A GAME-CHANGING DRESS
Everyone always asks Adam Selman about "that" dress, and no wonder: the designer's totally sheer, crystal-encrusted gown for Rihanna at the Council of Fashion Designers of America awards last June made global headlines.
"It was a game-changer," he said on Friday before his runway show in a Chelsea gallery. "It definitely put me on a worldwide scale. It's February, and people are still talking about that dress. I knew it was going to make a big splash but I didn't expect for people to still be talking about it now!"
Why the huge reaction? "I think it was just shocking, and it was just interesting to see a woman feel so confident that she didn't need to be all nipped and tucked," Selman said. "She was just so natural, and there was no retouching — that was her."
For his runway show this time, Selman, whose background is in costume design, said he was inspired by the "bad-girl" characters in the 1974 movie "Female Trouble," starring Divine. His runway featured fencing, as in a schoolyard, and the ground was littered with crushed soda cans and wrinkled wrappers. The models hung onto the fences and chatted, or looked in compact mirrors to check their makeup.
As for the clothes, they were a colorful, playful mix of schoolgirl gingham and more body-hugging fabrics. Selman said he also wanted to infuse his fashions with an arts-and-crafts theme, so he covered many of his garments with cute little bows as appliques. Colors were evocative of a schoolyard, too: Bubblegum and bottle green were two of Selman's favourites.
ROSIE IN RED
Rosie O'Donnell opened with a wry quip: "I had a lot of stress today, I don't know if you heard."
Hours after ending her second stint as a host of ABC's "The View," O'Donnell was on a fashion runway — a strange place for her to be, she said — introducing the American Heart Association's "Go Red for Women" Red Dress Collection, an annual fashion show featuring entertainment personalities modeling bright red designer dresses to promote awareness of heart disease.
O'Donnell donned a red jacket and black pants to open the show Thursday night, but she wasn't hazarding a walk down the runway (and back) teetering on stilettos. That job fell to some 20 women of all ages, culminating in a much-cheered appearance by actress Barbara Eden, the 83-year-old former star of the 1960s series "I Dream of Jeannie," who even did her trademark fold-the-arms-and-blink move for the cameras.
Eden wore a lacy Carmen Marc Valvo gown. Others at the show, which was presented by Macy's, included TV personality Star Jones in a B. Michael gown, who brought along her tiny white dog on a leash (the dog appeared to be a real pro, hardly flinching in the hot lights and loud music).
Some of the biggest cheers were awarded to Laverne Cox, a star of TV's "Orange is the New Black" and the first openly transgender person to be nominated for an Emmy. Cox twirled at the top of the runway in her gauzy Donna Karan number.
The show ended with a song from the girl group Fifth Harmony — all clad in red, of course.
MUSIC MEETS FASHION
Most of the time when you hear a Bon Jovi song in a store, it's playing over a loudspeaker. But Thursday night, around 100 lucky fans were treated to seeing the New Jersey-born rocker perform a bunch of his hits during an intimate acoustic set inside of a Kenneth Cole store in Soho.
The performance, as New York Fashion Week began, was part of Common Thread, an initiative the musician started with Cole that provides a platform for the new creators of today and tomorrow to help them find an audience.
The initiative benefits both young designers and musicians, something Cole said the pair spent a lot of time discussing.
Before the show, the 52-year old musician expressed his feeling that while the technology for making music has gotten simpler, he sees no substitute for raw performance as the true measure of talent.
"You can have all the bells and whistles of production these days, and these guys that are out there singing on the Grammys with auto-tune," Jon Bon Jovi said. "I always used to say, 'I'm going to hand you my guitar, sing me something, and I want to see you play it.'"
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