It’s time to call a spade a spade. Or a tulip skirt a skirt. Or something. As New York fashion week kicks off fashion month today (joy! rapture!) I think it’s about time we face up to certain realities of the form that, for whatever reason, we have seemed unwilling to acknowledge in the past. Starting with Fact #1: designers never want to show in a shared venue.
Last night Ralph Lauren was on stage at Alice Tully Hall being interviewed/memorialised for posterity by Oprah Winfrey. The nominal reason was a benefit event for Lincoln Center and the Ralph Lauren Center for Cancer Care and Prevention, and the great and the good attended: Larry Gagosian, Bruce Weber, Jill Ambramson, Barbara Walters, and so on. The thing that really made the evening for me, however, were two comments buried in the interview. They reveal quite a lot not just about Mr Lauren, but fashion in general.
Today Mayor Bloomberg is going to open New York Fashion Week. This is an exciting thing. Not so much because breath is bated as to what suit he will wear, or because of the nominal reason for the executive appearance (the move of the shows from Bryant Park to Lincoln Centre), but because of what it says about money and politics. You didn’t think he was just doing it for the skirts, did you?