Pret-a-Reporter

NYFW Day 7: Brandon Maxwell's Biggest Fan; Rodarte's Buzz-Worthy Pieces; Tory Burch's Exquisite Home

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Brandon Maxwell and Lady Gaga at his spring 2017 presentation

THR's senior fashion editor Booth Moore reports on the glitzy coming and goings on day 7 of New York Fashion Week.

Day 7 of New York Fashion Week started with the spring Tory Burch runway show at the new Whitney museum downtown, and ended with a cocktail “dinatoire” (a cocktail reception, I had to look it up, too) at the designer’s midtown home.

In the 12 hours in between, Stacey Bendet took a Roman holiday at Alice & Olivia, Coach drew a star-studded front row to a junkyard set, and red-carpet favorite Monique Lhuillier celebrated a big anniversary.

Here are my takeaways.

His Biggest Fans

Lady Gaga continued to be stylist-turned-designer Brandon Maxwell’s biggest fan, showing up nearly incognito (save for the cheeky hot pants), in black nerd glasses and a high ponytail for his show at the Russian Tea Room on West 57th street.

Not only did Gaga mix and mingle with the fashiony crowd, she was first on her feet when the show ended, phone in hand to capture the proud moment when Maxwell took his runway bow.


BIGGEST FAN: Lady Gaga stands to capture Brandon Maxwell's post-show bow. (Photo: JP Yim/Getty Images)

The designer, who in June nabbed the CFDA Swarovski Womenswear Award, showed a strong collection of clothing made to walk the carpet, including jumpsuits and bustier dresses in architectural shapes with dramatic slits and folded details. (I’ll bet Gaga wears one of them on the Emmys red carpet Sunday).


GROOVE
: A model walks in Brandon Maxwell's spring 2017 show. (Photo: JP Yim/Getty Images)

Rather than walking like automatons, many of the models showed sass, strutting, twirling and smiling for cameras, accompanied by Gloria Gaynor’s, “I Am What I Am,” and other powerful female anthems.

In addition to Gaga, Maxwell also dressed First Lady Michelle Obama this year. She chose an ivory column dress for last month’s White House State Dinner. A portion of the collection, including sleek suiting, is available to pre-order online now and will ship to retailers in November, as part of the designer’s first pre-collection.

Fashion and Film

Film is a perennial wellspring of inspiration for fashion runways, and this season is no different. Joseph Altuzarra’s collection was inspired by the David Lynch film, Wild At Heart, and at Rodarte, the designers Kate and Laura Mulleavy name checked the 1973 Spanish picture, Spirit of the Beehive. Set on a runway of wildflowers, their lush, romantic collection was both pastoral (high neck blouses with pearl details; honeycomb tulle gowns; wooly wooly shearling jackets) and punk (studded leather jackets and trousers with safety pin details).
SPIRIT OF THE BEEHIVE: Models walk at Rodarte's spring 2017 show. (Photo: JP Yim/Getty Images)

“We played around with very ephemeral fabrics, bees and honeycomb, and trying to make pollen textures by using a lot of dotted tulles,” Kate Mulleavy said backstage. “Then there was a surprise Janis Joplin homage, because we were watching the documentary about her over and over. She represents a very beautiful idea.”

The Mulleavy sisters are nearly done with their own film, their first feature, titled Woodshock, which stars Kirsten Dunst and is due out in 2017.  Although they were directing and editing the film at the same time as they were creating the collection, “they’re very separate,” they said. That's what Tom Ford said, too.

East Coast Meets West Coast Prep 

That was the theme of Burch’s spring collection, shown Tuesday morning at the Whitney Museum.

The show started off Palm Beachy (think patterned cardigans, bow blouses, beaded hostess gowns, sailor pants, printed totes, and pearly toed sandals). Then, in came the funk of the West Coast to spice things up with psychedelic granny dresses and peasant tops, a suede geo patterned shift, and embroidered and fringed booties. My favorite look brought together a patterned silk voile blouse tucked into a pair of board shorts. Boho surf! What was particularly strong about this collection was that many pieces felt standalone special, quirky and itemy.


BOHO SURF: A look from Tory Burch's spring 2017 collection. (Photo: Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images)

 

Did the East-West thing feel schizophrenic, like some kind of clash of sartorial cultures? Nah. And you only have to walk Burch’s New York City home to understand why. She is mistress of the mix, juxtaposing multi-million-dollar views of New York’s Fifth Avenue and Central Park, with a bowl of humble coral branches on a coffee table; a swish fashion party with glossy editors-in-chiefs, with a special performance from YouTube sensations Chloe x Halle, the Atlanta-based teenagers who recently signed to Beyonce’s label Parkwood, and whose harmonies are featured in the blockbuster “Lemonade” video.

Although her home has been photographed for magazine articles and her 2014 book, Tory Burch: In Color, she hasn’t opened it up to the fashion week crowd before. Why now? Well, for one, she’s launching a new fall handbag, the Gemini Link, which “balances hardware with an easy slouchy silhouette” and channels the season’s Seventies equestrian theme.

Also, she’s happily engaged to LVMH Fashion Group CEO Pierre Yves Roussel, who was on her arm Tuesday evening. Another guess? A Tory Burch home collection could be on the way. But first, the designer is planning a Tory Sport pop-up at her Rodeo Drive store in Beverly Hills on Sept. 30 and Oct. 1.

As for Chloe x Halle, she said, “Everyone knows I’m obsessed with music and there’s nothing better than finding incredible young talent. Welcome to New York and our home.”

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