No Such Agency

NSA2

Last week, I ventured into Chinatown to visit the ready-to-wear showroom of No Such Agency, a boutique PR firm. They, along with a handbag brand and a lingerie brand, occupy the Triple A Loft, a cool, airy space filled with natural light. A zebra greeted me when I stepped out of the elevator, and I wandered past the mod yellow sofa and issues of WWD and Electrify in the lobby to the No Such Agency space, a charming area with a minimalist desk and table, an old-fashioned window, a floor-to-ceiling mirror, and six racks of samples. An intern greeted me and showed me around, telling me all about the collections.

I was immediately drawn to the Daniel.Silverstain rack. “I want to focus on this brand because I would wear every item here,” I stammered. I don’t always say this. Liking every item from a clothing brand is rare, in the way that it’s rare to enjoy every song in a music artist’s repertoire. What was it about these few items, hanging on a single steel rod, spaced a few inches apart? There was the recurrent pairing of black and white. There was the dramatic asymmetry, the kind that makes you feel perpetually a step ahead of the here and now.  There was the formality of each piece – being in my early twenties, I often like to dress older so I will be taken more seriously. And even though common prints and materials were used across items, as is typical for a seasonal collection, no two pieces blended together. There was nothing redundant, nothing forgettable. I could envision every item on myself, each one standing out on a crowded block, each one making a distinct impression.

NSA16

This is the Fall 2016 collection, shown last September as a see-now, buy-now presentation. Titled WHITE.CITY, it was inspired by the effects of the Bauhaus movement on Tel Aviv in the 1950s.

Me in the layered blouse, black pants, and crocodile-embossed shearling coat with separating panel in orchid. Though I prefer warm weather, I have always gravitated toward the grandeur of a long winter coat. All runway photos by Robert Mitra/WWD.  

Daniel Silverstain founded his luxury apparel brand in 2013. He takes inspiration from industrialism, modernism, and futurism. “I design to inspire women to be bold, to be courageous, to stand out, and to create a story of their own,” he says. Originally from Israel, Silverstain started his fashion career at the Israeli division of KEDS Kids in 2006, advancing quickly to Design Director. In 2009, he moved to New York to pursue a BFA in Fashion/Apparel Design at FIT. While in school, he interned at Marie Claire for a semester (see, even acclaimed designers pay their dues) and worked as an assistant designer at 3.1 Phillip Lim and a designer at Muuse and Elie Tahari.

He launched Daniel.Silverstain soon after graduating. Last year, he co-founded Flying Solo, a designer-owned retail incubator in Little Italy. Flying Solo provides a platform for startup brands to enter the brick-and-mortar market without selling to a retailer, which requires accommodating a retail markup and often supplying high minimum orders, or maintaining their own boutique, especially in New York where rents are high. Flying Solo is owned and operated by twenty-eight fashion brands.

     Daniel Silverstain Janelle Monae

Janelle Monáe, my favorite actress now that she’s an actress, in a Daniel.Silverstain coat for Cosmopolitan. Photo by Max Abadian.

NSA44

I recognized KUT from the Kloth from Nordstrom, where I sold their jeans in the Point of View department alongside brands like Caslon and NYDJ. I really enjoyed seeing the brand on its own, in its complete form. I always knew they had great-fitting jeans, but I didn’t know that they also had dresses, tops, jackets, and pants! I loved the profusion of florals, the pinstripes, the sweeping bell sleeves, and the whimsical paper bag waist on a pair of dress pants.

Me in the Luz blouse and Regina pants. Life Stride shoes.

NSA40

The effervescent bell sleeve of a pink blouse. 

KUT from the Kloth is based in Los Angeles. Their core focus is “to offer women of all shapes and sizes the perfect-fitting jean”. They started with the denim concept in 1977, but expanded to add sportswear in 2006. The company has a strong commitment to workers’ rights, requiring that all of their suppliers and vendors adhere to their Code of Ethics policy. They make sure to work only with factories that do not employ workers younger than 15, pay a fair wage, properly dispose of all hazardous materials, and have an environmental management system in place that includes disaster and emergency preparedness. After the Rana Plaza collapse, this is welcome to hear.

