UPON A TIME, one of the highlights of New York Fashion Week
was the corresponding accessories exhibit that usually ran
concurrently during the presentation of the runway shows. At one
point, it was a very, very essential part of the week's activity
because it gave accessories designers a chance to get their
wares before the visiting press's eyes, and for tired fashion writers,
it was an opportunity to get away from collection visual overload
without leaving the building. Likewise, seeing that you can't always
count on the runway shows to be terribly innovative and create excitement
(and let's not forget that we are indeed living in a time when clothes,
like cars, looks increasingly the same), accessories are the most
effective way to express one's personal style while expanding one's
wardrobe with texture, shine and colour.
Fern Mallis, the Executive Director of 7th on
SixthIMG and her staff, for
the spring 2005 shows in early September, decided to bring back
this proud tradition of celebrating the 'breadth and depth of American
accessory design' by showcasing a select presentation of spring
2005's jewellery, shoes, handbags, eyewear, and watches in the landmark
Josephine Shaw Lowell Fountain in the Bryant Park tents' lobby.
spring 2005 runway presentations were an explosion of colour and
amazing innovation; and the same could be said of the accessories
exhibit, which was beautifully art-directed to great effect. The
organizers reached out far and wide throughout the industry and
ended up with a list of participating designers that covered the
length and breadth of the spectrum. The more well known participants
included Judith Ripka (the official jewellery designer of Fashion
Week), Silhouette, (the official eyewear sponsor of Olympus Fashion
Week), LG Mobile Phones (the official
phone sponsor for Fashion Week), Coach, Dooney and Bourke, R. J.
Graziano (fine jewellery), Timex watches, and Lambertson Truex,
one of the top makers of American leather bags, shoes and accessories.
The list of participants also included a group
of talented up-and-coming designers, who, to a man (or woman), are
ready to storm the gates to take their place at the pantheon of
design, not just in America, but in all of international fashion.
This list included with Andrea Barna of A by Andrea Barna (handbags),
Alain Mikli (eyewear), Anthony Carmargo and Nak Armstrong of Anthony
Nak (fine jewellery), Angela Streckner of Daniel Swarovski Paris
Crystal Eyewear, Darby Scott of Darby Scott New York (handbags),
the wonderfully fun and subversive costume jewellery from Stephanie
Wells of Double Happiness Jewelry, Maria Giovanna Paone of Kiton
(shoes and handbags), Mimi so of Mimi So International, LLC
(fine jewellery), Mary Norton of Moo Roo (handbags), the lovely
costume and natural jewellery from Joan Goodman of PONO,
Rafe New York, and my two favourites, Jessica Alpert-Goldman of
the World According to Jess (Lucire December 2004) and Alek
Wek, the charismatic international modelling sensation who is branching
out in new arenas within the fashion industry.
This was one of the fun aspects of the week for
this reporter because it gave me the opportunity to decompress between
shows and still continue my fashion education at the same time.
I was most impressed with the various handbags, shoes, watches,
eyewear, leather accessories and jewellery on show, especially the
fun doggie bags from Jessica Alpert-Goldman and the pieces from
Double Happiness Jewelry.
ABOVE FROM TOP:
The overall view at the Bryant Park tents lobby. LG Mobile
Phones. Judith Ripka. Coach. Dooney & Bourke. R. J. Graziano.