Although Fashion Week doesn’t officially begin until Friday, last night we attended Anna Osmushkina’s runway show, produced by USA Fashion Shows, at the West Side Loft in NYC. This Spring/Summer 2006 haute couture collection is called “Heaven.” The Anna Osmushkina Fashion House http://www.anna.lv/aow.htm was founded in1996 in Latvia, and was the first Couture House in the Baltic countries. Anna annually creates two seasonal collections Haute Couture and two pret – a – porter women’s dailywear collections. These are primarily special occasion clothes, featuring designs that were feminine, light and airy and using luxe fabrics of such as natural silk and taffeta, natural furs, lynx, and ostrich features, and genuine crystal trims. The designs were either soft and flowing or body-conscious jersey, often shown with hand-crafted capes or shrugs, fashioned in soft, wooly threads studded with glimmering crystal accents, in a loose, open weave. Three colors predominated: a stunning, universally flattering, sea-green, a soft, warm camel, and a bright, medium pink. There were lots of crystals festooning shoulder straps, pants, and in patterns on dresses, skirts and jackets. Fur was used in surprising amounts as accents on belt buckles, handbags, even on a body suit.
We lingered just a few minutes at the after-party, also held in the West Side Loft, then grabbed a cab to 16th Street to join a teeming sea of fashionistas and media influentials at the Mao Mag launch party at GLO, a hot club on 16th Street on the West Side. The room was literally pulsating with music and bodies! My eyes spied an ample, blonde woman slowly dancing on a platform. She looked a lot like Anna Nicole Smith (she was at the 2004 Mao Mag party — but was this woman actually her?). And, speaking of outrageous, there were lots of party-going transvestites, many of whom had large pink wigs and looked like members of the cast of Hairspray). There were also the usual club kids, a smattering of corporate adults, a Princess Diana look-alike, and lots of young, Hamptons-tanned, trendy men and women in outfits ranging from avant-garde, to simply, gaudy. We picked up a copy of the latest issue of Mao Magazine (a fabulous read for anyone interested in the fashion industry) and picked our way through the partying crowd, hoping to get a drink at the downstairs bar. Failing that, we went upstairs, where it was a bit more quiet, and we could get a birds’ eye view of the party from above. As large photos from Mao Mag flashed on screens around the club, we watched transvestite entertainer “Dirty Martini” clad only in a bunch of pink balloons, pop them one by one with a cigarette, while doing a mild striptease. Mao Public Relations http://www.maopr.com/has a reputation in the fashion industry as the leading PR firm for young designers. In keeping with this clientele, Mao Magazine was launched in 2003. It focuses on emerging talent in the industry, and acknowledges industry leaders as well. Mao Magazine Editors (and brothers) Mauricio and Roger Padilha feature five new designers in this latest issue, along with a a few icons (eg. Giorgio di Saint’Angelo).