"What did I sign up for?" a model asked as she stepped out onto the ice at the rink at The Standard for Elise Øverland's Fall 2011 show. It was a good question. She and the 10 or so other girls who modeled Øverland's collection were escorted onto the ice in six inch platform stilettos and then had to stand on little bath mats for the next half hour in freezing temps while real life figure skaters (also wearing Øverland's creations) twirled around them as they trembled. Because, while the collection is intended for Fall/Winter, Øverland's cropped jackets with furry centers and cuffs were not proper outer wear for sub-zero conditions. I swear I saw tears in the eyes of one miserable looking model. When Johnny Weir, the main draw of the show, finally performed a good hour after the show was set to start, I was so cold it distracted from his lutzes and ice humping (yes, that happened). Perhaps it was Scandinavian born Øverland's way of telling us New Yorkers to toughen up against the cold. But it didn't work.
As hard as it was to focus on the collection with frozen digits and chattering teeth the clothes were out-there in a good way--especially on the figure skaters who looked like they were actually having a good time. They looked like characters from a Scandinavian version of Jetsons, or clones of Queen Frostine from Candyland--skaters moved easily in frosty boxy pastel tops paired with black leather minis, shiny swirled oil print dresses and furry jackets that were kitted out with neon plastic detailing at the back. A skater in a monochrome salmon minidress with a big swath of silk down the front looked particularly fetching mid swirl.
**All photos: IMAXTREE