Thursday's Ruffian show was a ladylike safari. Here's what went on behind the scenes. **All photos by Julia Silverman.
Fashionista contributor Long Nguyen is the co-founder/style director of Flaunt. Just a few minutes past midnight last night Alice Cooper took the stage and performed his perennial hit "School’s Out," released in 1972. This was just moments after ZZ Top sang "Foxy Lady." Darling Stilettos did the CBGB Ramones classics "Blitzkrieg Pop," and Donovan Leitch--with Camp Freddy and Perry Farrell--closed the show with the Jane Addiction classic "The Mountain Song." And that’s only a partial line up of the rockers that came out to perform in celebration of the launch of Original Moonshine and the tenth anniversary of John Varvatos’ menswear collection at the former CBGB space on Bowery, now Varvatos' store selling his main, USA and Converse collections. Rock & Roll, whiskey and fashion. Designer fashion requires a narrative--a way of telling a story or relating a lifestyle that the clothes are mere accoutrements. For Mr. Varvatos, it’s his early affection for rock music that has provided the blood that has flowed through his work since launching his first collection for fall 2000. In his office it’s hard to locate a book on fashion, but the piles on his long coffee table include The Illustrated Biography of Bob Dylan, Rock Record 7, CBGB: Decade of Graffiti History and Punk, Made in the U.K – The Music Attitude 1977-1983, Who Shot Rock & Roll, and Ryan Adams and the Cardinals: A View of Other Windows. And off course a tome on The Doors, just to name a few. In reconnecting with his adolescent obsession with rock music Mr. Varvatos gives the brand a soul, or what we call "fashion."
I've had some crazy experiences in my life, but the last place I expected to find myself on the first day of New York Fashion Week was in a Midtown dance studio watching Naomi Campbell bust a move. But it happened. And it was kind of amazing. Naomi and a gaggle of young models were rehearsing their Fashion's Night Out performance, which will take place tonight at Dolce & Gabbana's New York flagship on Madison Ave. The dance, put together by Campbell's friend Laurie Gibson, features Naomi fist-pumping to Jay-Z, Rihanna, and Kanye West in "Run this Town." Gibson, who's made a name for herself choreographing tons of music videos, including Lady Gaga's, is so positive and encouraging I almost wanted to jump in there. "It doesn't have to be perfect, just honest" she tells the girls. "Except for the marches--those have to be perfect--you're models!" The theme of Dolce & Gabbana's FNO party is, simply, Naomi. She's been in the business for 25 years, so they're celebrating with limited edition t-shirts featuring iconic images of Naomi taken by the likes of Patrick Demarchelier and Steven Meisel. I got the chance to chat with the Super for a few minutes. She was very humble and genuinely excited about the whole thing. "It's such an honor to work with Laurel," she told me. "I studied dance and I always wished I could do dance or performance. But I chose a career as a model instead. This is a dream come true." As for what she thinks about an entire evening dedicated to her career: "The whole thing is just really fun. It's a celebration." Click through for my photo diary of the rehearsal.
Fashionista contributor Long Nguyen is the co-founder/style director of Flaunt. If there were ever a true gathering of fashion’s extended royal family in New York, it happened last night at 845 Madison Avenue at the corner of 70th Street. At precisely 7pm when the guards dressed in black tuxedos locked the front gates, and the light was turned down momentarily, Mr. Tom Ford appeared at the end of the main room of his menswear store, which was decorated with large floral arrangements. About 100 top tier international editors and journalists sat anxiously after a long wait--six years--for his return to womenswear. “Richard (Buckley) knows that for years when I was at Gucci and Yves Saint Lauren, I had a recurrent nightmare and it would last for a week before the show that the clothes would not arrive, that something went wrong, that the atelier burn down and that I had to stand up in front of all of you and talk for 20 minutes. It’s a tough crowd! I am happy to say that tonight I am very proud. We have, I think, wonderful clothes to show you and we also have I think many of the women--the most inspirational women--to model for us. So I'd like to present to you now my Spring 2011 ’Women’ collection,” said Ford just prior to narrating his entire show, describing each of the models and the specific look they were wearing. And the most fabulous women they sure were.