Fashion deals with trying times in one of two ways: on one hand, there is the impulse to go bigger and brighter, as at some of the shows during New York Fashion Week (c.f. Marc Jacobs); on the other hand, some designers choose to engage in fashion’s version of comfort food, reflecting a more sober vision of the world. For Fall 2009, Corpus, Sophie Theallet and Leanne Marshall each opted for the latter, to soft, cocooning effect.
At the Corpus presentation at the Bowery Hotel (above), Ecco Domani Fashion Foundation winners Keith Richardson and Jerrod Cornish showed a mix of menswear and womenswear in vintage-inspired plaids, lean trousers and fluffy wool sweaters, all very wearable and seasonless. The models lounged casually on leather trunks posing for photographs, while guests mingled with wineglasses, examining the cozy knits and pretending it was normal to be caught up in one part party, one part photo shoot. There was a vintage typewriter in the corner of the room, which enhanced the surreal vibe of the day.
At the Sophie Theallet runway show (above), despite a celebrity-laden front row consisting of Kanye West, Rupert Everett and Hamish Bowles, the mood was subdued; models clad in Native-American inspired dresses walked at a slow pace as if caught in a meditative trance. This was Theallet’s second show in New York, and while the dresses were pretty, real standouts included the subtle embroidered patterns and fringe necklaces on some looks.
For her presentation at an intimate gallery space on the West Side, Leanne Marshall opted for a handful of looks on models, most of them cocktail dresses in a mix of black, gold and violet. One dress in particular, a short violet piece (shown above) with an intricately ruffled skirt was wonderful. Marshall is a winner of the reality television show, Project Runway and many of her castmates were seen at the presentation, offering their support for the Brooklyn-based designer’s line. The funniest part about attending this presentation is that the models stood around looking bored until you walked up to them with a camera-- then, as if snapping out of a daze, they worked that camera with poses and every one of the models I approached did the angular arm on hip and chin up at a high fashion angle thing.