NSA38    NSA35

The Ruthy dress and Rosie skirt. 

  NSA42    NSA41

The off-shoulder flutter sleeve dress and Adyson dress. 

You can find KUT from the Kloth on their website, Nordstrom, Dillard’s, Macy’s, Bloomingdale’s, Century 21, Zappos, Bluefly, and many boutiques nationwide. As a resident of Bushwick who likes to shop at little shops, my source of choice is Néda in Park Slope.

NSA43     NSA39

No Such Agency’s fashion showroom makes appointments for editors, stylists, celebrities, bloggers, and “micro-influencers” to select samples to borrow for photo shoots and events. The biggest appointment witnessed by the girl I talked to was from Vogue, to select pieces for a Karlie Kloss spread shot in Australia. Karlie Kloss has been my favorite model since this article in 2007, so I was pretty excited. No Such Agency keeps six brands at a time. The founders, “This British power couple”, consistently choose independent ready-to-wear brands “with a cool vibe”. They also have a showroom in Los Angeles.

Besides fashion, No Such Agency represents clients in the media, music, art, and lifestyle industries; in other words, everything creative and glamorous. The founders, Dan and Helena Barton, came from marketing at Diesel. Dan has worked at Maison Margiela and DSquared2. Helena has worked at Rag & Bone and All Saints. On the music side, she has worked for James Brown, The Strokes, Kings of Leon, and Franz Ferdinand.

My Trip to Fashion Week — Yuna Yang

yuna-yang-stage

I keep getting closer. Last year, as a Michael Kors intern, I worked at Market Week for their Fall 2016 collection. This season, I was invited to Yuna Yang as a blogger. So last Saturday afternoon, I put on my coat and boots, crunched through the snow, and took the 30-minute train ride into Manhattan, cold and excited.

The show was at the Gotham Comedy Club in Chelsea, so guests sat at tables for two partitioned along the wall. I was pleased because I could hang my coat on a chair and place my purse on a table, two things you can’t do with the traditional rows of benches. I could also get to know my table-mate, who, as it happens, went to NYU like me! As the guests poured in, I noticed colorful faux-fur jackets, lace-up booties, and box clutches.

yuna-yang-arrival

Guests arrive and take their seats. 

yuna-yang-audience

Two guests before the show. 

Every Yuna Yang collection has a name, and this season was called “Lights in the Shadow”. I appreciate this about Yuna Yang because attending the show felt like seeing a performance, like a play or a dance recital. The collection was inspired by the people’s protests against American president Donald Trump, especially the Women’s March, and South Korean president Park Geun-hye, who was impeached last December. The show notes said, “Yuna Yang’s F/W17 collection pays homage to people who hold on to hope and belief in shadowed times.”

The models included Marina Albino, Phillipa Steele, Nastya Choo, Rachel Thomas, Alyona Subbotina, Liga Liepina, Val Debeuf, Jini Lee, Akua Williams, and Lisa Tomaschewsky.

Here are some of the looks:

FLOWER BOMBER PRINT

yuna-yang-flower-bomber-print-dress     yuna-yang-flower-bomber-pajama-with-yy-signature-beaded-camisole

WATERFALL PRINT

yuna-yang-yy-signature-beaded-camisole-with-waterfall-skirt    yuna-yang-waterfall-leather-trench-coat-with-flower-bomber-jeans

AUSTRIAN LACE

yuna-yang-yy-signature-austrian-lace-dress    yuna-yang-yy-signature-austrian-lace-trench-coat-with-lace-pants

LIGHTING CANDLE PRINT

yuna-yang-lighting-candle-print-dress   yuna-yang-twinkle-sweatshirt-with-lightning-candle-print-skirt    yuna-yang-lighting-candle-print-tunic-with-sky-blue-fur-coat

yuna-yang-lighting-candle-print-trenchcoat-with-twinkle-long-sweatshirt   yuna-yang-lighting-candle-print-trench-coat-with-twinkle-sweatshirt-and-wide-pants

