Fashion Week During the Apocalypse, Part Two

This week, pharm guest blogger Molly Crabapple pops by to bring you the Coilhouse Guide to Fashion Week During The Apocalypse. Below is Part Two – Anatomy of Fashion Week. Molly talks about the shows, and the swag and the social nuance. See Part One here.

There are several ways to experience New York Fashion Week. The first is as a worker in the fashion industry. I imagine this must be endlessly frustrating, as the entire week exists to overwork everyone and show them just where they stand in the pecking order. A more amusing, if sociopathic alternative, is to look at “Crashin’ Week” as a giant video game, in which you, a fah-bulous Super Mario, steal swag bags, elbow your way VIP parties, and plant your proletarian ass into aristocratic seats. Third: you can watch the spectacle of it all. It’s really interesting.

During New York Fashion Week, I got invited to Duckie Brown, Mackage, and Venexiana shows inside the tents. I also checked out Project Runway winner Leanne Marshell’s new collection, was a “VIP” during Williamsburg Fashion Weekend, and spent considerable time sipping McCafe in the press lounge.

Were I a super villain, Mackage would clothe my henchwomen. Oh those sleek coats!

Photos courtesy of Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week

Models were all styled like futuristic gigolos and robot sex ninjas – with high ponytails and black netting stretched over the girls faces. I feel a new club look coming on. Click below for much, much more, including a summary of what Fashion Week has taught me!

Photos courtesy of Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week

Fashion Week During The Apocalypse

This week, guest blogger Molly Crabapple pops by to bring you the the Coilhouse Guide to Fashion Week During The Apocalypse. Below is Part One – In Praise of Odyn Vovk. After the jump, a quickie interview with Odyn Vovk creator Austin Sherbanenko and a Molly sketch of the Vovk afterparty. Yay!

Images of the Odyn Vovk show by Molly Crabapple

Despite being a New Yorker, I’ve never attended Fashion Week. I took pride in shunning the air-kissy white tents at Bryant Park. But the spectacle of Fashion Week before the Fall – the splendor of $50,000 cloth objets d’art in the months before the economic apocalypse was too much for me. “Zo,” I cried, “may I cover Fashion Week for Coilhouse?”

Fashion Week during our second depression is a considerably chastened affair. Alt Girl goddess Betsey Johnson ditched the tents. Celebrities are also conspicuously absent. Displays of excess don’t look so good these days. In their place are hoards of bloggers, who steal seats and swag-bags with Visigoth-style glee.

On Thursday morning, I stood on line for an hour with my fellow barbarians to pick up press passes. Getting passes to Fashion Week is deliberately confusing. You register on the Mercedes Benz website, but your press badge doesn’t guarantee you entry to any shows. You have to try to talk your way into each of those individually.

Fancy pants designers like BCBG and Nanette Lepore have little use for bloggers. However, being registered as press means I’m besieged with invites for Helen Yarmuk’s “FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE- a showing of Winter White furs v Extraordinary jewels v sport luxe Separates And Exotic skin accessories.” Even more confusing? Most of the best, most innovative designers aren’t showing at Bryant Park at all. Case in point: Odyn Vovk.

Neutral-toned, face-obscuring, post-apocalyptic Odyn Vovk (Ukrainian for “One Wolf”) is the one designer Zo insisted I cover. They held their show at a crumbling theatre in the Lower East Side. The crowd, with their pokey cheekbones, tattoos and artfully deconstructed capelets, looked like it would cut you:

Odyn Vovk fan

What’s freaky about fashion shows is how theatrical they are. They start 30 minutes late, and you make your way to the seat in pitch dark, chatting with a stylist. Then, blinding lights shoot on, live violins spring into action, and beautiful human beings, as carefully bred as greyhounds, jut their hips down a catwalk.
Odyn Vovk’s clothes look like they’re from a Mad Max future where contagious diseases run rampant and people really know their leatherwork. Think dark. Think layers. Think practical basics (lots of zip-front jackets and hoodies) combined with a quixotic quest to bring back the dust mask. Odyn Vovk’s guys look the elegant and sinister, and – this is deadly rare in a fashion show – they look tough. These are zombie-slaying clothes.