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What You’re Noticing About Runway Hair and Box Clutches, Marc by Marc’s Off-Duty Models, Graffiti Glam for Naeem Khan and Narciso Rodriguez’s Sophisticated Lunar New Year

Fashion Week Journal for Tuesday, February 17

You’ve been watching the shows and you’ve no doubt picked up on a certain something happening with the models and their hair. Can’t quite put a finger on it? We talked to colorist Victoria Hunter, co-owner of the Whittemore House Salon and major collaborator with major brands and their major hair moments, to get her break-down on it.

You know what’s crazy, though? Later in the day I got an email from Hunter who said that, on the behest of the designers a certain model was walking for, _____________ (the unnamed big name model) actually didn’t go for color, she too went for the absence of color. Black. Which just underscores what the hair trend pro detailed for us in that video embedded above. So. There you go.

And here you go: off-duty models, fresh from the Marc by Marc Jacobs runway, where they embodied a sort of politico-chic that very much depended on an unprecious bedhead state of mind. And some black eyeliner.

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Images by Jessica Carter

On the other side of the runway, you might be noticing that girls like Leandra Medine are being photographed carrying the coolest little clutches. Those are by Mark Cross, and they’re basically the best bags you haven’t quite heard of yet. Hang on, though, because we’re about to relate the whole wonderfully historic and lovely story—in a nutshell. Or rather in a small gold-plated croc-embossed box.

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Actually, let’s start about 35 years in, at around 1920, with Gerald Murphy, whose father owned the Mark Cross fine leather goods company. Unfortunately, Gerald really wasn’t very interested in all of that, so he and his new wife Sara, whose family owned just about everything or at least all of the Hamptons, set sail for Europe where they more or less invented the verb “summering,” and the geo-tag “South of France,” at their villa in Cap d’Antibes on the Riviera.

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Sara and Gerald Murphy at a costume ball in Montparnasse in 1922; image by Man Ray via MoMA

Picasso made Sara’s portrait; the couple helped fund Diaghilev’s “Ballet Russes”; they bailed Hemingway out of a jam or two. They partied with the Fitzgeralds, and F. Scott eventually fashioned the lead characters in Tender is the Night after them to both good and slightly uncomfortable ends. Eventually, Murphy came back around to the family business and eventually, a director with the last name Hitchcock called him and asked him to make something special for Grace Kelly to use in the movie Rear Window.

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I wish, actually, that you could have been with us there in the Mark Cross showroom in midtown Manhattan to hear Mark Cross vice president Martha Kramer tell it. She has a really good bit about Sara’s sun-washed pearls, and Gerald’s disdain for pockets. Even president and CEO Neal Fox was rapt.

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But how rapt are you with these bags? Er–boxes. Bag-oxes? Right?

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What we were looking at in the showroom, and what you’re looking at here, is fall 2015—this being Fall Fashion Week and all—but the Nordstrom site is solid with the hottest spring styles right now.

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Images by Jessica Carter

 

Side note: I’ve found that every day so far there’s been one “coulda/shoulda” moment that I kick myself about.

On Tuesday, I coulda/shoulda asked a pink faux-fur clad woman in front row at Naeem Khan at Lincoln Center if I could take her picture. She reminded me of a young Erykah Badu, and her soft halo of girly fuzz was the perfect accompaniment to the pre-show graffiti glam setting that came courtesy, in least in part, the artist Trek6, who finished off the backdrop while we watched.

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This being one of America’s preeminent red carpet and formalwear designers, however, the live tagging was centered between screens of crystal bead curtains and accompanied by classic music. Debussy, notably.

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Take all those elements together, and you have all you need for Khan’s tenth anniversary show, a celebration of techniques and knowledge utilized thus far—or more to the point, luscious embellishment in shapes from clingy to caftan, all accented by sky-high Louboutins.

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Finally, the last show of the day was Narciso Rodriguez, and it started off with a bang. Fireworks over the Hudson that is, in honor of Lunar New Year.

Key to this collection: clog-like heels, long-line vests and suiting, subtle embellishments and—sherbet. And saffron. And the sort of purple fit for royalty.

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When the first iteration of peachy-pink issued forth from the black curtains to enter the stream of black and white, it carried a soft little jolt, and the color that followed gave the evening a hint of surreality. These were new shades, and even taken within the context of the current vogue for mixing pastels and jewels and all of that, they felt sort of gutsy.

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Images by Jessica Carter

Underscoring the mood was the churning, persistent “Requiem for a Hit,” a Miss Kittin and 2 Many DJs remix. Soundtrack x color x the sophisticated pantsuits and asymmetrical tailoring over strong, ’70s/modern shoes … it all felt a bit like a challenge—in a good way. Like a good challenge for a great new year.

—Laura Cassidy & Jess Carter