Olympus New York Fashion Week: Friday
I wasn't planning on going to the Cia Maritima show, but after a last-minute email from the publicist promising Karolina Kurkova (in her only NY Fashion Week appearance) and 20 other Brazilian supermodels, well, how could I resist? While I was waiting in line, I spotted my (probably unhealthy) obsession, Lindsay Lohan, standing in the Judith Ripka booth with a little girl, a GBF (gay best friend), and her orange Birkin--I can confirm firsthand that it is back in her possession, so we can all breathe a sigh of relief. I also spotted Illeana Douglas, Ivana Trump, and Maria Menounos. Not bad. I was excited just to have a seat at the show, although I was bummed that only the first two rows got gift bags (which contained Havianas flip-flops and a bikini). This being my first official fashion show that I didn't sneak into, I was pretty psyched, and I must admit, it was great to see Karolina in the flesh, especially since, now that she's in her early 20s, her career is, sadly, in its twilight years. Also, I love Karolina, and it made me love her even more to see that she has, I kid you not, just as much cellulite as I have. In fact, I was shocked at the number of models who were packing peel (orange-peel, that is). While they were all clearly wearing a lot of self-tanner or body bronzer, which does wonders for camouflaging, of the models had a little jiggle action in the posterior. And, yes, that made me feel a lot better about myself. As for the swimsuits, Benny Rosset, Cia Maritima's designer, is Brazilian, so as you can imagine, the majority of swimsuits were skimpy beyond belief. There were, however, some flattering boy-short-type styles. And I don't know if swimwear has bona fide trends or not (I'm sure swimwear designers and buyers would say that there are trends indeed), but this show was heavy on botanical prints, metallics, and suits with metal insets, like Gucci circa 1997. (I would show you pictures of these, but alas I can't find any.) The hair and makeup was very natural, and by that I mean lots of bronzer and loose curls, both of which probably came from artificial means. Not that there's anything wrong with that.

My next show was Gottex swimwear, which normally doesn't present at fashion week, but the company is celebrating their 50th anniversary, so one would assume they were trying to drum up a little publicity. My seat was in the third row, and I was overjoyed to receive a gift bag! (After this show, I think I caught "swag fever," and I am now beginning to understand why celebrities go so crazy for the gift bags.) Gottex presented a whopping 71 looks, and while Cia Maritima's models were bronzed and Brazilian, Gottex's models were...um...seasoned professionals. I think of Gottex as the swimsuits my mom would never let me try on when I was little because they were, in her words, "too Mafia wifey," and especially in comparison with the previous show, the suits seemed a bit overdone, as well as for an older customer. They're big on illusion fabric (i.e. nude or black mesh), dramatic accessories like big hats and flowing pareos, and old-lady cuts, like bikinis with bottoms that hit the natural waist. Case in point:

Now, Gottex is getting a little attention for having used "real" models in their show. This model, below, is what's considered a "plus size" model. And by "plus size," I'd estimate that she's a little bigger than I am, probably a size 10. I was worried she was going to have a wardrobe malfunction (although later in the show, I began to realize that nipple slips are no big shakes at fashion week).

So, while Gottex was a bit theatrical at times, there were a few cute suits in the show. Take away the ridiculous accessories and this black-and-white floral bikini has a super-flattering cut and a timeless look.

Also, I don't know if it was the lighting (the Tent is all black, whereas the Promenade, where Cia Maritima's show was held, is all white), the body makeup, or what, but Gottex's models looked a bit less jiggly, even though their slicked-back hair and severe makeup made them look much older. The lesson? Find a good self-tanner and use it religiously. As soon as I finish my blog entries tonight, it's FlashBronzer time for me!

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