Well, let's pretend, shall we? It's Fashion Week, for Spring 2011, and it's the opening night party for The Bard Graduate Center show, Hats: an Anthology by Stephen Jones. It's also the night that Malan Breton is showing at Lincoln Center, runway, and guess who agreed to do the hats? So, we have to be at two places at once. As usual.
The Stephen Jones group will more than understand if I skip out early for the show at Mercedez-Benz Fashion Week. Stephen Jones IS runway in Paris and London, with more and more shows in New York, as well. So we won't be rude, since there's so very many people who want to schmooze with him. Time enough to introduce myself in person, sneak in a quick picture with our God of Hats, and dash to the tents.
Malan Breton is the darling of the media. He is a graduate cum laude from Project Runway, and somehow manages to get the spotlight on himself , produce a runway show, and survive, season after season. Not an easy thing. We've always been honored to participate in his shows, and this will be our third or fourth season with him.
For this Tour de Force, it's "Fantome": always musically oriented, always celeb attended, always press , press and more press. There have been seasons when Alex McCord, sans handsome hub, Simon VanKempen (he sat it out in the audience), walked the runway for Malan. And seasons when ballerinas were the focal point. Or string orchestras. Malan always brings it. With our history together, its not hard to hone in on what he likes for a look. In preparing for FW, for those of you who have never been subjected to this blitz, you make yourself available for spontaneous meeting with the designer, and his stylists. You pray for model headsizes. Hope for materials. Angst for magic extra time to appear before curtain. Did I say "pray", oh, yes, pray.
Backstage, for my second time that day (I had to oversee the delivery of the hats in person), and checking the outfits, sequence, drape, fit. Where's that box? Why are some of the hats missing? where's that box again? Get out of the way for the interns to do their last minute pressing, steaming, accessorizing. And get those hats out on the racks. Each ensemble is hung with care on a rack, with all of the accessories listed per outfit. Each outfit has a dresser, and that person is key. They control getting the model into the next outfit, and keep watch over the accessories. Can you imagine backstage? It's so much fun! Energy, vibe, excitement, and nerves, in the make-up room and beyond. Love being backstage. Backstage is why I do what I do. I woke up one morning and realized it wasn't the boy I missed (it had been a terribly dreadful break-up with a drummer), but the "smell of the greasepaint, the roar of the crowd"! Oh, to find your place in life. It's such an exhilarating moment. Eureka, I'm home, so to speak.
Back to Malan: dressing the models in their outfits, and overseeing the placement of the hats, last minute changes (a certain recording star won't be walking since her limo can't get here in time) . In short, organized chaos.
And then the show. Well, as it happens, Malan manages to get the jump on this season's hottest trend: transparency. How I did hats in the same vein is always a mystery of the gods. But it happens sometime, that you just nail it.
So this is the hat that launched more than a few shoots in editorials, and ideas for other collections. As seen here, in Sandy Ramirez' ingenious beauty shot, in Malan Breton's S/S 2011 runway show.