Imagine two grown women - and two grown women of a certain age, at that - jumping up and down with delight like children one tenth our age about to get candy, and that's us when, only hours before the show began, we were invited to see The Blonds at trendy Milk Studios in the Meatpacking District. Don't know The Blonds - David and Phillipe? Read an interview with them here, see gorgeous photos of them here, and see selections from the Autumn/Winter 2016 show, as well as some of their fabulous guests, below.
The theme of the show was Alice in Wonderland, as evidenced by the names of some of the outfits ("Cheshire Catsuit", "Unbirthday Suit", "I'm late", "Off with Your Head").
The show started with a bang, with Phillipe himself strutting into the audience in a pink outfit that Mattel might have dreamed up for Barbie during the years Diana Rigg starred as the jaw-droppingly gorgeous Mrs. Peel in The Avengers. (No relation to the current Avengers.)
Echoing the inflatable prop flowers, all the designs featured riotous color and a sense of over-the-top-ness. Here, the model wears a tiny bright blue dress whose frothy black crinoline is an important part of the design.
In a complete about-face, this outfit is very sleek and feline, and encrusted with jewels. The materials that swept past us were gorgeous and sumptuous. We were given a list of all the outfits, but the materials weren't named, so we're not sure if we were seeing silk or polyester or cotton or nylon, but everything made the viewer want to reach out and touch. All the vertiginous shoes were by Louboutin. Check out the little flourishes on the ankles.
Super tough! Here, really tight striped pants are matched with a puffer jacket in the same material. Wigs are a big part of the show. All the models had long blond (of course!) braids cascading from great heights. The matching hair works to unify the evening's look, but also helps keep the focus on the clothes - no one will be distracted wondering how a particular model does her 'do.
Super feminine! The 1950s party look updated for the new millennium. The very full skirt is cut to show the very full crinoline underneath. This is a dress to sashay in. Note the little wings on the shoes!
A suit to blow bubble gum in! Playful and insouciant, with the nutty joie de vivre of Fiorucci or Betsey Johnson. Not for the faint of heart or the indecisive.
There was nothing in the show that didn't make a grand splash. Under a sparkling black flowing coat, another show-stopper in vivid candy colors.
Something in a similar vein - short and sleek, but this time the color of a flower shop in spring, offset with a tempting veil, naughty fishnet stockings, and more winged stilettos.
Uncannily reminiscent of Martha Graham's sparkling black sheath in Strike, this would not be a Blonds dress without great bursts of color, which here accentuate the shoulders while framing the face.
Here's a short video of the finale:
As always, click here to watch it full size.
Of course, you know the people attending the show were nearly as astonishing and as colorful as the fashions that went down the runway. Here are just a few.
Two ladies rocking great looks in the lobby at Milk Studios.
More great looks in the elevator on the way up to the show.
And in the studio itself was the dandified Robert W. Richards in a Jean Paul Gaultier vintage couture coat.
Check out the gent in an Andy Warhol-themed jacket (it's actually a formal evening coat with tails) and braided top knot.
This striking couple's looks featured an illustrated jacket on the gent and an illustrated body on the lady.
Dandies on parade: The ultimate Dandy of New York, Patrick McDonald, returned to his old stomping grounds after a brief stint on the West Coast. Isn't he just the cat's meow? With him was James Aguilar, National Fashion Director for Modern Luxury Magazine, in a black couture suit with embroidered, beaded bees. Swoon.
Susanne Bartsch and Diane Brill share a moment.
Fashion week and nightclub fixture Amanda Lepore ignored the chilly weather. And why not? She's got her platinum wig to keep her warm!
Wearers of wigmaker Stephen Perfidia Kirkham's creations stood out in the crowd. Case in point, this retro-glam raven-haired beauty.
We'd last seen the gentleman in the derby and face paint in the Lexus Lounge at the Chromat show. Loved the young woman's round, white glasses.
Performer and night life denizen Joey Arias joined Diane Brill in the front row. While chatting, they checked out the crowd.
Doorman to the stars, Markus Kelle looked like a sleek black panther on the prowl. He coyly reminded us that the Easter Parade is just around the corner.
Mauricio Padhila and his MAO-PR public relations firm ran the show. His companion is our favorite Glamazon.
Brazilian Gazelle Paulo made the scene, toned down in business striped Moschino (with pink hearts and flowers) offset by a glittering pink baseball cap. We've been reveling in his Instagram coverage of his trip to Rio and Carnival.
Running into Corey Grant Tippen at runway shows and parties is a highlight of New York Fashion Week. His understated, impeccable style knocks it out of the park. As Forest City Fashionista says: "... love a man who can tie a scarf"!
Of course, model & Instagrammer Jillian Mercado was there. She's at all the best NYFW events. Although she was a blond last fashion week, she's has switched to a sleek layered cut in a deep brunette shade.
There were so many permutations of blond that night. And lots and lots of corsets. These two ladies looked a-maz-ing.
Loved the jacket on this young man who was sitting next to us.
Dr. "Wang" Newton was definitely one of the most unique individuals we met this year. With his/her sweeping dyed black pompador, pencil thin mustache and metalic embroidered dinner jacket in homage to Vegas impresario Wayne Newton, Wang takes impromptu videos and does on-the-fly interviews with runway show attendees. His/her boundless energy and positive attitude make Wang the perfect candidate to end this post.
Is it true The Blonds have more fun?
You BET it is!*
* With thanks to Clairol, circa 1965, from whom we upcycle this advertising nugget. And for the record, greys have a whole lot of fun, too. Just ask us!