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Fashion with a vengeance since 2009. Today is Thursday, April 17, 2014
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New York Fashion Week Playlist: Fall 2014


New York Fashion Week ended just a couple days ago. The models took their final procession down the runway and we’ve savored our last sips of open-bar champagne. The models and editors are now settled in London, at least for the next few nights – but some remnants of NYFW will linger. Here is the Fall 2014 Fashion Week Playlist of songs stuck in my head.

Marc Jacobs: Zomby – Horrid

Fluffy Magritte clouds were suspended from the Armory’s ceiling as the backdrop to Marc Jacobs’ runway show. Uncharacteristically airy and minimalist looks floated past attendees to the unsyncopated rhythms of Horrid by Zomby. This other-worldly electronica seamlessly complimented Marc’s new chilled aesthetic of monochrome ribbed knits and muted organza flounces. MJ’s head was in the clouds this season – and here’s to hoping he keeps it there.

Richard Chai Love: Mode Moderne - Severed Heads

The slouchy layering and casual vibe at Richard Chai Love was demonstrated with plaid mohair and decontructed leather bombers. The twangy guitar of Severed Heads by Mode Moderne emphasized Chai’s relaxed, menswear-inspired point of view.

Daniel Silverstein: Grimes – Oblivion

Guests mingled at Daniel Silverstein’s model presentation to energizing electronic sounds, such as Oblvion by Grimes. Chunky rope sweaters mixed so effortlessly against delicate, sheer fabrics, just as Grimes’ straight drum beats supported that baby-like coo.

Michael Kors: The Mamas & The Papas - California Dreamin’

It was 25 degrees in New York during the Micheal Kors show last Wednesday. Cashmere sweaters and fur wraps appeared on the runway to The Mamas & The Papas - California Dreamin’. Taunting, much? Or perhaps Kors was simply hinting that “I’d be safe and warm if I was in LA.”

Listen, Mike... I’d be warm, but my safety is questionable. Evidently, driving on top of the double yellow line is grounds for getting pulled over on the 101.

Tommy Hilfiger: The Smashing Pumpkins - Tonight, Tonight

It’s cute that Tommy Hilfiger has been trying to restore his relevance with futile attempts to rebrand as Hipster-Americana. But I love Tonight, Tonight by The Smashing Pumpkins. So he makes the list.

DKNY: Violent Femmes - Blister In The Sun; Peaches (feat Iggy Pop) - Kick It

DKNY is the essence of 90s New York revival. So it was fitting that the brand’s Fall 2014 runway was graced with the sounds of The Violent Femmes and Peaches. Flat brims and collegiate appliqués injected a throwback streetwear attitude, while fishtail houndstooth dresses and black vinyl skirts maintained her contemporary aesthetic.

Post by Amanda LaMela

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The Blonds: Another Breed of Catwalk


A manic degree of beautiful chaos is always to be expected when walking into Milk Studios for The Blonds. Amanda Lepore air-kissing to my left, Kenny Kenny posing to my right, and dead center is Neon Hitch being photographed with a blue puppet.

Photographers circle Kat Graham in her white fish-scale dress and Susanne Bartsch in a glimmering black corset bodysuit. The media frenzy around Carmen Carrera and Joe Jonas is eventually hushed as guests are asked to take their seats for the show. But a few seconds later, security clears a path to escort a pregnant Lil’ Kim to her front row seat between Perez and Paris Hilton.

The lights dim and The Blonds’ neon runway sign flicks on to a cat-scratch sound. “Meow Meow Bitch” by N2 vibrates through the sound system as Phillipe Blond emerges onto the runway in cat ears and a black crystal bodysuit. With looks titled, “Black Cat,” “The Cheetah,” and “Claw Corsette,” I was beginning to think that Philippe was nostalgic for those Alpha Kitty days, circa-2007. The seatmate to my right suggested otherwise, saying that Phillipe and David were inspired by Miley Cyrus and her obsession with cats while they were collaborating on her looks for the upcoming Bangerz tour.

Since I loathe being corrected, I diverted my attention back to Anna Cleveland dramatically twirling around in brightly colored furs to the Pink Panther theme song. For the glamour-puss posse in attendance, it was absolute purr-fection. 

