Inside New York Fashion Week, Pt. 2

Guest Contributor

Guest Grit by Cator Sparks 


{Cator Sparks is a freelance journalist from Atlanta who has been based in New York City for the past 13 years. He has covered fashion, art, design, and events for The New York TimesVanity FairThe Huffington Post and Keep an eye out for Mr. Sparks as he is planning on spending more time in Charleston soon along with his Scottie, Fergus Dingwall.}


Photos courtesy of Giuliano Correia; Social Primer photos by Cyle Suesz 


One day when my bank account is bursting, I will hire a masseuse for a daily rub-down after all the shows. Between running all over town for presentations during the day and attending some (oftentimes) raucous events at night, we think Fashion Week reporting could be its own Olympic sporting category.


But we love it!


We kicked off this week with a visit to see our lovely Italian friends at Fratelli Rossetti to check out the new season of shoes. Lucky for us, they are making use of their archives and bringing back their original yacht shoe from the 1960s. It was designed to wear sockless and has a terrycloth lining. Smart.



Our next stop was to see our boys Robert and Jeffrey at Costello Tagliapietra. Not only have they been Vogue favorites for years, they are also terribly eco-friendly. They use a technique called "air dyeing" on their fabrics, so they don’t pollute our waters with dangerous color chemicals. As you can see from the dress below, they still pop. And as Robert told us, “With this technique, we can dye both sides of the fabric and really get to play with the juxtaposition of color.” We are fans forever, Robert!



The Carlyle was calling us uptown next to coo over the collaboration between jeweler Lisa Salzer of Lulu Frost and author Lesley M. M. Blume. They chose three iconic stylish women including Marchesa Casati, Nancy Cunard, and Elsa Schiaparelli (chosen before the Met show mind you!) and designed collections around each of them. While drinking Hendricks gin cocktails and listening to old records on Ms. Blume’s record player she hauled from home, we ogled the bangles inspired by Cunard, Elsa eye earrings, and Casati cosmic stars necklaces. We could have lounged here for hours chatting with these darling girls, but our car was waiting.



Down at The Standard hotel straddling the High Line we zoomed up to the rooftop to see the latest swimwear and shades from London based Prism by Anna Laub. We have known Laub since she was an editor. Her rise to fame in the fashion industry, while not surprising, has been amazingly quick. Like Lesley and Lisa, Anna knows how to entertain her guests. Martinis and made-to-order crepes were offered to everyone as we lounged in the late summer sun and caught up with other editors while admiring the new collection of sunglasses and suits.




And now for the boys.....


Nautica is pretty self explanatory. Always crisp, cool, and American. But these models were so handsome we thought we would throw them in for some morning eye candy.



This season, Todd Snyder was inspired by the English Patient, and the collection—shown for the first time at Lincoln Center—was an American take on desert-inspired clothing. “We really explored color in a subtle way, making things a little more fresh and less muted as you see in the orange jacket in the collection,” he told us backstage. Stylist and New York Times editor Andreas Kokkino explained that they, “started with the English Patient and made it a little more youthful. We thought of how dudes like to dress today.”



Saving the best for last, Charleston’s own K. Cooper Ray of Social Primer presented his first collection of blazers and ties at a swank spot on 5th Avenue. As the elevator doors opened to the event, we knew exactly whose collection this was. Madonna’s "Dress You Up" boomed from the club room while Mr. Ray himself did twist in front of his line-up of devilishly handsome models sporting the collection. Editors were offered cocktails and canapés from black-tie waiters and Cooper’s mama was holding court in the corner with a big ole grin.


We stole Cooper away from buyers and editors to get the skinny on the Social Primer pieces. “I was inspired by Charleston. I have been there for two years, and I have been going my whole life. I see those boys dressing up and doing it their way. It’s the Charleston Dandy with a twist and I brought it to New York.”


And here is what every man in Charleston needs to know about his blazers: “Everyone needs a perfect blazer, and we wear them constantly down South. With a nod to the British, I used a peak lapel, ticket pocket, and double vent but with a soft shoulder, and we used a four-season wool and gave it a half lining so you can wear it all year-round. It’s not precious so a bro can throw it in the back of their car and pick it up to wear to church or dinner! I wanted it always to be the same fit, so that once you find the right size, you can come back and get it in linen, madras, or in a tuxedo black.” I’m placing my order stat, Mr. Ray.



And on that note we head to the last rounds of shows. Keep tuned in and let me know if there are any trends you are curious about. We want our Charleston readers always to be au courant!