New York Fashion Week: Jeremy Scott offers hanger appeal -- literally
If you talk to the retail buyers who attend the runway shows, they'll tell you that one thing they're looking for is "hanger appeal." That's a shorthand way of saying they're looking for pieces that don't just look good in advertising campaigns or on the catwalk, but that manage to scream "pick me!" while they're hanging on a clothes hanger or sitting folded on a shelf in a store.
Jeremy Scott, the reigning clown prince of fashion week, used that phrase as the theme of his fall/winter 2010 runway collection, a wry commentary on all the things that influence our decision to take a piece of clothing from rack to register.
Using broad-shouldered models with towering updos that made them resemble human coat hangers, and working in a color palette of black, white and gray, Scott sent out a batwing dress that spelled out the word "STYLE" in gigantic letters that ran across her front from wrist to wrist, (a men's cardigan in the same color scheme had the word "FASHION" across the back), little black dresses with the words "LITTLE BLACK DRESS" in white letters on the back, and other pieces that riffed on things like UPC symbols and dry cleaning instructions.
Leather pieces, including belted motorcycle jackets for men and women, and slouchy knee-high boots for women were festooned with the sort of small metal nameplates usually riveted to luxe luggage, a motif that was echoed in a gold and black allover print on shirts and dresses.
One of the most humorous pieces was a black strapless silk evening gown with a train that ended in a black silk nightie -- itself hanging on a golden coat hanger that bore the designer's name (try taking that to your dry cleaner ...).
The most colorful -- and creative -- part of the collection came at the end, following a few velvet numbers (a dress, a jumpsuit) covered in tiny dangling crosses: a handful of pieces, including a shrug and a bustier dress, with multi-colored patchwork that resembled the stained-glass windows of a church.
It could have been read as a comment on the role of faith in branding, or shopping as a near-religious experience. But when Scott took to the runway for his bow, in a black sweatshirt bearing a bejeweled cross and the name "Adidas" (the German sportswear company with whom he frequently collaborates), that message was an unmistakable "thank you" to a higher power that made all the rest possible.
-- Adam Tschorn in New York