NEW YORK (Reuters) – Women’s accessories will be big and bold for fall 2010 with designers at New York Fashion Week showing body armor-like jewelry, gauntlet gloves, militia boots and bags big enough to tote the day’s survival gear.
Designers ranging from emerging talents DANNIJO and Prova to runway veterans Ports 1961 and Custo Barcelona and couture favorites Badgley Mischka showed accessories combining megawatt glamour with practical luxury.
Who needs the runway when Goldfinger’s got your back? Fashion industry watchers wonder whether more designers will use Times Square’s neon signs as a virtual runway in the future, like Carmen Marc Valvo did with his spring/summer 2010 show during New York Fashion Week. More to the point, will more designers follow his lead next time by asking the World Gold Council and the Nasdaq OMX Group Inc. — or other financial markets players — to help foot the bill?A Valvo spokesman says the cost was “about half” that of a runway show in the Bryant Park Tents. The tab usually starts at $100,000 and can run $250,000 or more, depending on how many models and special effects are involved. This was perhaps the flashiest example of how designers, hit hard by the recession, are seeking more sponsorships to finance their New York shows than in the past. Check out this video of the Times Square show, which ran on the neon signs of Nasdaq, Thomson Reuters and Fox: Even with gold trading above $1,000 an ounce, that’s still less than what some of Valvo’s gowns go for at Bergdorf Goodman, Neiman Marcus and Saks Fifth Avenue. The World Gold Council’s Duvall O’Steen said the group paid 10 models and other show expenses — the first time it’s taken such a high-profile role at Fashion Week. Check out this video as O’Steen talks about fashion and gold jewelry: In fact, the World Gold Council is getting more requests now for corporate event sponsorships than it can accommodate, O’Steen said. And it’s happening after a year when a drop in world gold mining production curbed its budget for such affairs. Bruce Aust, Nasdaq’s executive vice president of the corporate client group, also explains why the made its first foray into fashion: Michael Quintanilla, who covers fashion for the San Antonio Express-News and two other Hearst newspapers, told Reuters: “Times Square was the perfect place for a fashion show. With all that neon, it’s very ‘Blade Runner.’ I loved the format. You could drop in when you wanted, have a cocktail, talk to Carmen, see the clothes and leave, without being herded into a space like cattle and being forced to wait.” What’s next? DeBeers Presents Dennis Basso?Reuters Photo by Yuriko Nakao
Spotted at New York Fashion Week: Butterflies and hummingbirds hovered inside the tents, but these particular species came equipped with at least a gigabyte or two.Designer Vivienne Tam’s“Butterfly Lovers” digital clutch laptop from Hewlett-Packard made its debut on the runway with her Spring and Summer 2010 collection. Just inside the entrance to the Bryant Park Tents, a hummingbird was ready for its close-up — on the cover of one of the Palm Pixi Artist Series limited-edition cellphones on display.Just two of the most colorful examples of how fashion is using technology to court design-savvy customers, one of the biggest trends seen at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week, which wrapped up late Thursday night.”For me, fashion plus technology equals ‘double happiness,'” Tam told Reuters backstage.Indeed, the “enter” key on her latest HP laptop is imprinted with the Chinese characters for “double happiness.”The champagne-gold laptop will have more capacity and more features than her first limited-edition HP digital clutch with the red “Peony” print cover, which Tam unveiled on the runway last September. The “Peony” laptop — light enough for a woman to carry like a clutch evening bag — has 1 gigabyte of RAM, according to the Neiman Marcus online catalog, where it’s listed “in stock” for $699.99.Tam says her inspiration came from the classic Chinese love story, the “Butterfly Lovers,” who are regarded as China’s “Romeo and Juliet.” A classical music lover, Tam noted that this year is the 50th anniversary of the Butterfly Lovers Concerto.HP sees fashionable tech for women as a golden market, with plenty of opportunity to expand with wireless mice, storage devices and other accessories, says Satjiv S. Chahil, senior vice president of global marketing.Check out this video of the “Butterfly Lovers” laptop on display at the Fashion Week party in Vivienne Tam’s boutique:Meanwhile, Palm aims to serve fashion-conscious men and women with its Pixi Artist Series phones with limited-edition covers designed by five artists. The Hummingbird cover by artist Cole Gerst in bright orange and green on a light turquoise background looks unmistakably feminine, while the Skull by artist Jeremy Fish in cream and black appears more in sync with a male aesthetic.The new Palm Pixi phone line will be launched for the holiday season in partnership with Sprint Nextel, says Palm senior product manager Mike Akamine. Each artist’s design will be offered on only 5,000 phones — for a total limited run of 25,000 units, Akamine told Reuters.Each phone will have about 7 gigabytes of available internal user storage.Check out the Palm Pixi Artist Series phones:http://www.palm.com/us/products/phones/pixi/artist.htmlFor a look at another designer using tech to reach more customers, check out this video of Norma Kamali showing her spring clothes outside the Apple store in Soho:Take a look at Reuters story:Technology in starring role at New York Fashion Weekhttp://www.reuters.com/article/technologyNews/idUSTRE58H4TD20090918