jacobs backstage Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Day 5

Today was a huge day for Fashion Week as both Marc Jacobs and Betsey Johnson debuted their take on the Spring/Summer 2011 wardrobe. No, I did not score entry to the Jacobs show although I assailed his PR manager with a barrage of requests. Emails and messages went unanswered so, when I was offered the chance to visit with Nars cosmetics creative director Francois Nars I jumped at the opportunity. Even though it meant missing out on the Hexa by Kuho show that I was dying to experience (based solely on the charm of the pencil set invitation).

By Alison McLaughlin

francois nars Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Day 5

I was added to a gaggle of eager reporters and we milled around the catering table with a handful of models with bleached out eyebrows that, yes, were eating. At last we were herded down to the make up station, past scattered bottles of nail polish (red for toes, pale pink on fingertips) and dishes of chemical hair lightener to the man himself. Francois Nars has been working with Marc Jacobs on shows for roughly 20 years and said the “We always try to stay away from matching the clothes.” Of the extreme color palette of green and black eye shadow with brown lipstick he said

“I try go forward and have fun with makeup, it’s key to the work I do with Marc” he says. I think for the real woman out there they can take one element of the look (to recreate). “I hope they like the eye shadow.”

Over at Good Units in the basement of the Hudson Hotel was the clubby showcase of Gerlan Jeans, a print heavy denim line from designer Gerlan Marcel. As the show began I was reminded of early Marithé + François Girbaud advertisements in the British magazines I’d blow my babysitting proceeds on. I thought now as I did then, “who would wear this stuff?” Loud leopard kiss print and design of the labels name splashed out in marquee size covered everything from pants to overall mini dresses. It was all so 1991 that when I spied Deelite’s Lady Miss Kier in the front row across from me I barely batted an eye. Of course, I had to know what she thought of the show. She loved it. “I loved the colors, I love color!” A former textile designer, the Lady Kier, in a day-glo pantaloon suit, raved about the collection “I can’t wait to wear those jeans”. I can.

Betsey Johnson

ciara Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Day 5
Fashion’s eternal party girl was kind enough to extend an invitation to the hyper girly pre show backstage extravaganza. After the succession of drab beige and biscuit tones that will dominate Spring/Summer 2011 Johnson’s rainbow world was packed with glamour girls, press, family like daughter Lulu, her granddaughters and well-wishers such as Carmen Electra and Ciara. The show featured darling Betsey on the video screen, cycling around New York City with her family. It’s clear how the two elements inspired the designer and this collection. The typically outrageous line ran the gamut from fluorescent prom dresses to nautical garb. Six bundles of clothing were featured in the collection, each a tribute to a chosen NYC neighborhood. At the after party later at Good Units at Hudson I caught up with Kelly Osborne who had a ringside seat for the show and looked lean and ladylike in pink Betsey Johnson tulle party dress.

Perry Ellis

nars look suzi Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Day 5

Real men wear pink at Perry Ellis, the classic menswear line designed by creative director John Crocco. Clubby (as in country, not night) slim cut wear for the prepster with a swimmer’s build. The parade for topsiders and argyle could have been a yawn worthy affair if not for the mad zing of acid pink and orange. The latter in the guise of Real Housewife of New Jersey, Teresa Giudice who was perched front row center for the parade of Wasp-wear. Decked out in leopard against a drab sea of spectators she demurely scanned the passing models. I wonder, will “Juicy Delicious” be wearing pink Perry Ellis flood pants and plimsolls come spring?


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