New York Fashion Week 2009

Alvin Valley Fall/ Winter Collection

Leggy Leger-Louboutin clad ladies of Manhattan sauntered in to view the Fall/Winter Collection of Alvin Valley. The man called “The King of Pants” has returned to the fashion world after a two year absence. The Cuban-American designer, born in New York City and raised in Spain, also has roots in Florida. After graduating from University of Miami, he opened a boutique in Coconut Grove.

The audience gasped as a video montage of disturbing images which included Hitler and Bush speech clips, goose-stepping Nazis and mothers screaming for children to regain their lost innocence. “Social turmoil” was how Valley describes the dismal times then and now. Yet the key idea to Valley’s show is optimism.

Against a backdrop video of gliding grey and cream skies, a gentler promising army of lithe beauties, including the runway debut of Matt Damon’s half-sister Sarah Bradford (above, left), equipped with polished bouffant hair (“a homage to the process of beauty,” says head Hairstylist Theodore Leaf) and ochre-eye makeup, marched onto the catwalk.

According to Valley, colors for the fashionable woman’s coiffed canvas for the season include black, crème, sumptuous navy, green tartan patterns, burnt orange and a gorgeous iced mint. Tight black and navy pencil skirts; high-slit and shimmering, were the foundation for a majority of the outfits. Pieces that stood out included a plush black fur bomber, sleek gray trousers, and black military-button blazers.

Perfect for the Miami woman were the breezy black and slinky silver jumpsuits along with an elegant collection of evening dresses paired with tiny shrugs. As the show ended, the models paraded offstage into a vision of a brightening sky; Alvin’s message to us all.

Jill Stuart Fall/ Winter Collection

Clicking against the cream marble floors of New York’s Astor Hall was a bevy of porcelain doll-like models. With heavy black-cat eyeliner and pink petal lip gloss, the models’ outfits fit into two categories and colors: angelic white or vixen-sexy black. Even Paris Hilton kept craning her flaxen-mane head to get a closer look at all of the intricacies, joined by fellow runway show guests Jessica Stroup (from the new 90210), Adrianne Palicki (from Friday Night Lights), and even Bette Midler.

“The angels” triumphed in chiffon ruffled dresses, mohair fringe sweaters and an ivory-colored fur jacket over a pastel pink dress. “The vixens” dominated in more dramatic numbers. German cabaret girl meets upscale dominatrix.

Black leather leggings, one-shoulder flower-pinned dresses, metallic slacks and lace blouses were just a few of the stand-out pieces. Another included a nude chiffon evening dress iced on the top with silver sequins. The dress was perfect for evening cocktails over Biscayne Bay or shimmering against the lights of one of Miami’s glittery nightclubs.

Accessories included chunky Crucifix-charm necklaces, black lace gloves, and fedoras adorned with bunches of tiny blooms. Make your choice for fall-angel or vixen?

Pamella Roland

Against a backdrop of Imperial Russia and a sparkly shower of snow, a stream of glammed-up Mata Haris strutted the stage. The music was an intriguing mélange of everything from waltzes to R&B singer Brandy, where teen stars Amanda Bynes, Gossip Girls’ Michelle Trachtenberg, and Kristen Bell joined Paris and Nicky Hilton, where the sisters were seen texting friends from their front row seats throughout the show.

The look was reminiscent of old-world Russia and its stunning royal splendor. Swan-like necks were decked in crystal chokers and evening makeup was de rigueur. Outfits included sumptuous black and grey fur coats paired with long black leather opera gloves. Above their lacquered knee-high black boots, the models sported plum wool coats, candy-apple clutches, grey pinstripe suits, and crystal-crusted sunglasses.

A swirl of lethal, sexy evening gowns stole the show. The gowns included a gold lame mini-dress, a one-shoulder merlot satin micro-mini number and a black velvet tube dress splashed with crystals. A particularly stunning dress (which made the audience gasp) was a long black backless gown with a string of diamonds dripping down the back. The stunner was paired with a delicious black fur arm muffler. The final outfit was a long crème-colored gown strewn with wispy white feathers and crystal embellishments. Pair one of these knockouts with your vodka!

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