>> 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.
>> Two floors below the ground level entrance to the Hudson Hotel, Interview celebrated its 40th anniversary last night by christening Good Units, the hotel's new club. The space still had remnants of its past life as a 1930s YMCA — wooden bleachers sat in the middle of the main room, providing seating for the likes of Subversive Jewelry's Justin Giunta and Edita Vilkeviciute — and above, where the room's indoor track used to be, party-goers got an eagle's eye view of the dancing going on below. Archival Interview covers and graffiti by Brian Ermanski on the room's four walls gave the party a '90s vibe.
The crowd was teeming with notables, ready to kick-start Fashion Week. Vena Cava's Lisa Mayock and Shipley and Halmos's Jeff Halmos found a less crowded corner near the bar to chat by while Halmos's design partner Sam Shipley fetched drinks. Becka Diamond and Keegan Singh, arms linked, navigated the crowd and later, Singh's boyfriend Eddie Borgo appeared. Giovanna Battaglia, in a red and black leopard-print minidress, grooved to the music, while Derek Blasberg and Kate Bosworth, nearby, animatedly broke it down before scurrying off into the crowd. Mary-Kate Olsen, who's gearing up for her first The Row presentation, as styled by Marie-Amelie Sauve, and Chloe Sevigny both chatted with Lazaro Hernandez. A dark-haired Martin Cohn teetered in those Nina Ricci platform heels. And Dasha Zhukova, fresh off the purchase of a $19.5 million home in Los Angeles last month, flitted by in an emerald fitted coat. All in all, not a bad way to start out the week.
>> For the second year running, the Whitney Art Musem Gala was Donatella Versace's party. Editors — Olivier Zahm, Lauren Santo Domingo, Glenda Bailey — commingled with designers — Peter Som, Moises de la Renta, Ruffian's Claude Morais and Brian Wolk — and a smattering of models like Chanel Iman and Hana Soukupova. Christopher Kane's Versus designs even made an appearance — the Fall 2009 crystal shoes were on Byrdie Bell's feet, and Taylor Momsen — who seems to be close with the Versaces, particularly Allegra, changed into a black Spring 2010 Versus frock for the Studio Party post-Gala Dinner.
Donatella was fashionably late to the party — two hours in, she was nowhere to be found; perhaps she was still upstairs tending to VIPs — as was Lindsay Lohan, who swept in, all blonde hair and gold dress — earning comparisons to Donatella's trademark look. Lohan said she came "for Donatella" before beelining to Brian Atwood for a chat. Keeping with the "art chic" theme, the walls of one whole room at the party downstairs was covered in paper for guests to scribble on.
>> Last night, Valentino Garavani and Giancarlo Giammetti were in New York to fete the opening of Valentino: The Last Emperor — arguably their biggest Manhattan party ever, between the screening and the dinner for 200 of fashion's finest (including Anna Wintour, Anja Rubik, Jason Wu, and Chanel Iman) at the Plaza's Oak Room. The designer's six pugs Molly, Milton, Monty, Margot, Maude, and Maggie, who director Matt Tyrnauer has dubbed "the costars of the film," weren't present — according to Valentino, "they're getting some time away from me in Italy" — but maybe that's a good thing: Karolina Kurkova admitted, “they’re really not nice to everybody” and Gwyneth Paltrow agreed, calling the pugs "kind of mean."
When Giancarlo Giammetti was asked about his comment on film that the designer looked too tan, he was quick to explain, "We'd come from the beach, and we were about to show summer suits, and he just . . . it just seemed like too much. But it was one time, and one time only." And as for those rumors that he was back to helping out at Valentino for Fall 2009, Garavani denied having any hand in it, "No, not at all. Very far from the truth. I don’t think about it. I wish my assistants to do the best. It’s a big job, though, and to know my name goes on the designs, I want them to do the best.”
Meanwhile, the film seems to have already inspired at least one person — Zac Posen. "I wouldn't mind being followed around too for two years. It's all about having the right collaborators."
*image: source, source, filmmagic
Society's fall philanthropy season is in full swing and last night's 2008 Whitney Studio Party proved that socials aren't quite ready for private anonymous philanthropy just yet. Entitled Past Present Future the evening was underwritten by Versace which provided plenty of body conscious garments for the tight and toned bodies that seemed impervious to the chill in the New York air last night.
»Rachel Comey schleps her team out to Long Island house to work on her Spring 2009 collection (peeks involved!) [Refinery29]
»Vanessa Traina and Vladimir Restoin-Roitfeld are co-hosting a Boucheron gala during New York Fashion Week [FWD]
»Kate Moss's Fall 2008 Topshop collection is dropping September 9 [Topshop]
»Hana Soukupova is hosting a Victoria's Secret preview at her Sag Harbor home this weekend [FWD]
»Net-a-Porter has started stocking Halston [Fashionista]
»Alessandro Nivola has been cast to play Boy Capel opposite Audrey Tautou in Coco avant Chanel [Vogue UK]
»Sean Avery's fledgling styling business is kaput now that he's moving to Dallas [Style File]
»Which Olympian should replace Roger Federer on Anna Wintour's arm? [The Cut]
»Alice Burdeu got banged [TFS]
Something about viewing go-see Polaroids of models seems invasive, but cool. It's almost like getting a sneak peek of your favorite models in the comfort of their own home, without tons of makeup, without all the serious posing. For those who aren't familiar with modeling jargon, a go-see is an appointment arranged by the model or her agency as an opportunity to interview with clients. Models are asked to keep their face bare and their clothes simple and form-fitting. That's because designers and magazine editors want to see the real girl, sans all the fluff. Here are a bunch of go-see Polaroids that cast a new light on some of your favorite models, including Gemma Ward (left), Erin Wasson, and Daria Werbowy.
»Iman recently booked a Vogue Paris gig [TI]
»A first look at Emanuela de Paula for Pirelli 2009 [Models.com]
»Hana Soukupova owns a Warhol painting [The Cut]
As expected, models and designers turned out in droves — Erin Wasson, still in leg cast, was by Alexander Wang's side, and Francisco Costa celebrated his Womenswear win by hugging Eva Mendes tight.
For more of the comings and goings, be sure to check out the gallery below.