Honestly, I thought nothing could top the silliness of the Congressional attack on Ralph Lauren for not making all those FREE Olympic outfits in the US, despite the fact the politicians were fine with a Chinese brand sponsoring the diving team, but the mistaken furore generated by a review written by Cathy Horyn in the New York Times during the – yes – New York collections comes pretty close. I kept thinking it would go away, but instead it seems to be picking up steam — to such an extent that I am starting to wonder if it’s time to ask that perennial question: Who benefits?
Oscar de la Renta, the designer who was for decades the bipartisan go-to man for first ladies from Nancy Reagan to Hillary Clinton to Laura Bush (he even made Jenna Bush’s wedding dress), but who has been somewhat sidelined during the Obama years, stepped back onto centre stage last night in Tampa — metaphorically speaking — thanks to Ann Romney, whose brilliant, very Republican red, belted dress came from the brand. It was a meaningful choice, alluding to Washington tradition as well as the LA-NY-DC financial/social nexus, for whom Mr De La Renta is a go-to name. And it put Mrs Romney in pretty stark opposition to Michelle Obama.
I, for one, was quite chuffed at the news that Marissa Mayer, latterly of Google, has just been appointed Yahoo’s new CEO – both because I’m looking forward to seeing what, if anything, she can do with the lagging search engine, and because Ms Mayer is a notably good dresser, and I’m looking forward to seeing what, if anything, she can do with the lacklustre image of an internet superstar. Put another way: she’s not a hoodie-and-Teva sort of exec.
Things are heating up in a funny old corner of the world: West Hollywood, where the anti-fur movement and retailers are going to war. Yesterday the City Council, or three out of its five members, voted in favor of making it the first city in The Whole United States to ban the sale of fur. They are PETA superheroes!
Tonight is the beginning of what is being billed as the biggest Fashion’s Night Out ever, although it’s more like Fashion’s Afternoon Out: a noon-9pm (Saturday) shopping extravaganza in Japan launched by an evening pre-shopping gala, with some of the proceeds presumably going to benefit earthquake relief efforts. But that’s not the half of it.
And so the long, drawn-out — what? season? wardrobe filler? money-spinner? — that is cruise (or should we call it resort, or spring, the way brands do?) begins. Oscar de la Renta kicked it all off yesterday with a straightforward, ladies-and-girls-who-lunch show in their unfinished new office digs on 42nd street and Fifth avenue.
At least that seems a natural assumption given the collection he showed today — and the descriptions of the clothes involved. Consider:”Pink lame and tulle embroidered dress, dyed slate stripe fox coat”
“Gold foil printed merino wool cable knit sweater, gold lame pleated pant”