Friday, September 12, 2008

Fashion week reflections

Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in New York City wraps up today. Time to check in with Charlottean Ruth Caldwell, buyer for Capitol boutique. She is mid-way through her fashion stay: She’ll spend the next week in the city, placing orders with designers.

How many shows will you attend? Around 30.

Favorite show? Marc Jacobs. No contest. I loved his glamorous gypsy looks, mixing plaid, sequins, leopard print, obi belts, bustled skirts -- everything but the kitchen sink. And it all worked together! Jacobs is one of the few U.S. designers who offers consistently a fresh and independent perspective.

Which shows were you most looking forward to? Rodarte, Oscar de la Renta and Marc Jacobs typically show very different collections, but are three of the most powerful influences on the overall mood of the season. I always look forward to seeing their interpretations of what’s to come.

Describe the overall scene. Even Hanna’s torrential rains in New York have not been able to put a damper on the optimism of the spring collections. Thank goodness for my patent leather shoes, the secret to dashing through giant puddles to get to shows.

Best celebrity sighting? Roger Federer is staying in my hotel (The Carlyle) during the US Open. I saw him in the elevator.

Biggest surprise? My biggest shock has been how horribly, painfully, heartbreakingly thin several of the models walking the shows have been. Wasn’t the industry going to work on this? I joined others in gasping in horror at one girl in particular. Most of these girls are only in their early teens. It’s hard to watch.

Any non-fashion plans? I sneaked into my favorite bookshop today between shows and browsed for a while, leaving with the Spanish version of “Goodnight Moon” for my twin 8-month-old nieces. I would go crazy if I couldn’t have a few non-fashion moments up here. Two weeks of New York fashion can get a little intense.