I’ve tempted fate one too many times during past fashion weeks and skinned a few too many of my teeth in the almost-late process. It finally caught up with me. On the rainy morning of Monday, September 10th, I was late to Wes Gordon’s debut at Carolina Herrera and got locked out of the show.
I was pissed. The show was at the New York Historical Society, which I wanted to see the inside of. On top of that, I’d planned to cover Carolina Herrera, and not being there in person to experience the lights and the sound and the general ambiance made me nervous I’d have no real feelings about it.
Turns out I am the rainbow cake girl from Mean Girls this week, because I had plenty of feelings about it, and about a few other shows I didn’t actually attend…and I managed to save some for the shows I did sit at! Details below.
Monday, 10 a.m.
I look at fashion shows the way I read magazines: back to front. So when I got to the office after my commute of shame and opened Vogue.com, my first impression of Wes Gordon’s Carolina Herrera really started with look #43: a four-tone stripe tent (compliment) with an off-the-shoulder ruffle and a flower exploding its own petals in a fit of “loves me, loves me not.” Then came look #40, with a curved arc up toward the clavicle and molten sunshine satin fabric melting below. As the collection subdued, ever so slightly, toward the technical front, I imagined a Carolina fan in the audience’s excitement growing as she liked what she saw — especially, unexpectedly, the knee-high boots with embroidered flowers — but had no idea what to expect next. We’d meet somewhere in the middle, around look #24, perhaps, lock eyes at the marigold gown covered in a leopard-spot-print of red flowers, simultaneously register our appreciating for the menswear-esque top’s silhouette (a nod, maybe, to her classic white shirt-plus-ball-skirt combination) and proclaim together, “Yes!”
Wes’s version of Carolina no doubt leans a just a little bit younger (the blazer-coats, the shorts, the mini skirts) but if youthfulness is a state of mind and the numbers are just for candle-adorning purposes, then these clothes are for his customers of all ages. I think they’re going to be very excited.
11 a.m. – 3 p.m.
I’m at the office. I write some emails, eat a kale-bowl thingy with sweet potato hash and a poached egg, drink half an ice coffee, attend a short meeting, do some work-work, and then OFF I DASH, en foot, to 3.1 Phillip Lim, located in a high school about a 15-minute walk from our office.
We’re on the roof of a high school, which is giving me flashbacks, and reminding me that everyone, including another Philip (Philip Ellis), has been telling me to watch To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before. It’s my main plan for this evening.
And now, a two-sentence review of Phillip Lim: The slight drizzle that steadied during Phillip Lim’s Spring 2019 collection was weirdly perfect given that he’s going one step past the bucket hat and full-on into fisherman headgear. As for the clothes, they’re perfect for a summer city staycation, but they wouldn’t mind if you brought them (the silver coat in particular) to Burning Man.
4 – 7 p.m., back to the office
Hello! Here I am, back in the saddle. I picked up a weird salad on my way back from Lim. It was weird because it was more bacon than lettuce, so also kind of a blessing. I can’t focus on work yet, so I use this time to catch up on Rodarte and Chromat online.
Set in a graveyard on a rainy Sunday, Rodarte’s Spring collection show looks like it would have given me goosebumps had I been there in person. There was a beautiful, romantic melancholia to the whole production that carried over into the photos (either everyone who posted on Instagram caught the hazy effect of light and water just so, or there’s a new Huji in town), but pulled away from the wonderful drama, I could see any of these pieces worn by the happiest of person, like a bride, on the happiest of days, like a wedding — or an attention-grabbing attendee! Or someone very excited to pick up their unicorn’s groceries. Either way, it was a lesson in pure candy fantasy. And a really nice work break.
Out of the woods and into the water: Chromat. In addition to her fantastic casting that, season after season, proves to the industry there are 8 million ways to be beautiful and make clothes look aspirational, she turned the self-conscious coverup beach tee on its head, then soaked it in water, confidence and sex appeal. She told Vogue it was a reimagining of “throwing a ginormous shirt over your swimsuit at the pool because you’re too embarrassed to be seen … to take that moment of vulnerability and make it something to be proud of.” If you’ve ever wondered what the “point” of a runway show is, I’d say Becca’s makes the case for the importance of a stage.
7 – 11 p.m.
Home to watch To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before and eat pizza from this gluten-free pizza place called Wild. The pizza is AN HOUR AND A HALF LATE (way worse than my timing to Carolina, okay) and I’m starving so I eat an entire bag of full-gluten everything bagel chips. The movie is perfect. I, like every other person on this planet apparently, am in love with Noah Centineo.
Tuesday, 6:30 a.m.
Oh look, it’s morning! Nothing to see here folks, other than my Artist’s Way morning pages, 15 minutes of not very good meditation, teeth brushing, varied attempts at writing a few stories I have do (writer’s block has been at an all-time high this week, bad timing) and other general boring morning stuff.
At 9:55 I haul ass to the 1 train, stand too close to the platform because I’m impatient and can’t get it out of my body that leaning into the dark abyss won’t make the train come, when a woman I don’t know gently scolds me (lovingly, or as much as a stranger can muster) for doing so. She’s right, though! I vow to be a changed woman.
Time for Oscar de la Renta, which was partially a lesson in How to Look Really Chic While You Travel (with a blanket and socks in your carryon if you get cold), but largely a reminder that glamour is alive and well — or it could be if we all stopped wearing workout clothes to dinner and spent more time inside the heads of Laura Kim and Fernando Garcia. Their take on Oscar de la Renta this round isn’t 100% what I associate the house with, and from watching Monse a few days earlier, it’s clear they’re two designers who are growing and changing. But that’s what fashion is about, right? And how boring would it be if all they did was the same old thing?
Some of the dresses were so dramatic that I almost felt redeemed for missing Carolina yesterday (I’m not going to Paris, so this is just in case there’s a glamour quota I was supposed to be hitting during fashion week). Also alive and well, I am so happy to say, are little straw hats for your little square handbags, and flat sandals with raffia fringe all around, like that of a deconstructed straw hat brim. Shuffle, shuffle.
Now off I go, to the 1 train, back home.
I’m eating last night’s leftover pizza and chugging water while working. Get lost in an email black hole. And then, like it’s groundhog day, I leave my apartment, get back on the 1 train, get off at the same stop, and head to the same studio that Oscar was in, this time for Tome.
To quote our one-sentence review (which, don’t forget, has its own Highlight on our Instagram!) of Tome: “Dip-dyed and faded sherbert-colored happy sunny sweet breeze clothes to combat a rainy mood, or, to dream about for next summer.” Okay I’ll take it.
2 – 3 p.m.
I have traveled far and wide to reach these parts by subway and my feet hurt. These old boots are not (here comes a joke you’ve never heard before) made for walking. I’m sitting at Coach and thrilled that the bench is a little too high, so my feet are dangling. It feels like sweet relief and makes me think of T. Wise’s bit about dangling feet:
“This obviously makes me think that it doesn’t matter how big or grown or serious a person might be: If they sit in a place where their feet don’t touch the floor, they look absolutely adorable. There are no exceptions to this rule: Football players, supermodels, soldiers, reverends, rappers, I don’t care. Adorable.”
I couldn’t see so well from my seat, but upon close online review, I’d call the collection a cross between West World meets your favorite childhood cartoons that says “PrairieCore isn’t going anywhere, but it might get a lot less sweet and a little more everyday-vampire.”
They gave us popsicles after the show. I eat mine on the subway ride home, change into sweatpants upon arrival, clean up my apartment that got weirdly messy out of nowhere, and start writing all of this.
Feature image by Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images for NYFW: The Shows. Photos via Amelia Diamond.