By George Wayne
I knew when I was asked to cohost a fabulous fashion week luncheon with the iconic nutty (and legendary) supermodel Janice Dickinson that this would be one fabulous afternoon filled with mirth, catty quips galore and one for the ages. Sure enough, the nutty 70s queen of the catwalk did not disappoint. GW and his cohosts including of course your esteemed Editor-in-Chief, Christopher Pape, the holistic spa queen, Cygalle Dias, and the emerging up and coming music producer, Evan Zampella, spent the most divine afternoon meeting and greeting beautiful male models with names likes: Matthew Addison, Harrison Quinn and Derek Keene and uptown girls, such as: Consuelo Vanderbilt Costin and divorce attorney par excellence, Nicole Noonan.
Between the nutty former supermodel and her multiple wardrobe changes, and regaling us with tall tales as the catwalk queen under masters such as, Gianni Versace (the nicest, greatest human being I’ve ever met), Valentino and Gianfranco Ferre, she’s written a book or two but she certainly has a few more in her.
We all gorged on the most divine platters and platters of the finest catch of the sea and when you dine at a legendary seafood boîte like, The Chowder House, in the hallowed, Empire Hotel, you know that the catch of the day whether it be the delectable lobster or the prawns or king crab or mussels and other beauties is going to be beautiful. This was washed down with champagne and the finest Russian standard, Moscow Mule cocktails. It was just the most absolutely fantastic way to spend a glorious afternoon between fashion shows.
Speaking of shows — GW will be the first to admit he did not sit in every front row this season — who has the time, unless your name is Anna Wintour? But, there were two shows that I just loved, loved, loved! For GW, it’s all about emerging talent and as such two new emerging labels – Cushnie et Ochs and Meskita, with a grand debut from the Brazilian-born now New Yorker, Alessandra Meskita.
The New York Fashion Week debut of Meskita brought to mind the ephemeral nymphs and sirens of Brazilian myth – think Yemanja – the iconic mythological Brazilian goddess of the sea. Think sensuous billow; think subtle sensuality and sexuality in subtle palate of blues and purples – a patina that bought to mind the hues of the finest oils of a Venetian Renaissance master — think Titian. Think of a spring/resort 2014 collection that any woman of any age will lust for as she readies her 2013 wardrobe for the kasbahs of Casablanca, her yacht moored of St. Tropez, her estancia ready and waiting in gorgeous, Punta del Este. Think magic, superb craftsmanship — a collection honed from the finest Italian silk and hand-woven cashmere cotton crochet from her native Brazil. It was one sexy, gorgeous collection. Trust GW on this the name, Meskita is one you will want to own for seasons to come.
Cushnie et Ochs is a dynamic tandem from Carly Cushnie, a native Jamaican – a la GW, and Michelle Ochs, her partner from suburban Maryland. They are the modern masters of American minimalism. Think Calvin Klein back when Calvin Klein was setting his glamorous classic signature. For GW — Cushnie et Ochs is the new Calvin Klein. It’s modern, austere and simply beautiful clothing — sleek and ever so chic. Cushnie et Ochs will win the next year 2014 CFDA award – one of them has their name on it — that GW will guarantee.
The highlight of my fashion week however was having the most divine day of lunch with the legendary celebrity stylist, Lori Goldstein. Lori Goldstein – when all is said and done – may well be able to declare that she was the first stylist as celebrity in existence — all those that followed – Rachel Zoe, Phillip Bloch, June Ambrose, etc., owe it all to Lori.
Lori and GW had the most fabulous afternoon over lunch at da Silvano’s. And boy was it ever a scene – there was Hugh Jackman strolling by after picking up his kids at The Red School next door to the eponymous New York restaurant. And who was that other up-and-coming New York designer, sitting right next to us and eavesdropping on our conversation? Yes, that was indeed, Wes Gordon. And then there was Tyra Banks with a trail of paparazzi in her wake dashing over to say hello to us both as she exited her lunch at Bar Pitti. Lori has a fabulous new hardcover jewel of a book, which this arbiter, will now declare is a must own for your coffee table this Christmas. The book which recalls her fab life working with the masters – Annie Liebovitz, Steven Meisel, Mario Testino, etc and the legion of super celebrities and the iconic images she styled and created — that iconic image of the nine months pregnant Demi Moore on the cover of Vanity Fair. That classic iconic image of Michael Jackson ripping off his white shirt for the cover of Vanity Fair and of course the years and years of working exclusively as stylist to Madonna.
After having a sneak peek at this sumptuous coffee table book — I can tell you the chapter recalling her first meeting with Madonna is GW’s personal favorite, Lori had GW completely in awe, as she sat at that table at da Silvano swathed in Dennis Basso, picking at her artichoke salad. ‘’The first time I met Madonna was during Paris Fashion Week, the autumn of 1994. We bought the entire Dior collection by John Galliano that season and flew straight to Budapest with that iconic first collection to film her music video for “Live to Tell.” Lori told me she always knew that she would end up working with Madonna. ‘’We were both two driven gals from the mid-west, both the same age and knew all the same people. It was only a matter of time that would meet.” Their collaboration for more than ten years is the stuff of legend.
Omar Hernandez is the impresario of the moment and his 9th street salon between fifth and sixth avenues is the hottest new restaurant this city has seen in eons. You have got to check out Omar’s now! GW loves his Nello’s and his da Silvano and now his Omar’s!
And I will be in touch! •