AND MORE

yuna-yang-royal-purple-overcoat-with-twinkle-sweatshirt-2   yuna-yang-grey-shadow-leather-trench-coat-with-twinkle-slip-dress-2

yuna-yang-burgundy-slip-dress-3   yuna-yang-burgundy-slip-dress

My favorite look of all was the closing look, the burgundy slip dress. The collection was bright and full of energy, with gold, yellow, orange, lavender, green, and sky blue. Velvet dresses, sweatshirts, and skirts provided the durability one needs to get through fall and winter.

yuna-yang-row
yuna-yang-me-2

Me before the show started. D-Face leather dress. Hue cross-hatch leggings. Merona boots. Vintage dragonfly necklace. 

As this was my first time attending Fashion Week, I was so excited to see up close that which I have looked at from afar for the past decade (yes, since I was in middle school). When I was 12, I wrote a story about an island of witches who wore only haute couture, every day, at every occasion. After seeing the beautiful Yuna Yang outfits, I was left wishing that everyone out on the street  looked as put-together as runway models. That may not be the case, but this week Manhattan came pretty close.

yuna-yang

Yuna Yang is from Seoul. Before starting her own brand, she thoroughly learned her craft; she earned a degree in Fine Arts from Ewha Women’s University, a degree in Design from Instituto Marangoni, and a degree in Womenswear Design from Central Saint Martins. She also gained valuable work experience, working with Alviero Martini in Milan and Ann-Sofie Beck and Clements Ribeiro in London. She debuted her New York based line, Yuna Yang, at NYFW Fall 2010, and has shown every season since. She has also dressed many a celebrity: Carrie Underwood, Jessica Loundes, Danai Gurira, Darby Stanchfield, Nicole Murphy, Dascha Polanco, Maye Musk, and Irene Kim to name a few!

yuna-yang-carrie-underwood

Carrie Underwood in the music video for “See You Again”

yuna-yang-nicole-murphy    yuna-yang-irene-kim

Nicole Murphy; Irene Kim

yuna-yang-jessica-lowndes   yuna-yang-danai-gurira

Jessica Loundes; Danai Gurira

yuna-yang-darby-stanchfield   yuna-yang-maye-musk

Darby Stanchfield; Maye Musk 

2016 MTV Video Music Awards - Arrivals

NEW YORK, NY – AUGUST 28: Actress Dascha Polanco attends the 2016 MTV Video Music Awards at Madison Square Garden on August 28, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images)

Yuna Yang can be found at Foravi in Manhattan; Cami in Roslyn, NY; Deborah Gilbert Smith in Millburn, NJ; Joe Brand in Laredo, TX; Joe Brand in McAllen, TX; A&A in Taipei; La Scala in Taipei; Art to Wear in Taipei; Shin Kong Mitsukoshi in Taipei; Avenuel in Seoul; Galleria in Seoul; Lotte in Busan, South Korea; Isetan in Tokyo; and Arabian Apparel in Riyadh.

yuna-yang-hats

Yuna Yang hats and headbands at Isetan. 

Past concepts: The New Woman, No Borders, The 100% Perfect Girl, Hunting Without Guns, The Butterfly Mother, 1920s Shapes Meet Modern Art, Che Bella, Civil Twilight, Bright Lights Big City, My Black Wedding Dress

The Golden Globes — Runway to Reality

golden-globe

I love fashion…but there are so many collections and shows! Let’s think about it – if you read WWD, for example, then in the course of a year you will see Resort, Bridal Spring, Spring, Spring Couture, Pre-Fall, Bridal Fall, Fall, and Fall Couture for women’s fashion, presented in New York, London, Milan, Paris, Tokyo, and Los Angeles. I’m feeling a little dizzy.

This past year, we have seen 1,577 brand presentations on WWD (see appendix). And some brands, like Maria Lucia Hohan and Rani Zakhem, aren’t even covered by WWD (mind-blowing). I love seeing all the collections, which is why my posts center on them, but one can be left wondering what to pay attention to and, if you’re like me, worried over all the looks you’ve forgotten without even realizing you’ve forgotten them.

