There are defining moments during each season’s fashion collections, but it is rare that this fashion cynic is this impressed so early in the game we call Fashion Week Fall 2011. Today I was privileged to witness a relatively unknown designer achieve what I can will say is greatness. The name to remember is Norman Ambrose and his eponymous collection IS what a collection should look like for the cur
rent reigning queens of “society” or for that matter women of a certain taste level.
We Americans rarely can compete with our European brethren in the fashion arena as we tend to want to be trendy or young or hip which is why so many of what we call designers today are nothing more than glorified stylists…and that is with few exceptions, in particular Mr. Ambrose, Prabal Gurung and Jason Wu. This triumvirate is capable of bringing real fashion back to New York and being worthy of comparison to the Euros. They are the 21st Century Bill Blasses, Norman Norells and even Oscar de la Rentas.
Mr. Ambrose’s current Fall 2011 collection harkens back to a time when there were retailers like Martha in NYC or Grace Jones in Saledo TX or Giorgio in Beverly Hills and when department stores had salons rather than racks of clothes. The words that come to mind are slick, urbane, chic, grown up, sophisticated and luxurious. The materials employed in this collection can only be construed as luxurious; sable, fox, mink, alligator, sequin, bouillon and cashmere for starters. Even though we may not be enjoying the most robust economy my feeling is that since these clothes are for rich ladies, young and old, and those ladies will always have money for fabulous and distinctive apparel.
The photos were taken (by me) today at the Norman Ambrose tableau vivant which took place at Lincoln Center and my hope is that they do these incredible clothes the justice they deserve. Having seen countless collections during my career, I am unabashedly thankful to have been included today……Thanks to Brynne, Roger and Mauricio of Mao PR.