALL 2013 COLLECTIONS. Video Courtesy of: Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week.
“Fashion lives” is a phrase often carelessly thrown about by bloggers and wannabe style critics with the casualness Sarah Jessica Parker’s character from Sex and the City downs cosmopolitans, with little meaning as to what it means exactly. Is style evolving? Are the tastes of women today changing? Such questions are not easy to answer, especially in the 140-character world of Twitter or the boards of Pinterest.
But such questions are irrelevant. In New York City, a much simpler fact becomes apparent: it never died in the first place.
Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Fall/Winter 2013
The People and the Atmosphere of the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Fall/Winter 2013
MICHAEL KORS: MERCEDES-BENZ FASHION WEEK FALL 2013 COLLECTIONS
Video Courtesy of: Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week
ANNA SUI: MERCEDES-BENZ FASHION WEEK FALL 2013 COLLECTIONS
Video Courtesy of: Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week
Featured Photo: NEW YORK, NY – FEBRUARY 11: A model walks the runway at the Betsey Johnson Fall 2013 fashion show. Photo Credit: Frazer Harrison/Getty Images for Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week.