Behind the scenes of the L.A.M.B. show
So I barely make my flight yesterday afternoon to New York, only to find out when I arrive at LaGuardia airport that my luggage didn’t make the one hour non-stop flight with me from Toronto. I tell myself to stay calm and think fast. It is 4:55 and I have an interview set up with Gwen Stefani for L.A.M.B. in two hours. Anyone who knows me knows that, post 9/11, I wear tracks and flip flops to the airport to ensure a seamless dance with U.S. Customs and Immigration. I have nothing else with me and I am told that the bag containing all my armour to face the fashionistas at Bryant Park will be arriving at my apartment around midnight just in time for bed.
I pull out my shiny new Amex and rush to grab a cab from the airport. What’s that you say, Mr. Mean NYC Taxi Commissioner? The yellow cabs went on strike, and I have to line up in that queue that’s starting to look like a scaled-down version of the Great Wall of China? Desperate times call for desperate measures, so half an hour later I partner with a dashing New York investment banker and a lovely couple who look like they are visiting from Oakville.
On our way to the island, I negate cell phone etiquette and tell anyone on my speed dial who will listen about this comedy of errors. My biggest dilemma is how I’m going to buy an outfit and still make it to the Gwen Stefani interview on time. I devise a plan. At 5:45, I’ll get dropped off at Bergdorf’s where my closest friend works as a lawyer in the same building. I’ll run in, buy a complete outfit, hand my friend my Madonna-inspired track suit and rush 15 blocks south to Bryant Park.
Dilemma number two: Do I wear the flip flops I have on, or spend the dough on a new pair of shoes (completely breaking the bank). I have a lengthy conversation on the phone about it with my New York producer, only to find out that at this point, there is no yes or no answer. After I hang up, the lovely lady in the back seat taps my shoulder and says, “Excuse me, sir, but two out of three of us think you should buy the shoes.” It is a very welcome moment of humour.
I storm into Bergdorf’s just after six and rush with my friend up to the third floor. I grab the first salesperson I find that I need a complete outfit for under $1,000–including shoes. There’s a pause and a cock of the brow. “You do know you are at Bergdorf’s, don’t you sir?” With cold sweat dripping and the clock ticking, I ask the gentleman to show me dark denims, smoking jackets, rock-inspired T’s and a great pair of kickers. Ahhh, Bergdorf’s. Within minutes I am outfitted in a luxurious velvet Etro smoking jacket, a pair of dark wash Jean Shop jeans, this season’s black Martin Margiela V-neck AIDS T-shirt with black lacquer type and an incredible pair of Alejandro Ingelmo silver kicks. It’s amazing how fast one can get outfitted to a T when you have money to spend.
It’s 6:45 and I have a driver (borrowed from my friend’s law firm) waiting for me downstairs. I exit the car just in time to make the show.
Inside, the tent is filled with the usual suspects, including stylist Phillip Bloch and Robert Verdi talking to fashion insiders on the runway and shuffling to find their seats. Eve popped in, looking fabulous with her blond bob and perfectly sculpted body. I witnessed a not so well-put-together Carrie Underwood and her entourage looking very, well, let’s say Paris Hiltonish.
The celebrity highlight for me was the interview with Gwen on the runway before being seated for the show with none other than Sophia Bush. What a beauty, and so sophisticated! We had a fun conversation about fashion and lamb, and it was clear that she, unlike the other glamourless celebs in attendance, had what it takes to hold her own at a fashion event.
At first, L.A.M.B moved slowly, with an homage to ’60s mod in a mostly black and white colour palette. As expected, the skirts (Westwood-inspired) were shorter than in collections past. Gwen reworked tartan, houndstooth and gingham, making them graphic and modern. The blousons and shoes were the show stoppers, evoking a little CBGB’s early ’80s New York with a hint of The Specials’ punk ska styling. All in all, it was a very saleable collection. However, note to Gwen: When you are a major A-list celeb, for the love of God please design more red carpet dresses! Any of the B-list celebs attending your show would proudly wear those dresses on any red carpet just for the sake of saying, "It’s L.A.M.B. I saw it at Gwen’s show and just had to have it."
Today, I am off to try and find my luggage so that I don’t have to suffer another mortgage payment invested into a one-wear outfit. Wish me luck.