You know I love a guest blogger here on The Frock Report so here’s a little something from Emma Jordan our girl in New York.
Emma is a freelance journalist and stylist, who studied at Central Saint Martins, worked for Vivienne Westwood and at W Magazine. She has been following our designers in NY for the African Collective Fall 2009 show.
Over to Emma:
So I’ve done a lot of things in my life, but standing in an elevator with Grace Jones at 1am on a Friday night chasing a cocktail is a first. But then it is New York, and anything can happen in New York!
A Stoned Cherrie-wearing Alek Wek can make the front page of the online New York Times. I can have my very own re-enactment of the supposed Scarlett Johansson Benecio del Toro tryst in the incredibly sexy red-leather padded lift of the Bryant Park hotel.
Ok, ok, so the last bit was made up. But we can all dream. And certainly it was a dream come true for the four African designers chosen to show on schedule at the inaugural This Day/Arise: African Fashion Collective Show at Bryant Park on Friday night.
I was there to follow Nkhensani for a GLAMOUR story and every time I asked her how she was feeling she would turn to me, wide eyed, saying “Man, it’s totally surreal.”
Working until 2am every morning, trimming, skimming and retrimming outfits on the world’s top models, having interviews with world press, and for Xuly Bet, the Paris-based Malian, meeting the inimitable Ms Grace Jones who was to slink and stalk down the mirrored catwalk in one of his oil-slipped midnight minis.
But New York, she is a hard and passionate lady, and beyond the confines of our indecently expensive hotel, it was blisteringly cold. Bone biting chilly. And the pressure was palpable. What was Africa doing showing on schedule on the opening night of New York Fashion Week? Particularly when the west is reeling from a seriously grey economic crisis.
Ironically, it was here we really stepped up to the plate. In the dark gloom and grump of a crumbling New York, the most spectacular, vibrant, talked-about show was, and will continue to be, the This Day/Arise show. If you don’t believe me check out Style.com, The Huffington Post, or The New York Times. Hilary Alexander of the UK’s Telegraph loved the Stoned Cherrie’s colours, Momo’s subtle African prints and the drama of Bet’s show.
But the absolute show winner, from a US-market perspective was Tiffany Amber’s sophisticated trench with an Ankara-lined belt and bead work on the back – restrained enough for the US, but unmistakably African.
So this is like the formalish overview – but so much happened so much… an afterparty at The Plaza (THE PLAZA) with Solange Knowles (Beyonce’s sister!)…. drinks at the Soho Grand and meeting Solange Azagury Partridge’s PR person (who was at Yves Saint Laurent for 7 years) – SAP is about to open a store on Madison, but then, as Mr X told me – when the rents are reduced by 50% why not… SAP’s just done a collab with Muccia Prada and there was a blowout party on Friday night in the Prada store downtown, so times cannot be that bad… unless they’re just spending this years allocated expense as a write off… Oh, and she’s possibly coming out to Design Indaba next year…
anyhoo… maybe I should do a part two (and three as I’m in the airport on my way to London?)
( Thanks Emma – feel free to give us more anytime)