What do Brian Lichtenberg, Nautica and Mark and Estel have in common? Not much, except they comprised my runaround for the third day of fashion week, yesterday Sept. 7.
Starting with the Nautica show at Lincoln Center (my second home), I began the day. Nautica offered a welcome respite from pin thin models on the catwalk, given it was menswear. I loved the models, I loved the models in swimsuits,the commitment to lifeguarding the stylist insisted on by hanging whistles around the models’ necks was awkward. What Nautica represented in this showing was exactly what you would expect to see. There were drawstring anoraks, board shorts, chunky knit sweaters and cardigans. The palette was…nautical navy, cream, white and black. It was the quality you come to expect from an athletic and active collection like Nautica.
After Nautica, I was in a cab on my way to Chelsea Pier Studios for Brian Lichtenberg. In case you’re not familiar, he’s the designer who’s recently been sued for selling varsity-inspired T-shirts emblazoned with the words “Vicodin” and “Xanax” on the back. Celebs in tow included Perez Hilton andNicky Hilton among others. But what about the collection? What about the collection…
I have to say it felt a bit kitschy. The PR liner notes said it was inspired by Paris and New York, the graffiti print shift dresses and impossibly tiny leather pieces, reminded me of Germany — for some reason. I always try to look for redeeming qualities in a show when I’m not immediately bowled over. Lichtenberg made it difficult. While I think he’ll continue to be a success with controversial plays on time-worn logos and themes, his foray into high fashion may not be as well received. It’s a shame. LA has been gaining buzz lately as a legit fashion producer, to have a less-than-chic stamp from an LA based designer, is disappointing, personally.
Finally, Mark and Estel. This was the highlight of my fashion week day. This was New York. Black and white, cool downtown, sexy-with-no apologies, I loved the metal corset and the skeleton crochet dress. Not every piece was innovative, but enough were, to justify a showing along with the bigger names of fashion. Here’s the deal: this wasn’t couture; it was pure street style. But the type of street style you’ll see in front of a gallery opening in SOHO.
I’ll be back at it again tomorrow, with three more shows on my docket. Tune in to see how they fare.