Opening Night at the Opera

Some say that Fall doesn’t kick off in the Apple until The Metropolitan Opera Opening Night Gala. Not me. I don’t know AIDA from Adidas and fall asleep at almost every performance. But the vibe on opening night is always so stank with snooty elegance and fat, fat wallets that I don a big gown—just give me a reason, right?— and show up for it year after year. The 2019-2020 season opened with PORGY AND BESS. This one I DO know. And I thought it kinda ballsy of them to take us to “Catfish Row”, considering the current funky state of things. But celebs like ELLEN BURSTYN, MAGGIE GYLLENHAAL, IMAN, DONNA KARAN and COURTNEY B. VANCE were out in full force and cheering. It was a sensational performance! From the first note to the last. And guess what? I didn’t fall asleep.

Iman is wearing ZAC POSEN | Winona is wearing DIOR

What She Wore During New York Fashion Week – September 2019

Harlem’s Fashion Row

Before Fashion Week officially got started, HARLEM’S FASHION ROW held their 12th Annual Fashion Show and Style Awards downtown at One World Trade Center. And I couldn’t miss it. I’d just gotten sprung from the slammer and barely had enough time to dash home and get dressed. The challenge was to wear a Black designer. Hardly a challenge. I grabbed another CUSHNIE while Riccardo owns several fabulous OZWALD BOATENG suits. His only challenge was to choose which one. After the reception and fashion show, a few of us were invited to the Vogue offices on the 25th floor for a private soiree. They served Kaluga cavier, the Zyr vodka was ice cold and I took hits left and right. By then everyone had heard how I’d spent my afternoon and the jokes just kept on coming.

So that’s it. NYFW is officially done. There were glimmers of hope amid the many disappointments but that’s fashion, right? They might love it. You might hate it. And vice versa. But we all keep coming back for more. So ’til next time… SMOOCHES!

Day Six

For the MICHAEL KORS presentation, I pulled out an old en-som from a few years back. He’s Mr. Americana, you know, but this season was so heavy into the red, white and blue, there were moments when I forgot where I was. Is this Ralph again? Not saying that’s a bad thing but… MARINA MOSCONE‘s collection was very mature. Again…not a bad thing. It’s her tailoring, though. So fine. That’s what makes some of her pieces almost essential. The BROCK Collection was very SENSE AND SENSIBILITY in their big, balloony, bosom-baring dressing gowns. Beautiful. But I don’t know who would wear them outside of a movie set? BADGELY MISCHKA gave us deep jewel tones, citrus-y brights—oh so good! But sadly, their final evening wear segment went flat. And that’s always been their ace! Big drag. Now, things are changing on the catwalk. The days of traditional shows with segments and themes, and all focus on the clothes, are done. But MARC JACOBS? He paid homage to everyone from Doris Day to Karl Lagerfeld. And much of it was beautiful. But totally disjointed. I think they need to come up with a new term because ”collection”? It no longer applies.

Winona is wearing MICHAEL KORS | Handbag by THE ROW | Ankle boots by DIOR

HARLEM’S FASHION ROW…

Day Five

I was looking forward to VERA WANG‘s show yesterday. It was her first in two years. But it seemed she was trying to make up for lost time, throwing everything on the catwalk with no glue to make any sense of it. A couple of her models toppled off of the sky-high platforms. I walked away scratching my head. After NAEEM KHAN‘s lady-like evening wear presentation in the lobby of his condo building, it was a mad dash downtown for the OSCAR DE LA RENTA show at the Cunard Building. While still holding onto the master couturier’s handbook, things are starting to evolve. His touch still comes through, though. In the caftans especially. Not my favorite ODLR collection. But I didn’t hate it. And then out to Brooklyn for SAUVAGE X FENTY. My heart, Rihanna, put on a hell of a show. There was theater, drama, celebrity, all of that. BUT…I come for the fashion. And I hate when that gets lost in the spectacle. The cynic in me begins to question the possible reasons for diversion. I won’t speculate here but, it leaves way too much to ponder.

Winona’s top is JONATHAN SIMKHAI | Skirt by CHRISTOPHER KANE | Handbag by CO | At the PORCHLIGHT BAR

DAY SIX

Day Four

Monday morning, 9am, we’re down in the Village for THE ROW. Mary Kate and Ashley Olson have the answer and the only distraction in their studio was yummy coffee and the clothes. As it should be. Clean. Well-tailored. Their monochromatic snakeskin pieces wore me out! Wes Gordon, presenting CAROLINA HERRERA down in Battery Park, finally got in line with her legacy. Lady-like dresses, great swing coats, a little fru-fru at times but that’s Miz Herrera. Valentina from Drag Race and Angel B. from Pose were front row and drooling. PHILLIP LIM yanked us out to a warehouse in Brooklyn. At 3pm. Right? Puppet-masters. Just pulling strings and dragging us from borough to borough. His country-club funk is always interesting, though. Artful and tastefully controlled. But I’ve got some sad-ass news to report now. For the first time ever, my darling TOM FORD has disappointed me. In spite of the clever subway venue, from the very first look, I was unmoved. Perhaps being on the throne of the CFDA isn’t such a good place for him? The bright idea of cramming so many shows into six days was one mistake. This collection, I’m afraid, is another. Sob!

Winona is wearing BRØGGER | Handbag by GELAREH MIZRAHI | Ankle boots by JIMMY CHOO

DAY FIVE

Day Three

The first show I could manage after Ralph’s Club last night was STAUD at 11AM. I carried one of her cool handbags yesterday. That’s her specialty in my book. And it’s apparent on the runway. While most of her fashions are very pretty and move like water, it was the leather pieces that brought me back to life. So what can I say about LAQUAN SMITH? His promising hot-chick-in-the-office look from last season swung back to regular-chick-in-the-club with this collection. A slutty Western thing, there was denim, thongs, french-cuts and snakeskin everything, some of it transparent. Do YOU, Laquan. PRABAL GURUNG showed bit and pieces of his usual brilliance. But the Gurung dress I wore out-performed anything on the runway. A major yawn. Go figure? And PYER MOSS gave his big crowd a political sermon AND a choir. It was 10pm. In Brooklyn. Kinda tough after a long day. His theme was musical instruments, sporting curvy hemlines, chunky jewelry molded with the faces of Erykah Badu and Lauryn Hill, and guitar-shaped handbags. Interesting. But I couldn’t get out of there and into my bed fast enough. Goodnight.

Winona is wearing PRABAL GURUNG | Hat by LISAMCFADDENMILLINERY | Handbag by FONTANA MILANO 1915

DAY FOUR…