Forty Days (More or Less) of Fall Fashion: Our Team’s #FW2013 Highlights

Our valiant team spent the better part of February—and a good bit of March—slogging through snow, sleet and rain, crossing country lines and continents all in the name of fall fashion. What did they find on their quest, you ask? We’ll let them tell you firsthand.

From the best mozzarella in Paris to “smoke and drama” at Alexander Wang, here’s what captured our attention while on the international Fashion Week circuit.

The Alexander Wang show was held at an insanely baroque bank building downtown, with smoke and drama and radically sculptural clothing. I had not seen Alexander since we filmed the now notorious Bon Qui Qui video.  Naturally, I went backstage and threatened to cut him and call security…

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Proenza Schouler (pictured) was a big high point in New York—so beautiful and modern, and wearable everything. In Paris, Dries Van Noten opened the week and set a very high bar for others.  It was so Dries and yet, he’s always moving it forward and surprising us in his own way. I missed Milan this time but from review of photos, Fendi certainly looked like a highlight.

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Despite all the griping, there were highlights from each city: The month began in Antwerp at Dries Van Noten, who previewed his stunningly romantic collections for Pre-Fall and Fall. In New York, we marveled at the fact a massive snowstorm didn’t keep the shows from going on. Standouts were Derek Lam, Prabal Garung (pictured) and Marissa Webb. Following a great week in New York, the exuberance and energy in London felt fresh.  Erdem’s presentation was beautiful and vibrant —he really captured the mood of fashion out of London right now. In Milan, the daily snowfall was actually quite beautiful, though it did make getting around town a trial. Prada’s show was moody and introspective. The “noir” backdrop of the show was perfect  for this sultry collection. We also loved so many of the innovative accessory and shoe collections—Gianvito Rossi, Church’s, Alberto Moretti. We finished strong in Paris. Standouts were Junya, Dries, Saint Laurent and a wonderful discovery of a small heritage leathergoods company called Moreau.

But the big highlight of the trip was Mmmozza, Fashion Director Tomoko Ogura’s little sandwich place in Paris that serves the best mozzarella I’ve ever had. We ate it sitting on crates in the shop.  It was a little slice of heaven.

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One of the funnier moments of our Paris trip was watching a lady seated front-row, who was pulling all kinds of things out of her bag of tricks in the middle of the show (one of the more important ones) to display to her friends. Highlights included a purple fan, a blanket and a box of Sucrets, which she proceeded to pass down the entire first and second rows.

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One of my most memorable experiences was seeing the Dries Van Noten show in Paris. It is so inspiring to see a designer working at the top of his game. His fusion of masculine and feminine was masterly. I can’t wait to see what he does next.

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There was snow in New York, more snow in Milan, and Paris, too, was full of cold gray days. And I managed to get sick in London. But—interspersed were some beautiful sunny moments, and in terms of fashion, there were many bright spots. Givenchy (pictured) is one of those shows that I will remember ten years from now. He created a goosebumps-inducing environment. For the entire duration of the show, I was entranced. The biker jackets and patchwork denim from Junya Watanabe will be the greatest threat to my personal fashion budget for the season.

And after nonstop shows and walk-throughs in four cities in four weeks, my first meal after my last appointment in Paris was quite a freeing moment—a lobster salad at Café Marly under the sun and overlooking the Louvre grounds.

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For me, the highlight of the Fall 2013 collections was the men’s Prada show. As with most exhibitions, Prada shows are the essence of where art meets fashion, and this show was a standout. From the intricate Rem Koolhaas room vignettes, to the simulated window-scapes, these updated classic clothes seemed to be part of a performance piece, planned in the way an edgy costume designer would for a film. This only enhanced the pumped-up menswear classics that remind us of the 60s—all made that much more modern by this fascinating and sophisticated venue.

Images courtesy of Style.com