So it’s really fun to see the looks revisited. That’s what celebrities are for! The red carpet is a chance to see the best dresses — across brands, cities, and seasons — come to life. Some stars have their gowns custom-made, but more of them use runway looks than you realize. Here are the beautiful gowns of the Golden Globes, and where they came from.

 

Pre-Fall 2017 – November 9, 2016 to Present

J. Mendel  Pre-Fall 2017  j-mendel-keri-red-carpet

Keri Russell in J. Mendel (Courtesy Photo; Steve Granitz/WireImage)

   delpozo-caitriona-source    delpozo-caitriona-red-carpet

Caitriona Balfe in Delpozo (Courtesy Photo; Venturelli/WireImage)

pamella-roland-annette-source     pamella-roland-annette-red-carpet

Annette Bening in Pamella Roland (www.pamellaroland.com; Steve Granitz/WireImage) 

Bridal Fall 2017 – October 2, 2016 to November 9, 2016

Idan Cohen Bridal Fall 2017    idan-cohen-kristin-red-carpet

Kristin Cavallari in Idan Cohen (Andrew Walker; Steve Granitz/WireImage)

Spring 2017 – June 8, 2016 to November 2, 2016

Alexander McQueen RTW Spring 2017   alexander-mcqueen-nicole-red-carpet

Nicole Kidman in Alexander McQueen (Giovanni Giannoni/WWD; Venturelli/WireImage)

Vera Wang Bridal Fall 2017   vera-wang-sarah-jessica-red-carpet

Sarah Jessica Parker in Vera Wang (Giovanni Giannoni/WWD; Venturelli/WireImage) 

Vionnet RTW Spring 2017   vionnet-anna-red-carpet

Anna Kendrick in Vionnet (Giovanni Giannoni/WWD; Steve Granitz/WireImage) 

Andrew GN RTW Spring 2017    andrew-gn-lola-red-carpet

Lola Kirke in Andrew Gn (Dominique Maitre/WWD; Steve Granitz/WireImage) 

Monique Lhuillier RTW Spring 2017   monique-lhuillier-drew-red-carpet

Drew Barrymore in Monique Lhuillier (Aurora Rose/WWD; Frazer Harrison/Getty)

Monique Lhuillier RTW Spring 2017   monique-lhuillier-louise-red-carpet

Louise Roe in Monique Lhuillier (Aurora Rose/WWD; AFP/Getty Images)

Louis Vuitton RTW Spring 2017   louis-vuitton-sophie-red-carpet

Sophie Turner in Louis Vuitton (Giovanni Giannoni; Frazer Harrison/Getty) 

Bottega Veneta RTW Spring 2017   bottega-veneta-amanda-red-carpet

Amanda Peet in Bottega Veneta (Davide Maestri/WWD; Venturelli/WireImage) 

Mugler RTW Spring 2017   74th Annual Golden Globe Awards, Arrivals, Los Angeles, USA - 08 Jan 2017

Gal Gadot in Mugler (Giovanni Giannoni/WWD; REX/Shutterstock) 

Marchesa RTW Spring 2017    marchesa-georgina-red-carpet

Georgina Chapman of Marchesa in Marchesa (Giovanni Giannoni; Frazer Harrison/Getty)

Michael Costello RTW Spring 2017   michael-costello-diana-red-carpet

Diana Madison in Michael Costello (Rodni Banica/WWD; Steve Granitz/WireImage)

tony-ward-amy-source    tony-ward-amy-red-carpet

Amy Landecker in Tony Ward (http://tonyward.net; Venturelli/WireImage) 

 

Fall Couture 2016 – June 24, 2016 to July 6, 2016

Atelier Versace Couture Fall 2016    versace-naomi-red-carpet

Naomi Campbell in Atelier Versace (Giovanni Giannoni; Frazer Harrison/Getty) 

Zuhair Murad show, Runway, Autumn Winter 2016, Haute Couture Fashion Week, Paris, France - 06 Jul 2016    zuhair-murad-lily-red-carpet

