Frenetic energy filled the Gramercy Room of the Peninsula Hotel as editors and buyers waited for wunderkind LaQuan Smith’s Spring/Summer 2011 show, entitled “A Storybook Path,” to begin. While a crush of photographers circled around rapper Common to get a shot, a gaggle of reporters rushed before Vogue’s Andre Leon Talley and designer and CFDA President Diane Von Furstenberg for a soundbite. The excitement generated so much heat, attendees fanned themselves with hot pink paper fans provided on the tables. As classical music began to play, a young lady wearing a blush pink corseted brocade jacket and matching frilly skirt came out, pursing gold lacquered lips and tottering atop Walter Steiger stilettos. The show had begun, and the air erupted with shouts of enthusiasm over the clothes–and the models themselves:
Exclamations of “Honey better work!” and “Ok!” could be heard as models sauntered out in a series of bust and thigh accentuating pieces seemingly inspired by the famously coquettish and fashion loving late 18th century Marie Antoinette. Brocade fabrics in champagne pink, deep burgundy, white, black, and electric blue were fashioned into cropped frilled tops and bodice dresses, perfectly fit for modern day princesses. Though dreamlike, as if cut from a storybook, the clothes were designed to titillate. To wit, an almost bare bottomed Jaslene Gonzalez elicited whoops of “Yes, girl,” as she worked a sheer mint green flapper dress with green plumes of feathers peeking out the bottom.
The shouts reached an almost fevered pitch as even more celebrity models emerged. Singer Cassie in a corseted gold and burgundy bubble hem dress; Deborah Cox in a Tiffany blue gilded number with an asymmetric train; Serena Williams, who closed the show, in a Bourdeaux red regal gown with exaggerated hips.
The clothes were playful and fun, reflective of the whims of an adolescent French queen and the desires of a young designer–an industry prince who will soon assume his rightful throne.
What do you think?
A few more pictures from the event:
The ever animated Andre Leon Talley, seated next to Lorenzo Martone and Diane von Furstenberg.
And the designer himself, LaQuan Smith, along with celebrity stylist Ty Hunter and editor Memsor Kamaraké.