Allowing your brain to process everything that occurs during New York Fashion Week takes nearly as much time as standing in line for a cronut at the much ballyhooed Dominique Ansel Bakery in SoHo. After what seems like an interminable wait, you’re confronted with pretty, sugar-coated confections. Suddenly you realize you may have bitten off more than you can chew. Later, Instagram is cluttered with braggarts who want you to know they enjoyed this exclusive experience and you didn’t. Now that we’ve had a chance to digest the hyper-reality of fashion week, we’re prepared to cast a critical eye back at the best and worst of the New York catwalks. Pull up a chair and pass the cronuts, please.
THE BEST: New York Fashion Week is akin to watching an assortment of “Murder She Wrote” guest stars
There are more than enough ego-bloated A-listers in the front row of fashion shows (yes Kanye, don’t worry, we see you), but what was far more interesting were the quirky “Where have they been, and what on earth are they doing here?” moments. Courtney Love at Marchesa (pictured)? Alyssa Milano at “Project Runway?” Paris Hilton at Diane von Furstenberg? All that was missing was Florence Henderson at Marc Jacobs.
THE WORST: The adorable bomb-sniffing dog you couldn’t pet
We get it. The dog was working and shouldn’t be bothered. But that dog was the sweetest creature at Fashion Week and it wouldn’t talk trash about you behind your back. It was also surprisingly human — as in, it made mistakes. A fellow writer had her purse taken away when the dog thought it found something suspicious. Most likely the dog was hungry and the writer was sneaking in a cronut.
THE BEST: Flats
The return of flats was welcome news for women who have complained about heels, or who have crushed their delicate toes in precariously steep shoes. This season, Peter Som (pictured), Jacobs, Tibi, the Row, and a long list of other designers ditched the heels. But there is a downside. Those entertaining runway spills are, at least for now, a thing of the past.
THE WORST: “Street style”
Please interpret the egregious use of quotation marks around street style as a snide commentary on this phenomenon. The majority of street style subjects are attention-starved fashion wannabes who lollygag in Lincoln Plaza in their zaniest outfits, waiting to be snapped by international shutterbugs. Show me a woman in Lincoln Center Plaza wearing 6-inch heels, silver lipstick, and a micro mini, and I’ll show you a woman who does not have a ticket to a fashion show.
THE BEST: Live music
DJs rule the runways at Fashion Week, but some of the most memorable moments have been when musicians perform live as the models walk. In 2008, Marc Jacobs brought in Sonic Youth for his show. Shortly after, Regina Spektor sang at Oscar de la Renta. Last week, Janelle Monáe (pictured) completely energized Rebecca Minkoff’s runway. Designers, please take note: If a musician wants to attend your show, make her get on stage and sing.
THE BEST: Thom Browne stays crazy.
For years, Browne’s runway shows have been pure theater. But after first lady Michelle Obama wore one of Browne’s creations on Inauguration Day, there was a worry that he might shelve those shows for something more conventional. What happened instead was a look at fashion madness. Watching his show was a little like witnessing “What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?” crossed with “American Horror Story,” all set on an Elizabethan stage.