Post by Amanda LaMela

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Enfants Riches Déprimés: Depressed Rich Kids


Edgy LA/Paris-based clothing line, Enfants Riches Déprimés, celebrated  its launch party at The Box last night with a boozy and scandalizing collection showcase. Enfants Riches Déprimés translates to “Depressed Rich Kids.” Designer Henri Alexander portrays his inspiration as “the kid who […] has been given everything his or her whole life, but is still miserable. Chic outcasts, misfits and addicts.”

Catering to these outliers, who were most certainly in attendance,  Enfants presented this season’s collection with just the right amount of provocative phrases, partial nudity, and unexpected theatrics. Simultaneously engaging and detached, Alexander acknowledges the feelings we’re all pretending to admonish – and then invites us to indulge.

Post Amanda LaMela

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Backstage with Designer, Karolyn Pho


“I wanted to give the girl a sexy look this season, adding an element that is streamlined, tailored… a bit menswear inspired,” Karolyn Pho said of her debut collection in our backstage interview. “My muse is the culmination of all of the incredible women in my life right now. I look to them for inspiration, sometimes just in the way they carry themselves.”

After the show, the animated young designer revealed her magnetic personality to the press – a persona that she injected so effortlessly into her breezy collection. Body-skimming looks, such as the gold lame tee dress and double-mesh dancer dress, maintained a balance that was casually tomboyish and seamlessly sexy.

Post by Amanda LaMela

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Brave the Snow for K Nicole


Snow began to fall as guests filed in for the K Nicole runway show at Studio 450 last night. Shimmer through The Loft’s floor-to-ceiling windows became the demure setting for K Nicole’s Edwardian inspiration.

Military button details framed high collars and waistlines. Structured neo-classical gowns in updated, casual fabrics invited a welcome juxtaposition -- Lady Astor meets Astor Place, Belle Époque meets Bar 89.

Post by Amanda LaMela

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A Young Designer Steps into the Spotlight


“I just want to put beautiful colors and beautiful fabrics on beautiful, strong women,” Georgine Ratelband told me in a backstage interview after her debut runway show yesterday evening.

A parade of knockout looks in Italian nappa leather and rich, gem-toned furs would be proof that her aim was achieved. Masking as ladylike in asymmetrical wool skirts and midnight blue fur cuffs, Georgine added elements that were subtly mischievous, such as red leather opera gloves and sheer hems. Stingray leather hatbox satchels and Aubergine fur felt hats adorned a palette of amethyst, teal, and forest green. Guests swooned over a silver fox dyed coat and black neoprene glass jacket.

Murmurs throughout the Pavilion were consistent – this 24-year-old designer from Holland had just made a name for herself in New York.  

“I am so proud, I just want to give her a hug,” her mother told me in a thick Dutch accent and she slipped past the press, “But I think I might get a little emotional.”

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Descending Upon Fashion Week Like a Ninja


This was the entrance to the party that kicked off my NYFW. After a season of absence, I was experiencing serious withdrawals for my favorite past-time. So it began, five floors above Soho, at the Dolce Vita showroom in The Puck Building.

After a night of champagne and DV photobooth follies, Fashion Week had asserted its return to my life. Thursday arrived and I found myself on the Hotel Chantelle Rooftop for the Religion Clothing UK model presentation and party. Opening with a live performance by Grand Electric, Religion presented their downtown collection of hombre knits, sequined sheaths, and punky menswear prints.

W.17th Street was abuzz the following evening, as Daniel Silverstein introduced his collection of open-rope sweaters and sculpted crop jackets. But it was the deconstructed sheer frocks that caught my eye. Hints of gargoyle-esque prints added a witching element. And best of all, the Dark Angels of Silverstein's runway were all bedecked in wide-heel Lucite shoes.

Around the corner, Heidi Gardner’s event was starting at Imagine Gallery. Against a backdrop of provocative artwork and rainbow lights, we began to unwind over drinks that we decidedly were calling Jungle Juice.

Prop-filled photography entertained guests in the back and I was beginning to think that Heidi was taking a more candy-coated approach – a stark contrast to her previous presentations.