Lily Collins in Zuhair Murad (Giovanni Giannoni/WWD; Frazer Harrison/Getty) 

Zuhair Murad show, Runway, Autumn Winter 2016, Haute Couture Fashion Week, Paris, France - 06 Jul 2016   74th Annual Golden Globe Awards, Arrivals, Los Angeles, USA - 08 Jan 2017

Sofia Vergara in Zuhair Murad (Gionvanni Giannoni/WWD; Rob Latour/REX/Shutterstock)

Zuhair Murad show, Runway, Autumn Winter 2016, Haute Couture Fashion Week, Paris, France - 06 Jul 2016    zuhair-murad-olivia-red-carpet

Olivia Culpo in Zuhair Murad (Giovanni Giannoni/WWD; BEI/Shutterstock)

J.Mendel Couture Fall 2016    j-mendel-heidi-red-carpet

Heidi Klum in J. Mendel (Giovanni Giannoni; Frazer Harrison/Getty) 

Elie Saab Couture Fall 2016   elie-saab-jessica-red-carpet

Jessica Biel in Elie Saab (Giovanni Giannoni; Getty Images)

Chanel Couture Fall 2016    chanel-riley-red-carpet

Riley Keough in Chanel (Giovanni Giannoni; Steve Granitz/WireImage) 

rani-zakhem-giuliana-source    rani-zakhem-giuliana-red-carpet

Giuliana Rancic in Rani Zakhem (www.ranizakhem.com; Michael Buckner/Variety/REX/Shutterstock) 

Resort 2017 – May 17, 2016 to November 11, 2016

Christian Siriano Resort 2017   christian-siriano-angela-red-carpet

Angela Bassett in Christian Siriano (Courtesy Photo; Kevark Djansezian/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty) 

rachel-gilbert-source   rachel-gilbert-renee-red-carpet

Renee Borgh in Rachel Gilbert (www.rachelgilbert.com; Frazer Harrison/Getty) 

Fall 2016 – February 1, 2016 to October 20, 2016

Marchesa RTW Fall 2016   marchesa-chrissy-red-carpet

Chrissy Teigen in Marchesa (Rodni Banica/WWD; Frazer Harrison/Getty) 

Reem Acra RTW Fall 2016   reem-acra-emily-red-carpet

Emily Ratajkowski in Reem Acra (George Chinsee/WWD; Venturelli/WireImage) 

Christian Siriano RTW Fall 2016   christian-siriano-kelly-red-carpet

Kelly Preston in Christian Siriano (Courtesy Photo; Frazer Harrison/Getty)

Naeem Kahn RTW Fall 2016   naeem-khan-mandy-red-carpet

Mandy Moore in Naeem Khan (Tommy Iannaccone/WWD; Frazer Harrison/Getty)

tom-ford-amy-source   tom-ford-amy-red-carpet

Amy Adams in Tom Ford (Courtesy Photo; Neilson Barnard/NBCUniversal/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty) 

Spring Couture 2016 – January 24, 2016 to July 4, 2016

zuhair-murad-tracee-source   zuhair-murad-tracee-red-carpet

Tracee Ellis Ross in Zuhair Murad (Giovanni Giannoni/WWD; Frazer Harrison/Getty) 

Pre-Fall 2016 – November 17, 2015 to May 11, 2016

maria-lucia-hohan-charissa-source   maria-lucia-hohan-charissa-red-carpet

Charissa Thompson in Maria Lucia Hohan (http://mlh-shop.com; Frazer Harrison/Getty)

 

And now I’ll leave you with my favorite look of the night!

olivia-culpo-cropped

Credits: Golden Globes trophies = cbsnews.com

Appendix:

*so far

Column1 PF ’17 BF ’17 FC ’16 S ’17 R ’17 F ’16 SC ’16 BS ’17 Column2
New York 113 48 253 144 124 47 729
London 11* 70 21 71 173
Milan 23* 94 34 87 238
Paris 9* 31 135 32 124 26 357
Tokyo 21 33 54
Los Angeles 1* 25 26
157 48 31 598 231 439 26 47 1,577

The Best Models Have Bangs

bangs

I became enamored with the look of full bangs when I was 14. I was reading InStyle March 2007 when I saw this Chloe ad campaign:

chloe-2007

I didn’t have the guts to get bangs myself until I was 17. But six years later, I still haven’t gone back.

blissful-style-topshop

Bangs, as thick as they come. Topshop headband. 

