New York Fashion Week– Very Verrier! Ashleigh Verrier Runs the Fashion Runway!
New York Fashion Week is never the same thing twice– even in the same day. What you expect when you arrive at Bryant Park is distinctly different from what you actually experience–even for seasoned veterans much less the first-time visitor to the Big Tents and extravaganzas of the height of the fashion world.
The World of Ashleigh Verrier
I made the mistake of deciding to drive in to the city rather than take mass transit, and by the time I got to the Prince George Ballroom I was worried the show would be half-over, but apparently they all run quite late (which I should have figured out for myself, considering they are waiting for twenty teenage girls to show up).
Gina and I checked out this “alternate” style venue, in a strange neighborhood next to the Sex Museum and a place called Le Trapeze that I was informed was a swinger’s club. The Ballroom itself was gorgeous! With ornate carved and multi-colored woodwork, it had real old-world glamour. I wouldn’t want to plan a wedding there due to the neighborhood, but it was the perfect site for a cutting-edge fashion show.
I had a feeling that Verrier was going to be a highlight of the week. A recent Parsons graduate, her senior thesis project went straight to the racks at Saks Fifth Avenue, and it’s been all good from there. Well, her press kit failed to mention that Tim Gunn was her favorite professor at Parsons, and guess who showed up, beaming, to cheer her on?
The moment I saw Tim Gunn I turned into a giddy teenager, flinging my expensive camera and Gina’s Prada purse that I was holding to the ground in order to run up to him and accost him. (She didn’t see where I was heading and went to retrieve the camera and purse, which is why I will now have to spend the rest of my life answering the question, “Why didn’t you take your picture with Tim Gunn?”)
With the preview episode of his new show fresh in mind, which featured a hairdresser from Long Island with a penchant for low-cut tops, who I thought looked pretty good as a Before, all I could think to ask him was, “Does my outfit look vulgar?”
He laughed good naturedly and examined it, saying, “No! You’ve got that cute little camisole under–it looks fine!” Tim Gunn approves of my camisole from Sears, which means that I will never have self-esteem issues again, and Stevie’s advice to mix high and low was dead-on, as usual.
Tim Gunn and Ashleigh Verrier
When asked about Ashleigh Verrier, Tim most appreciates her feminine, sleek silhouette. “Her success both wowed me and doesn’t surprise me at all,” he said. “To get somewhere in this business you have to both know who you are and own it fully, and she does both.”
Tim Gunn and Ashleigh Verrier
After this I was ready to go home and text-message everyone I know on the planet to let them know I’d had a little chat with the godfather of fashion, but Gina gently reminded me that we were there to look at clothes, not to gush.
Ashleigh Verrier, while 15 years younger than me, must have grown up on the same old movies I loved to watch, because her world is a mid-century fantasy land where everyone looks like Audrey Hepburn and spends their day dashing madly from chic shops to fabulous parties.
Ashleigh Verrier Lace Dress
It features high-waisted cigarette pants, tulip-shaped skirts with sharp pleating, and fabulous jackets and coats with details such as gold chain in place of the sash.
If I had to describe it in one word, “immaculate” comes to mind, and you’d need a servant to follow you around carrying such mundane necessities as a handbag (apart from Cesar Paciotti shoes, there were no accessories at all). It may not be practical but it’s a beautiful dream, one I’d love to lose myself in.
Ashleigh Verrier Takes her bows in a tulip skirt
Later: Carolina Herrera
By Nancy Lichtenstein
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