By Alison McLaughlin covering Fashion Week in New York City
Well, they can’t all be winners. I wanted to like this collection but the moment I spy a blatant knock-off, emotionally I check out. Verrier’s Gatsby garden party was just awkward with Chanel jacket references that fell flatter than day old champagne. The crinolines-as-skirt concept is been-there-done-that and flapper style gowns were cute but too costume to be considered anything but. Sadly, the models weren’t into it and made no attempts to hide the fact. This is FASHION WEEK, ladies – SELL THE SIZZLE! Compared to Mara Hoffman’s presentation where the vamp was turned on full blast, Verrier played out like a little girl’s un-minded tea party. Annoying and unsophisticated.
Everyone was expecting a gong show and they weren’t disappointed. If they got into the Studio, that is. With tickets in hand dozens were turned away, myself included even though we all claimed to be “on the list.” With that in mind one can’t help but wonder if Richie Rich’s club kid sensibility orchestrated the mass invitation to create mass hysteria. The hordes that arrived had to be culled by the fire department that threatened to “shut the place down” if the place went over capacity. With less than 1,000 seats to go around for the former Heatherette co-designer’s first solo show, the frenzy only set the tone for what was to be roughly 10 minuets of high theater (thankfully broadcast on the big screen in the media lounge for the unprivileged many).
A gaggle of ballet dancers opened the show, then socialite Tinsley Mortimer – fresh from the cancellation of her short-lived TV show – strutted down the runway in the first of what was to be a long line of very lady-like spring frocks. Adorable stuff. Richie Rich has matured as a designer, clearly taking inspiration from the friends he’s aging along with. However, the brief restraint quickly gave way to a succession of broody mannequins in an S&M themed parade that culminated with a snarling Ellen DeGeneres emerging from an explosion of silver confetti.
The scene was more camp than a row of tents. Richie Rich is proving to be a master of production as well as a designer to watch. Hopefully next season I get a ringside seat.