So, a few weeks ago I was invited to a presentation of Mandy Coon's Fall 2011 collection at the W Hotel, and interview Mandy herself. I jumped at the chance to do "legitimate fashion things" for my blog, as opposed to posting silly photos of my sillier outfits! Plus, I heard there would be a free open cocktail bar, so, you know, there's that.
As Mandy understandably was in high demand, my interview with her took place as we were scurrying down stairs and down an elevator and a million people were flitting about and well, basically, it was the awkwardest interview ever. You know how in TV shows and movies, journalists swarm a celeb or politician or in the case of Law & Order, an evil perp or hapless victim outside of the courtroom? Yeah, it was kind of like that except far less glamorous. Luckily she's super nice and laid-back so it didn't feel any more clumsy than it needed to be. Also I recorded the interview on my phone but it broke the next day when I stupidly dropped it on the ground. So unfortunately I cannot transcribe the interview. You're crushed, I know.
In Chicago, fashion events are much more of a social gathering. The clothes kind of take a backseat to schmoozing and drinking free alcohol and conforming to Chicago's version of fabulousness. I'm not really into that kind of thing because I am there to see clothing, but granted, I had a good time. My only complaint was the models were presented in a dark stairwell and I couldn't get any good photos with my f/2.8 lens, let alone a good look, at the very thing I was there to see.
I mostly talked to Mandy about her excellent, if comparatively understated Fall 2011 collection. There was definitely a more mature feel to it but with more "business lady with a secret life" kind of vibe. And I do firmly believe that maturity is not a bad thing! By disparaging conservative style shifts as a product of age, we turn aging into this monster that should be feared, and through fear of course comes mockery. Youthfulness should not be the standard or the ideal. Instead, perhaps we should view all stages of life for what they are, and as a whole, as part of the human experience that connects us all together.
One of my favorite little details about Mandy Coon's collections are how she names pieces after songs. And not just any songs, but songs that speak to my heart like "The Lovecats" or "Get The Balance Right". You won't find ~The Lissa Dress~ or ~The Ashley Blouse~ with her collections. I asked her how she decided which song titles are worthy of her pieces, and she simply explained that it has a lot to do with how the mood of the song fits with the mood of the piece as an individual, and often times it happens to be what's on her playlist while she works. So basically, Mandy Coon has good taste in music and that made me appreciate her zillion times more.
It's a giant lamp. I mean.
Nancy Whang from LCD Soundsystem.
"Venus in Furs" coat and "If I Had a Heart" dress.
MANDY COON LIKES FEVER RAY.
MANDY COON LIKES FEVER RAY.
Mandy Coon in a dress of her own design.
As you can see, it was nearly impossible to get photos in that dark stairwell. A shame really, because it doesn't do justice to the rich textures and gently graduating colors of the clothes.
Mandy Coon DJed and played "She Bops" and my heart did melt.
Every time I felt that familiar pang of social anxiety, I gazed at the ceiling and it soothed my nerves.