One show I consider a “can’t miss” at any cost, is Carmen Marc Valvo’s runway show for his latest collection. Each season, Valvo’s amazing attention to detail and elegant, ladylike, powerful designs, simply enchant all who see them on the runway. Later on, these wearable, elegant, sophisticated designs look beautiful on women fortunate to own them. In Fall 2008, the designer focused on details such as hats and feathers, but for Spring 2009, the simple square became the designer’s inspiration, and perhaps, obsession.
You can see the sophistication in the close ups I took backstage. “Tiles” of metallic leather were sewn onto metallic organza and organza tweeds, balancing flowing fabrics with structure. Along with the squares, checkerboard weaving, and materials woven together, there was plenty of evidence of Carmen Marc Valvo’s signature draping, twisting, and knotting. Interestingly, although long, “red-carpet” gowns predominated in Fall 2008, this Spring 2009 collection featured as many or more pretty cocktail dresses, skirts, and pants that could transition from day to evening with the right accessories. Some standouts in the collection (and there were many) included a clear, plastic raincoat with a design of squares, worn over capri pants; sheer and shimmery tops over elegant, slouchy pants; and bathing suits meant for nothing more than elegant sunbathing, including a black, bandeau bikini that was bare, but not too bare. Chunky black mules and eyewear (from the Carmen Marc Valvo Collection) were must-haves.
This season the mixture of fabrics, such as patent leather squares sewn on to a wool skirt, or leather woven into tweedy fabric, were a new twist on classics, I particularly liked the designs that features a basketweave of silky “ribbons” artfully woven to create a textured “fabric” that looked entirely new and different. Here you can see a green dress on instructions to the dresser, and my view of it from the runway.
photo courtesy Mercedes Benz photo courtesy Mercedes Benz
For elegant and modern clothes like these, you have to have dramatic makeup. “The dark eye gives a touch sexiness and the lips are pale because they have to be kissable.” explained Tom Pecheux, lead makeup artist for M.A.C. Cosmetics. The first photo shows the concept photos the rest of the M.A.C. Pro team will follow. The rest of the look was explained to me by Keri Blair, Senior Makeup Artist for M.A.C. The eyes were a blended a combination of dark brown cream eyeliner and black felt-tip liner. MAC Eye Shadow in Smut gave eyes a feline shape, and a clear gloss and gold-pearl pigment were smudged over the lids. Tip: For a shimmery highlight, sinply mix a pearlescent pigment with a gloss texture, and sweep the mix under the eyebrows for a glossy highlight.” The face look was described at: “She’s a woman who just came off the beach and freshened up for cocktails.” The elegant, glowing lookw as created with apricot blush and contoured bronze cheeks. The “kissable” lip was created with a nude cream lipstick on an UNlined, lip.
Just prior to showtime, I was directed to my seat by Alyssa Ford, one of the many interns who volunteer to be ushers at Bryant park during fashion week. Alyssa is currently an intern at Michael Kors. Usher have their work cut out for them, dealing with some of the “personalities” that attend the shows….and you’re on your feet for hours (as are members of the press), but you get to experience Fashion Week first hand, up-close-and-personal. I’ve never heard one of these energetic interns, complain.
….The show is ending. Carmen takes his bow, embraces a model….
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