Telfar Fall 2009 Collection

story and video by Charles Beckwith
photos by Freda Henry

The Telfar runway show at Saint Mark’s Church in New York’s East Village is a low budget, high creativity show, defined by its surroundings.

When asked why he holds his show in the East Village, Telfar replies simply, “that’s just where I’m at.”

Black, gray, navy blue, and camel tan were the foundation colors. Jump suits and mens’ skirts were the standout statement pieces, and the man had zippers on everything. There were some interesting inserts of jewelery matched with a few looks. It is a classic punk East Village rush in the high gloss of New York Fashion Week.

Here is a video clip with some backstage still shots and all the runway looks:

5 Minutes with Deborah Lyons

by Sandy Ramirez

While enjoying the fresh air outside The Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Tents in Bryant Park, I happened to meet Mechante of London designer Deborah Lyons, who explained her visit to the U.S. as “for the design and New York.” That, and the fact that the shoes she designed were part of several shows this week.

Clad in fashionably feather-trimmed coat of her own design, and clutching her Miu Miu bag as a shield against all things, she related her shoe design philosophy. In her words, she designs “fashionable, comfortable shoes. I am a woman designer, and I want to design fashionable things that women can wear all day, and be comfortable.” This season that tact focuses in metallic iridescent colors.

5 Minutes with Betty “B.P.” Cole

by Sandy Ramirez

Fashion shows at the level we see here in New York Fashion Week are an enormous undertaking. Besides the army of publicity people who promote the shows and get the right people in to view the designs, the actual design and manufacture of the textiles and clothing, and the efforts of groups like IMG Fashion, The Fashion Calendar, and the CFDA to make it all work together, there is the actual logistics of getting the spaces ready for each designer to present. Building the runway, repainting the backdrops, and setting up the lighting, that seemingly invisible process, is handled by The Ground Crew. The vast majority of physical production, without which none of the events would occur, is handle by them. I got to spend five minutes with Betty “B.P.” Cole, President of The Ground Crew just outside the tents as she was headed over to the Charlotte Ronson show to take care of a few last minute details in the production.

The Ground Crew started back in the 80’s, when Audrey Smaltz and Cole had a vision, that designers needed a one stop for the actual theatrical logistics needs of a fashion show. Starting out by producing various shows for local designers in the Bronx in industrial spaces and showrooms, word soon got around of this two woman team that could handle it all. Building up with early clients like Donna Karan, the business quickly became a success.

Today Cole supervises the production of over 50 shows, both in The Tents and beyond Bryant Park, including BET’s Rip the Runway.

When not producing shows, she relaxes by working on a documentary photography project on Spanish Harlem, where she grew up.

Loris Diran – a classic sense of style

story and photos by Darrah Leffler

French-Armenian New Yorker Loris Diran shows a classic sense of style in his Fall/Winter 2009/2010 “Armor” collection.

With his evident “Luxury as a lifestyle” concepts, Diran’s “Armor” designs seriously suit up the wearer for just that. In both his men’s and women’s designs, which he folds into a single show, Diran does not play to the fears of the fashion or politically meek, using combinations of tweeds, lambskin, angora, fur, and a slim classically “chic” outline for the entire collection.

This collection includes such instant favorites as the Cashmere Tee and Tweed Corsets while putting together looks that easily allow the use of such phrases as “Bolero Jacket” and “Samurai Pant” in the same sentence. A combination of deep tones and neutral shades along with natural fibers and materials for these designs make these sleek looks eminently wearable in the long-term.

Though subdued for a nod to Couture, the Loris Diran Fall/Winter 2009/2010 “Armor” collection is undeniably eye-catching.

Michalsky – “Saints and Sinners” Fall 2009 Collection

by Veronika Gombert
photos by Boris Marberg

German designer Michael Michalsky chose an unusual location to present his Fall/Winter 2009 collection for Berlin Fashion Week. The Zionskirche is an old church in serious need of renovation, and it perfectly set the stage for “Saints and Sinners.”

The impetus for this particular collection was a reaction by the designer to Pope Benedict XVI’s archaic stand on homosexuality. Priestly robes and The Church’s current ideas about sin were literally his afflatus, from which the new collection arose. Continue reading “Michalsky – “Saints and Sinners” Fall 2009 Collection”

Milan, Umbrellas, and The Color Yellow

So here I am, sitting in my Italian hotel room in Milan’s Piazza Diaz, two blocks from Il Duomo, flipping through a book on French fashion by an American, and thinking about my green German umbrella that I bought to take to India, its black British replacement, and their tie to the color yellow.

by Charles Beckwith

So here I am, sitting in my Italian hotel room in Milan’s Piazza Diaz, two blocks from Il Duomo, flipping through a book on French fashion by an American, and thinking about my green German umbrella that I bought to take to India, its black British replacement, and their tie to the color yellow. Continue reading “Milan, Umbrellas, and The Color Yellow”

Barneys Holiday Windows

photos by Jhane Hoang

It is the 50th anniversiary of the creation of the ubiquitous peace sign, and Barneys has put together an array of wild window displays celebrating the occasion (“Have a Hippie Holiday!”) with the help of Volkswagen, a slew of major designers, and some kids from East Harlem Elementary.

Tom Brokaw cut the ribbon.

All the outfits in the windows were designed specifically for the 50th anniversary event, and use sustainable materials in accordance with the Earth Pledge FutureFashion initiative.