>> Is Zac Posen looking for a French runway debut to go with his French boyfriend, stylist Christopher Niquet? Posen, who just unveiled his first interior design project, reportedly told a visitor to his showroom Tuesday that he will show his Spring 2011 collection this Fall in Paris where, he said, “they understand my clothes.” He added that he was unable to secure his preferred time slot for the upcoming New York Fashion Week.
When WWD called Posen today, however, the designer said that nothing had been decided, but that “doing a fashion show in New York with today’s climate, is difficult.” He added that “my clothes are respected [in Europe].” When prompted if that was not the case in New York, Posen replied: “It’s not just about respect. It’s about the work I do, and who wears the clothes.”
>> After the New York Times article two weeks ago extensively covering Zac Posen's recent financial struggles, needless to say, eyes were peeled this morning bright and early at the Altman building for Posen's Fall 2010 plan of attack. Glenda Bailey, which the aforementioned article noted was not in attendance at Posen's show last season after they had a confrontation last April, was front row this time around, as were Posen's advertising photog Ellen von Unwerth, Patricia Field, Anna Wintour, Grace Coddington, Joe Zee, and Robbie Myers.
As the lights dimmed and runway photographers scrambled for their places, Israeli "hip-hop violinist" Miri Ben-Ari stepped from backstage to the left side of the runway, where she played her electric violin throughout the show, backed by a thumping bass. Despite the fact that Posen is still going with a pared-down runway in general, the performance added the energy of his elaborate productions of yore. The models, too — including Alek Wek, Hana Soukupova, Anne Vyalitsyna, Posen's muse Anna Cleveland, and Coco Rocha, who closed — were clearly told to smile and work the runway; Sessilee Lopez, hands on her waist, swung her hips with satisfaction. Posen's boyfriend, Christopher Niquet, styled the show.
The clothes, however, were telltale that Posen is making an effort to resituate himself: there were none of his signature gowns whatsoever. In their place, short skirts with flounce, '40-style trousers, and plenty of fur. "I'm playing with clean fabrications and upping the luxury level," he said backstage after taking his bow with Rocha and Kinee Diouf.
>> First Look: Zac Posen for Target — Zac Posen's Target collaboration doesn't come out until April 25, but Fashionista's got a full look at the wares. Available for the peeping? A mod yellow raincoat ($49.99), a very Posen-esque red ruffled party dress ($79.99), and the navy snap dress at left ($69.99). Now we're just waiting to see Posen's Spring 2010 ad campaign, styled by his boyfriend Christopher Niquet and featuring Tao Okamoto photographed by Ellen von Unwerth. [Fashionista, Christopher Niquet]
>> Last night, with the help of keynote speaker Alber Elbaz, who doled out gems on the perils of success — "It's like a bottle of perfume. You smell it, you don't sniff it or drink it" — Alaia veteran and Michelle Obama favorite Sophie Theallet took home the 2009 Vogue/Fashion Fund prize of $200,000 and a year of mentoring. Fellow nominees Patrik Ervell and Monique Pean were named runners-up, and received $50,000 each plus a business mentor.
In her speech, Anna Wintour said that in addition to the US, Italy, and the UK — which just started a similar talent-nurturing program — she just met with the French minister of culture about mirroring the contest there. "And Brazil, India, Russia, and China aren't far behind."
"The money and the mentoring will help Ms. Theallet because she needs to be able to offer more range in her collection, as well as expand her production options. She has such a distinctly feminine eye, and the skills, that I’ve often wondered why a big retailer doesn’t ask Ms. Theallet to design some blouses and summer dresses for them, using the store’s resources and manufacturing connections."