Fashion Week Diary: Day 6 (Max Azria, Diesel Black Gold, G-Star)


Adrien Field / February 18, 2010

Remember when a snow day used to be a pleasant thing? It meant you got off from school and stayed home all day, finishing that book report you left fate to decide whether you’d actually have to turn it in the next day.

Well we’ve already established that there are no holidays in fashion—and likewise, there are no snow days either. Every fashion show starts late, but I nearly missed the Max Azria show because of the traffic from the snowstorm outside. Had there been one more red light on Sixth Avenue, I’d have had to watch the show from the sidelines. What eventually came down the runway sent chills up my spine, even though by this time I was insulated from the elements outside.

The collection was minimalist, as Max Azria’s namesake collection always is, but it also felt supremely modern, like the way people in the ’40s would have imagined women might dress today. Dresses, similar to the pulsating music that combined a few different songs at once, were a hybrid of fabrics, like wool and leather pieced together to make something that looks like it could be of a future Matrix installment.

As much as I didn’t want to leave the tents, I had to cross the street to attend the Diesel Black Gold show a couple hours later. I was trying to incite my fellow editors into rebellion as we were forced to stand outside in the snow, packed together like cattle for the slaughterhouse just to get to the check in. Let me put it this way: Can you imagine if a friend invited you to their home and then told you to stand on the sidewalk for 20 minutes while they finished combing their hair inside? You might consider finding a new friend.

Once inside, it wasn’t hard to guess why Diesel wanted to switch venues from the big tent at Bryant Park to a worn down warehouse space a block away. The distressed clothes that came down the runway matched our shelter’s shabby interior. Worn-in denim and leather comprised most of the collection for a look that was hipster goes to Hollywood. In the exquisitely-destroyed shambles of it all were some standout pieces that were worth the investment like a women’s quilted bomber or a well-tailored men’s suit.

You could say G-Star was better organized (the after party was another story). For one, they had a van waiting right outside Diesel taking people straight to the Hammerstein Ballroom where the show was taking place. Once there, G-Star had corralled every celebrity in town to attend the show. Throw out a name, they were probably there: John Legend, Tyson Beckford, Estelle, Adrienne Bailon, Kelly Osbourne, Adam Lambert–and that’s only half.  

It wasn’t just the venue and star wattage that was different however. Whereas Diesel Black Gold was like the incarnation of a Cut Copy song—all about somber decay—G-Star was like frolicking with the Mad Hatter from Alice in Wonderland. Bright pops of color made the clothes feel impulsively happy, even if at the expense of wearability at times. You simply couldn’t help but smile at a monochromatic lime green ensemble coming down the runway or a furry Big Bird-inspired dress. 

It almost was enough to make you forget the gray sludge that awaited us outside.

Almost. —Adrien Field