Ah, Boxeight. It's messy in the best, most flattering sense
of the word. As one reporter sitting next to me said, "Isn't it totally like
the kids have taken over?" Yes, for sure.
This fashion event is rough around the edges and has a sense of humor about
itself. That last bit alone puts it leaps and bounds ahead of most other fashion events I've been to. For instance, the DJ at the COA show is playing Sir Mix-a-Lot's "Baby
Got Back" ("36-24-36? Only if she's 5'3...my anaconda don't want none unless
she's got buns hon"). I was waiting for the skinny girls to come out to fully
appreciate the irony, but alas: COA is a mens' line.
The clothes are fine and
wearable and should do well in the stores--any girl would be happy to have her
boyfriend show up for a date in one of their quilted biker jackets over crinkly
acid wash jeans. (Though, maybe not the peach-colored jeans.) One
jacket is made of black pleather patent lambskin so shiny it looks like it's been licked.
Also, there are men--okay, gay men--in the ladies restroom. And what a restroom. There is nothing like peeing in a room done
up in marble and gold.
Between shows, people browse the free copies of California Apparel News, which declares the cutting edge trends to be "Boys Club" and "World Style" and "the plaid shirt." After that, I started noticing plaid shirts and world style everwhere, though not so much boys club (mainly because I couldn't quite figure out what it is).
The Future Heretics show is fun: everybody, VIPs and all, sitting on aluminum benches like at a football game. The whole shebang happens in a cozy downstairs ballroom with parquet floors and mirrors a la the Palace Versailles.
Oh yes, the kids have taken over, and from the looks of the party girls hooting and carrying on across the aisle, they've raided the good stuff from mom's jewelry box and thrown on dad's tuxedo coat with nothing but tights and stilettos.The Heretics are doing a kind of preppy, streetwise, big-hot-mess thing. I couldn't stop staring at this one pair of svelte black pants with Age of Innocence Edith Whartonesque buttons up the back of the ankle. Hot!
I also couldn't stop thinking that the designer must have had a really good time with bleach. There wasn't a stitch of denim that hadn't been dribbled, or splashed, or sprayed with the stuff.You're sure to see at least one of their skull tee shirts (with the slogan "Fuck Skulls") out and about in hipster enclaves soon.
There is more plaid at Laeken's show. It manifests here in the form of jumper dresses. You know that game where you try to guess the designer's references: is that plaid dress more Holly Hobby or Little House on the Prairie? Is that leg of mutton sweater sleeve more 70s psychedelic or neo-Victorian? I'm deep in these kinds of thoughts when a model sashays by and the guy next to me, whose boyfriend did the styling for the Laeken show, exclaims, "Her walk is amazing! Unbelievable!"
It jolts me, that 'unbelievable.' Uttered so earnestly and enthusiastically. And I feel a little ashamed for grouching about the lack of goody bags, for noticing that they don't re-paint the runways perfect eggshell white after every single show. Who needs goody bags when you have a thumping bass-line and a crazy crowd who couldn't care less what Anna Wintour is wearing?
Goth, Goth... and more Goth
Yesterday's Grai show at GenArt is still my favorite, but the martinMARTIN line that showed today is a close second. Can you get tired of deconstructed black goth ballgowns? Sure. Six or so shows later, I definitely kinda was. But I have a soft spot for goth. It's melodramatic. And silly. Especially because it tries so hard not to be.
The martinMARTIN version of goth is: tattered Victorian maid aprons, leather tailcoats, men with creepy black leather pathologist gloves (the better to dissect you with!), dudes in skirts, and menswear on innocent little girls. The Eurasian models coming down the runway are super young-looking. Earlier, I snuck backstage and asked one how old she is, and she said, in a hesitant way, "Um, I'm 18."
The Skingraft shindig is the only one in which the audience is a better show than the actual show. There are vintage feathered hats, big honking platform stilettos, black lipstick, fur coats...and that's just the guys.
The catalog explains the aesthetic well: the fall collection "is inspired by neo-Victorian royalty and overly tarnished motorcycles smashing into each other at high speeds."
It's the last runway walk of the night, but the energy is up, up, up. People are dancing in the aisles. We even had an unexpected star sighting: Margaret Cho (voluptuous, tattooed). Who knew she rolled with the Goths?
Lastly, if you had any doubts, Doc Marten combat boots are definitely back. Resign yourself to it.