New York Fashion Week Day 5: Carlos Miele, Marimekko, Reem Acra & Libertine

Sunday was the halfway point of Fashion Week, and while the first four days were awesome, there's always a point soon thereafter where I start to lose it. I am a person who relishes her sleep (and her lazy weekends), so after running around all day on about 5 hours of sleep per night, by Monday I was Super Grumpy. I know, you're playing the world's smallest violin for me. I do love every minute of Fashion Week—I joke that I could watch fashion shows all day, every day—but I am human. And so I'd like to apologize to the PR girl I called "unprofessional and elitist" within earshot on Monday afternoon. Well, I still think that, but I shouldn't have said it out loud.

Carlos Miele
My day started out on a bright note—literally and figuratively—at Carlos Miele, whose pre-show was a sleepy affair until Vanessa Williams, Daisy Fuentes, and Paula Abdul (yes, Straight Up Paula Abdul) breezed in and were promptly mobbed by paparazzi. As for the action on the runway, Miele's notes cited a hallucinatory jungle, and that's a fairly accurate way to describe his lively collection. Giraffe, zebra, and leopard prints mixed and mingled, sometimes all in one dress, and Miele achieved the remarkable feat of making the color green look sexy. Then again, Miele makes pretty much everything look sexy, particularly his asymmetrically ruched dresses that create the most flattering effect across the hips and derriere. And Miele knows exactly what to do with that area—he is Brazilian, after all.

Its Brattle Street store in Cambridge was the hotspot for Radcliffe students in the '60s and '70s, but in recent years, the Finnish label Marimekko has been more widely known in this country for its home textiles (which are available in Crate & Barrel, for one). But for spring, fashion is a big focus for the company, with adorable shift dresses in relaxed shapes and bold, colorful prints. Fun clothes aside, this show was notable for two reasons: One, all the models were smiling. Two, it featured three "vintage" supermodels: Carol Alt, Pat Cleveland, and Carmen Dell'Orefice, all of whom were featured in the excellent recent HBO documentary about models, About Face, which I would highly recommend watching if you haven't already. The smiles and the models were a bit on the gimmicky side, but both made me smile, and, like I said earlier, by the fifth day of Fashion Week, a little happiness goes a long way.

Reem Acra

Continuing on the sexy streak she started last season (complete with a similar glossy black runway on which guests were not allowed to tread), Reem Acra showed a sleek collection of mostly midnight blue, white, red, and gold inspired by artist Aaron Young's motorcycle-inspired works. There were no biker jackets or otherwise obvious references; instead, Acra showed dangerously sexy sleek sheaths with sheer side cutouts, perforated leather day dresses, and lots of fluid pants and jumpsuits. But with all of Reem Acra shows, the gowns that closed the show were the main attraction, utilizing sheer fabrics, some as cutouts, some whipped into frothy ball gowns and embroidered with metallic thread or beads. They glittered, and any star would be smart to snap them up for the red carpet.

I managed to miss or intentionally skip five shows in the afternoon, so I figured I'd end the day by stopping by the Libertine show at Pier 57, as it tends to be a fun one. (Note to self: Anything at Pier 57, at 11th Avenue and 15th Street, does not involve "stopping by" due to the considerable three-block crosstown walk from the subway.) And while I got there 25 minutes before the scheduled end date, I managed to see only the last two looks. So, here's one of 'em. Looks like I missed a pretty good party.

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