Thursday, February 25, 2010

All Aboard "THE TRAIN"

Just when you thought it was safe to rest your battle weary, fabric heavy, brain the trade shows appear on the scene. Thankfully, Fashion Manager of both PRET A PORTER Paris, The Train & The Box, Parisian Muriel Piaser, is determined to make it a pleasurable experience showcasing amazing new talent in an aesthetically pleasing atmosphere.

At The Train, booths are lined up on either side at the venue once known as "The Tunnel" yes, Sex in the City fans, that tunnel. Clothes and designers showcased in an intimate arena make for, dare I say...a great afternoon.

My favorite picks:

Trine Jespersen of Islaet (

Jutta Nordheim

Last but not least, Tiia Vanhatapio! More on her later.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Custo Barcelona

It was clear the crowd was out to mingle Sunday night; the label polling last slot of the day at the iconic Bryant Park Tents. A capacity crowd, including Gossip Girl’s Connor Paola, One Life to Live’s Tika Sumper and Miss Universe’s Stefania Fernandez, filtered in, paparazzi lights blazing. The other 787 in attendance vied for the much coveted seats of Custo’s Hairy Metal Fall 2010 Collection and they weren’t disappointed.

Signature Custo Barcelona was interweaved with intricate bead work and faux fur, shining metallics and strong, pure lines. An energetic runway show featured both men’s and women’s wear, lines were shortened, accessories maximised. Psychedelic men’s suits reminiscent of the swinging ’60s were modernized with sleek cuts and contrasting t-shirts, the occasional coordinating three-piece suit coming up trumps with brown and mustard toned, circular patterns — definitely not for your average wall flower. Interesting prints inspired by liquid metals added a point of interest, each piece able to be worn as a feature on its own or together, as a trail blazing ensemble.

For women, bulk created by voluminous faux fur and layers of swirling patterns in jackets and mini dresses made way for sleek, tight leggings, short shorts and figure-hugging jeans — the new color palette of bronze, steel, old or blue gold, black gold and rusty tones hitting the runway with style.

Texture was really the name of the game in this collection, with fabrics showcasing different lengths of “hair” to create new depth. Exaggerated shoulder lines and rock-star styling helped cement the Custo look with another bold yet endearing collection.

By Angela Gilltrap for

Saturday, February 20, 2010


Front Row at Milly

Julia Stiles front row at Milly.

Christian Siriano

Christian Siriano

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

"The Pursuit" of Jamie Cullum

It's the interview that's been alluding me for months. Jamie Cullum, one of my favorite all time singer/songwriter/musicians — an interview I had planned to do before Christmas —finally happened.

In the midst of the mayhem that is fashion week, it was a great addition to a busy but fun-filled eight days and despite my scattered brain, he was more than supportive of my occasional awkward silences (as I pushed my brain onward to thinking thoughts above a second grade level) and intermittent pauses (as I switched my tired brain from fashionista-bitch reviewer to mega-music interviewer mode).

Jamie's new album The Pursuit, his first in four years, is available to download now. Head to the website for a free sample, it is possibly his best so far but I'll let you be the judge of that!

Note: For those of you after the real gossip, yes, Jamie Cullum is most definitely as cool, calm and collected as he appears.

Embarking on a world tour next week, he will be stopping at a town near you, make sure you catch him live and tell him Ange says hi.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Caption Competition

When I found this photo among this season's fashion picks, I couldn't resist.

There are no right or wrong answers because I have no idea what I was talking to Robert Verdi about. Clearly it was something of enormous importance.

Maybe that confidence is the new black?

Robert Verdi Luxe Laboratory

A calming oasis in the turbulent seas of Fashion Week, Robert Verdi kindly opens his doors to re-fresh, re-boot and re-hydrate each season. To-die for popcorn, manicures and beauty services, even bra fittings are coupled with Absolut cocktails and wide screen TV (showing the latest hilarious Robert Verdi episode) to allow those battle weary to enjoy a brief moment of respite.

Hanging with Runway Resource's Joseph Ungoco, Zink's Casey Gillespie, Fashion Editor Paul Avarali, Lot 17 Experience Designer Nikole Nelson, the Antennae crew and many more... the 9th Ave suite makes it hard to trudge back out there and brave the long fashion day ahead. Saying that, it remains one of my fashion week highlights simply for the chance it gave us to catch up.

What's fashion week without the frivolity?

Friday, February 12, 2010

MACKAGE: Riding Fashion

Eran Elfassy and Elisa Dahan, the duo behind Mackage opened Mercedes Benz fashion week with a small but enthusiastic crowd rugged up to brave Manhattan’s bitter cold. Following the trend of equestrian chic — that we are destined to see more of this season — Mackage produced a cohesive collection of wearable, winter must-haves. From figure hugging, high-necked winter coats in muted tones, to black leather shorts with sequined detail, this Canadian design team served up riding wear for the city savvy. The three-tiered cap sleeve made a recurring appearance throughout the collection giving standard outerwear a stylish touch. Patched elbows and Prince of Wales check providing a classic feel. For the men, asymmetrical leather jackets came up trumps with the bow tie making a stylish statement. Mackage’s signature shaped leather was ever prominent. Interesting tailored lines and sleek silhouettes all part of this collection’s charm.

By Angela Gilltrap for Runway

Okay so that was the official story, what really happened was a slushy mess of fashionistas trying desperately not to fall on their tiny asses in the aftermath of a blizzard. It's really hard to look fashionable in below 0, it's not just me, it's a fact. And despite everyone's best efforts the crowd looked more like Michelin men than Manhattan's fashion forward.

By the end of Mackage, seated with almost every piece of clothing I own on, the news of Alexanda McQueen's death was starting to circulate. BCBG took a back seat to the latest updates as oblivious editors were bamboozled with questions about how they felt, when they had literally just walked out into the real world. This, my friends, is why blackberries aren't the best thing in the world or maybe why they are - the jury is out on that one.

Needless to say for me it was off to countless presentations, more shows and an after party that turned out to have a bizarre case of six degrees of separation: from designer Ron & Ron (who was hosting a Haiti Benefit Reception) to fellow Aussie, Anthony LaPaglia. Turns out they are soccer buddies.