But then… Ninjas.

It had all been a ruse, as the lights dimmed and black-clad ninjas circled the room and surrounded guests adorned in Gardner’s signature weapon-inspired jewelry.

Then, the wispy fire-cracker of a designer stepped out amongst the towering necklace-ninjas, “Hope you liked the collection! Now I can have a drink!”

Post by Amanda LaMela

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I Know What You Wore Last Summer


A lot went down since my last once-a-week writing stint. Namely, I got HBO… but I suppose that magic wore off. 

New York quickly skipped from winter to summer, so this new source of magic is much more stimulating. Outdoor brunches, East River Ferry travels, and rooftop cocktails are all back on the itinerary. But most importantly, NYC’s music festival season has officially started.

Last year, the favored look was undisputed – Jorts, sheer fabrics, daisy headband. Repeat. The summer of 2012 was all about tribal prints and flowy fabrics, headdresses and layered cuffs. And I’m not afraid to admit it… I’m all in for an encore. 

“But, nay,” you declare. “I hate those assholes with their offensive Native American costumes and long Pintrest hair.”

Of course you hate them. Because they claim to have jobs like “iPad DJ” or “Gif Designer.” After Occupying Wall Street for most of 2012, they’re now at a three-day festival that costs half a month’s rent in an expertly curated, Instagram-ready ensemble. But when that ferry full of cropped tee fringe and flower necklaces heads out for 72 hours of faux-Woodstock 1969, I’ll be on it.

Because youth is fleeting. We can only get away with being this dumb for so long. 

Post by Amanda LaMela

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Taxi Fares and Deadpan Stares


The Monday before last was a show-hopping debacle – unavoidably misty, yet bitter and cold. It was the kind of weather that sits heavy on the hair and could stop an attendee in her tracks. But waterproof mascara, taxi cabs, and 30-minute blow-dry salons are created for a reason; this was not a collection I was about to miss.

Daniella Kallmeyer held her presentation at Parlor New York, the members-only restaurant and lounge in Soho. The walls were decorated with images of scandalous old Hollywood nightlife, setting the tone for her inspiration. Leather-clad models in sheer separates positioned themselves around the first room, eyes fixed in unwavering, sultry stares.

We grabbed a glass of champagne at the baroque-style bar and walked to the next section. Continuing Kallmeyer’s twisted-classic ambiance, the second room displayed long, angular shapes in muted gem tones. Body-skimming silhouettes blurred the lines between feminine and dangerous - old glamour and new school pleasures.

Post by Amanda LaMela

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These are psycho killer Blonds.


Insanity is trendy these days. Whether you’ve snatched up a Prada gun print shirt or hung onto every word of Cat Marnell’s latest fever-dream, you have to admit that a little crazy can be chic… if accessorized properly.

Philippe and David Blond knew this, of course. They are already the unofficial leaders of New York’s glam-freaks and most scandalous celebrities, reigning over the glittering Island of Misfit Toys. Inspired by old horror films this season, The Blonds lead their fabulous variety of fans through a spine-chilling runway tale. Corset straight-jackets, rope dresses, and (my favorite) jeweled “blood” gown haunted Milk Studios to eerie, non-linear tones.

“Come play with us… Come play with us…” a track from The Shining goaded us as two models in matching bustier babydoll dresses slowly walked towards the cameras. A star-studded front row enjoyed a particularly intimate introduction to Carrie, The Butcher, and 16 other horror-themed looks.

Guests including Carmen Electra, Debbie Harry, Neon Hitch, and Robert Verdi also got a close glimpse of The Blonds’ thrilling nail art – black and red talons scrawled with phrases such as ‘REDRUM’ and ‘Bates Motel.’ And nails weren’t the only sharp objects on the runway. Plexi knife necklaces and gun-to-the-headbands by Max Steiner were sported by glitzy renditions of Psycho and The Slasher.

Ending with a signature hair-toss, Philippe Blond closed the show in a blood red, jewel encrusted jumpsuit. Yup...it looks like The Blonds have put on another killer runway.

Post by Amanda LaMela


District L is Amanda LaMela & Nicolas Sera-Leyva



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