19 February 2014

South Africa: Chronicles of Chic - New York Fashion Week, Through the Milliner's Eyes

New York Fashion Week defied the slush and the cold winds and dragged members of the fashion crowd from one catwalk to the other.

To many, the gridlocked calendar is a well-oiled machine; but behind the flashes and the pretty aesthetics, chaos, hard work and frustration reign. EMILIE GAMBADE asks South African milliner Albertus Swanepoel about his fashion week.

Despite the abominable weather, the eight days of fashion shows for Autumn/ Winter 2014 - nine if one counts the unofficial start, a day earlier than the official 6th of February - were crammed with sleek presentations and dramatic looks.

From the outset, it was ready-to-wear collections as usual: here, celebrities and riches, shouldering each other with inevitable sighs when the shows ran late, there, a clear muddled feel, the one that goes with big events.

For most, the shows went like Swiss clockwork: stylists did their work of putting outfits together, designers closed their show with a mixture of humbleness and über-confidence, buyers watched with a usual I've-seen-it-all air of and editors swung between overstated ecstasy and extreme ennui.

Front row and catwalk aside, the real business of fashion happens way before fashion week. For South African-born New York-based milliner ...

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