So when another girl has full bangs, I notice right away. And looking through the spring shows, I kept seeing two models with bangs, over and over again.

fernanda-ly-headshotmarjan-jonkman-headshot

Australian model Fernanda Ly and Dutch model Marjan Jonkman were everywhere this past Fashion Month: 20 and 42 shows, to be exact. While Ly sticks with her full pink bang glory, Jonkman shows how versatile this hairstyle can be: sweeping them to the side, parting them in the middle, teasing them up, and slicking them back…much as I’m inclined to do on a hot day.

Courrèges RTW Spring 2017

Courrèges RTW Spring 2017

 

Credits: 

Bangs over eyes = thegloss.com

Chloe ad = heycrazy.wordpress.com

Fernanda Ly headshot = davidwangphoto.tumblr.com

Marjan Jonkman headshot = jamiebakerbackstage.tumblr.com

Fernanda Ly in Dolce & Gabbana = fashiongonerogue.com

All other photos = wwd.com 

 

This Is What a Full-Length Charlotte Olympia Runway Show Looks Like

Charlotte Olympia RTW Spring 2017Charlotte Olympia RTW Spring 2017

Charlotte Olympia has been one of my favorite brands for years. I first discovered them in 2012, in the “Dream On” spread of “First Look” in Elle‘s September issue (which I still have on my shelf). This was a time in my life when high fashion was more magical than real, when thinking about the future felt more a matter of fantasy than practicality, and a purple satin platform with two cut-outs at the toes for eyes and a perfectly placed sequin teardrop captured my imagination. (Similar here.)

Since then, Charlotte Olympia has only become more whimsical, and way more wild. It is unusual for a brand with shoes and handbags but no ready-to-wear to stage a runway show at Fashion Week. But these shoes and handbags justify the fanfare. The collection is tropical, with ripe fruits, palm fronds, bamboo, parrots, and a music record (because why the heck not). The models wore plain monochrome whites and creams to better show off the accessories, until the end, when they wore fruit. It was the most fabulous way I can think of to introduce a spring collection.

Charlotte Olympia RTW Spring 2017

Charlotte Olympia RTW Spring 2017

Take a closer look…

Charlotte Olympia RTW Spring 2017

Charlotte Olympia RTW Spring 2017

And look, what did I tell you?

Charlotte Olympia RTW Spring 2017

Charlotte Olympia RTW Spring 2017

 

Credits:

“Charlotte Olympia RTW Spring 2017” by Nina Jones. WWD. 19 September 2016.

My Fashion Week Favorites

My favorite look from each and every show at New York Fashion Week! Hover over the images to see the brands.

 

 

My Trip to Tommy Pier

tommy-hilfiger

Two days after the Tommy Hilfiger Fashion Week show, Tommy Pier was open to the public. Located at the South Street Seaport in downtown Manhattan, Tommy Pier was a carnival first and a pop-up shop second. Upon stepping onto the dock and squinting in the bright sunlight, it actually took awhile to find the clothes. But you knew they were there. Having to look for them made it more exciting.

tommy-hilfiger-2

As a neighborhood carnival, Tommy Pier matched its peers in every way. There were rides, there were games, there were fries, there were donuts, there were temporary tattoos, there were photo booths, and there were long lines of people twisting and overlapping in every direction.

Rides: the Tornado, a Ferris wheel, and another spinning ride (not pictured). 

Gigi’s Boxing Club, est. 2016. 

What are carnivals without prizes? I think I found Nemo…and his extended family.

The quintessential yummy, unhealthy food. 

A temporary tattoo parlor. The line for the nail salon.

