TV HeadWith the turtleneck as the number one silhouette of the season, shower ready short cuts look freshest these days and we can't understand the lingering phase of the "Friends" cut. One couldn't help but notice on a recent trip to Ralph Lauren & Co. that more "Friends" hairdos in the blonde variety exist there than on the series itself. Television is not reality, television is make-believe. Fashion is make-believe, however, fashion is NOT television. If you can keep this simple system straight, there will be no more confusion, and no more bad TV hairdos.

There were some bright changes on the tent horizons this season. Matsuda made his first tent appearence. Todd Oldham was back. Signs of spring, pointing towards rebirth and hope for harmony in the fashion world. Fashion, which staked out its territory centuries ago, is just as valid a form of self expression as modern art and film, secondo mei, and in the wrong vein, can also have the same numbing hypnotic effect as bad television. It's no wonder that Claudia and Mr. Magic found each other, both working the fields of illusion and all. It's just too exhausting to keep up the act of being interested solely for that Champagne reception to follow.

If you're busy wondering who's shooting up in the loo pre-show or what actor is front row, how can you possibly notice that nothing fits or that each blur of a collection, like a bad game of dominos, is a dead ringer of something you saw yesterday or last week, or last year, but there's a champagne reception following, so just hang on. For immediate release (yawn): See the dangerous gorilla girl unfold before your very eyes as the fashion police give citations outside, while viewing the Spring collection of so and so featuring Hillary Clinton in the finale piece with a monkey perched upon her shoulder. We set forth anyway, armed with cockeyed optimism, ready for surprises, and will report back in time for your Spring closet cleaning.

With such heavy pressure to emphasize everything else but the subject at hand, it must be trying for designers to remember to make good clothes that fit. Recent faux pas include Victor Alfaro's perfectly fitting georgeous ankle length slim skirt (available at Saks on 2) that forgot a tiny back slit, or that inch of ease, so you can walk like you're not Morticia. On the other hand, the Victor Alfaro-fashioned zip-front jumpsuit rocks - in terms of fit and sex appeal.

First timer show girl Rebecca Dannenberg had a busy weekend showing on Friday night andagain on Sunday's Fashion Brunch at Marion's . She pulled it together against the odds of bad club lighting, and worse timing, at Twilo. The end of the week, when everyone is too tired to see one more show, is not the best debut schedule. Nonetheless, everything was sassy cute, was made well and fit.











And Farrah hair abounded

Speaking of hair, the Intercoiffure show appeared at the Waldorf smack dab in the middle of fashion week, where hair-do's and don'ts from all over the world show their best kept secrets. Ponytailed Rhinestone Cowboy designer Manuel Cuevas (known in supermodel tradition as just Manuel) often called the couterier of Rock 'n Roll, was awarded Designer of the Year by the salon contingencies. Manuel is the very guy that told Johnny Cash to wear all black and put Elvis in a jumpsuit. They both listened.




The next best thing to being there

Some trend sightings appear so out of Strange Universe - that you've gotta wonder if they stem from drunken bets among working set fashionistas just to see if anyone will actually fall for them. Some of the weirder runway make-up trends this season included that space face sunglass silhoutte of eye shadow from ear to ear, that often accompanied tweety-bird hair pieces sticking up at the crown of the head. Zee plane, zee plane. Consistant to last season's sightings, there were still more Prada shoes tromping around on go sees than any other brand.

Sales are up in low end knock off houses who seem to be getting their information faster these days. My prediction is that now's the time to buy stock in the everlasting K-Mart chain. Conway's 34th Street location (right next door to Women's Wear Daily) is not exactly TATI, but will float you through a trend with faux supplements if you dig deeply. These Prada-esque print trousers were scored for 7.99.


Joyce Leslie on 8th Street offers a wider range of knock-offs closer to the season. There may be some button changing necessary here and there, but they run a pretty tight ship. Clothes seriously mistaken on the street for Armani and Dolce (I kid you not) can be found there. According to a well known actress/model who shops there incognito almost daily, the trick is to mix your finds with the real stuff, especially in terms of accessories.

We really hope that in the bag of themes, that the coming Olympics haven't inspired the "athletic" trend to return, anywhere. Now that was a trend that stayed too long at the fair. Bowling doesn't count as an Olympic sport, but we feel it in our bones that with the bowling shoe craze (with Fluevog in the lead), that the bowling bag will soon be the next wave in bag land. Finally, they're a new silhouette, and with recycling hopefully on everybody's minds, there's enough room to carry cat food and a magazine on your way home.

© Fashion Icon January 1997