The Emperors New Clothes or Why I am Too Old For Fashion Week

New York Fashion Week 2012
New York Fashion Week 2012

After a spending a few days in New York during the madness which is called Fashion Week, I returned home feeling a little too short, a little too old and a little to unable to manage my stilettos. Many moons ago I worked in fashion– both in New York and in Italy – and I loved it. I love it still, but realize now more than ever before that fashion – and fashion shows – are geared to women who can carry off ‘looks’ which in the real world might be deemed ridiculous or outrageous, or both. (I didn’t see any spills like these..

1920s influence – Ralph Lauren
1920s French Art Deco Poster, Gazette du Bon Ton, Est-ce lui? Robe De Redfern
1920s Gazette du Bon Ton – Est-ce lui? Robe De Redfern

I guess my idea of fashion is the kind of timeless clothing that Italian women of a certain age and class can carry off: dresses that are sexy without being revealing, suits which have a shape but are not skintight, and skirts which end well below the derriere (closer to the knee, in fact). Although I don’t really consider myself old-fashioned, after last week, I have come to realize I am most definitely old(er).

My idea of glam fashion is much closer to the 1920s than the 2010’s: I cant count how many skirts I saw creeping up the behinds of women who were way too old, how many sprain inducing stilettos I saw on stylists, and tattoos – now don’t get me started… It was all a little bit like the Lady Gaga Fashion video, you know, this one!

I went to a much-anticipated fashion show by an up and coming designer. The buzz was huge, the crowd equally so, the music was loud and … meh. There was not one piece of clothing that was wearable, nothing was cut right, and even the models looked unhappy. Truth be told, I felt kind of sorry for them. I mean really, who wants to wear clothing that looks ridiculous?

Early 1900s Original French Poster, Le TamTam - Remy
Early 1900s Original French Poster, Le TamTam – Remy

Unless you’re built like Sofia Vergera – on whom just about anything looks sexy and appealing – you might end up looking like our Miss TamTam: oblivious, voluptuous, and just a little dated… (we love her, but that dress?)

Sofia Vergara!

Fashion shows don’t just happen. They are micro-managed to perfection, from the clothes to the music, the scene to the runway, every element is put together for months. The whole production might last 10 minutes, but the money, the energy and the thought that goes into those ten minutes almost deifies description.

Fashionable men, Fashion week, and our friend, the King of Backstage – Antonio Corral Calero
Fashion week, and our friend, the King of Backstage – Antonio
Corral Calero.
New York Fashion Week Backstage
more backstage madness!

I was fortunate enough to watch some of the backstage magic for some of the shows during New York fashion week this month, and I have to say that the adrenaline and excitement which permeates those shows almost makes up for the exhaustion and back-breaking work that goes into putting them together. Whether you appreciate fashion or not – and some of the fashion was really beyond me- you have to admire the folks who spend hours on the hair, makeup and clothing that the models seem to effortlessly wear.

My friend Antonio has become the go-to hair guy for Carolina Herrera (watch her show from last season here.

Catherine Mandarino, Alexander Herscovitch and too many others to count. Antonio is effortlessly chic, totally sexy and an all around great guy. It makes me happy to see him happy, and he’s doing what he loves. He’s the kind of man who can make you feel sexy just by being in his presence – so I like to see him often! (But don’t get to see him often enough). Don’t believe me? Here’s a peek:  (Gotta admit: the person he talks about at the beginning of the video is … me!)

Fashion week was a revelation: it reminded me of the madness of New York, the excitement of fashion, and why – while I love both – I am very happy to be a poster dealer in Montreal. I was happy to see my friends, happy to share in their success, and happy happy happy to come back to my home and my gallery. Thanks Antonio, and thanks Carmen!!

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