The atmosphere was excited and a little surprised. “Do we have to pay to get in?” I heard one girl say. No, we did not. People slowly approached the games and food stands, as if they wanted to first make sure it was okay. After all, it’s rare to see a premium brand present itself in such an irreverent and accessible way. Yet once a few people stepped up to the booths, everyone else followed.

More food! Including lobster rolls, one of my favorites.

Nails by Valley and Hilfiger Records.

I found a little wooden house midway down the pier with a Tommy x Gigi sign and a rope chandelier. Inside the collection was neatly displayed, apparel on hanging rods and accessories, underwear, and perfume on shelves. The cash register was in the center so shoppers could walk in a full circle. This was useful because the little shop was packed. Tommy Pier opened at noon that day, I arrived at around 1:00, and already the displays were sparse. There were three sales associates wearing matching navy blue Tommy Pier t-shirts. Though there was little room to walk, the customers treated the merchandise with more respect than you would see at a typical crowded retail store. Customers picked their things up. Customers re-folded. Customers hung their hangers back on the racks. (I worked in clothing retail for five years. I notice these things.)

Inside the pop-up shop.

A band jacket and sailor’s cap from the collection. 

In addition to this shop, there was an identical little shop on the other side of the pier, as well as a Tommy Vintage Shop. This shop was smaller than the others and offered sweatshirts, jerseys, and other sporty logo apparel.

tommy-hilfiger-23

At the far right corner of the pier was a little nook with three wooden benches painted like the American flag. People took selfies and pictures of their friends, asked strangers to take their picture, or simply sat down to rest in the heat, which had to be over 90 degrees. It was also the perfect place to look out at the other piers, the East River, Brooklyn, the helicopters in the sky, and the commanding buildings of the Financial District.

20160910_132542

Taking a break from the mayhem. Vintage star and moon earrings. Heart pendant from my mother. Chain from AJ’s Jewelry.

My sweet little purse on the American flag bench. If you look closely, it has anchors on the buttons. Vintage purse. Eton ring watch. 

20160910_125848

The boating lifestyle that inspires the Tommy Hilfiger brand.

At one point a large commercial boat called the Zephyr docked at the pier, its passengers disembarked, and the crowd briefly doubled in size. A little “fashion week” isn’t about to disrupt business as usual!

20160910_133231

In front of an artifact of Pier 16 itself. Forever 21 peplum top. Tyte jeans. Foster Grant sunglasses. 

20160910_132619

Paloma shoes with what could very well be life preservers.

20160910_135913

A statue on a cobblestone street in the Seaport district. 

To give some context, here are the best looks from the actual fashion show:

(Antonio de Moraes Barros Filho/FilmMagic)

(Antonio de Moraes Barros Filho/FilmMagic)

tommy-24

Anna Wintour attends the seaport extravaganza. (Getty Images)

Doutzen Kroes, Martha Hunt, and Taylor Swift check out the carnival. (Getty Images)

It was fun, and I was really happy I went. It felt good to see so many people enjoy the new Tommy Hilfiger collection. Premium, contemporary, and luxury brands worry about “overexposure”, when their brand is worn by so many people that it isn’t special anymore. This does happen. This happens with discounts and outlet stores, and certainly with counterfeit merchandise. But I do not think this will happen with public events like Tommy Pier. A brand can always decide its exclusivity with its price points. If anything, I think wider awareness of a brand by all people will confer even more recognition and prestige to those who buy and wear the clothes.

I think it’s important for the fashion industry to cater to consumers and stage fun events like this. There is a misconception out there that clothing, shoes, handbags, jewelry, and accessories are just “things”. The term “experience economy” has been used to describe the shift of consumer spending to experiences over things. Yet spectacles like Tommy Pier prove that not every consumer good falls neatly into one side of the binary. Fashion has always been about more than just things; it is beautiful images, it is icons, it is the spirit of a brand, it is the excitement of shopping, and it determines much of the way we present ourselves when we embark on any other kind of experience. Tommy Pier presents the possibility of finding new fashion, knowing its back story, and living in it — not just putting it in your closet.

tommy-10

As seen from above! (blog.thestorefront.com)