NEW YORK: Fashion shows are frequently staged in opulent, grandiose settings, but one designer chose Monday to make her New York catwalk debut on a school bus parked on a snowy street.
Amanda Mehl sent models sashaying down the narrow aisle of a standard American yellow school bus in vertiginous gladiator-style laced-up stiletto boots in school girl cool, all short skirts and hoodies.
And where did she choose to park it? Near Fashion Week headquarters, where moments earlier the glitterati had descended for one of the hottest tickets in town: the Monse-Oscar de la Renta show.
Operating on a shoe-string budget, it cost her just $2,000 to rent the bus, buy lighting, heaters and blankets and even to put out brown paper bags with an apple and a carton of juice for guests.
That’s a steal compared to the half or quarter of a million dollars that perhaps America’s most feted contemporary designer Marc Jacobs told Women’s Wear Daily it can cost to stage a catwalk show.
“I also thought it would be really fun, I think the collection really goes with this kind of alternative, fun, retro childhood,” Mehl, an Argentinian-born artist, told AFP.
“It’s clothes for girls who want to have fun,” she explained. “I like attention, I want people stopping me and talking about my outfit, but its clothes that you feel good in. Bold and fun,” she said.
Guests and photographers squeezed onto the child-sized seats clapping appreciatively and egged on by an MC sitting in the driver’s seat who periodically shouted encouragement such as “very nice school outfit.”
The models swung their hips as if walking to impress the boys at the school gates, wearing gothic makeup and hair in pigtails, pony tails of grunge-style mini buns dotted over their head.
The clothes were sexy and playful — cocktail dresses with jewel-colored embellishment, school girl box-pleat skirts in satin, matching camis and quilted pvc jackets.
Straps were inventive — such as an old-fashioned black twisted telephone cord on a little black dress and like those on a backpack.
“I thought it was fun,” said friend and architect Danielle Bokor, one of those who attended the show.
“It was completely different than anything else I’ve been to and exciting and I wanted to wear everyone of those pieces, I wanted to be one of those cool girls in school!”
“It was dope,” agreed working model Michael Rosario, 21, though he laughed when asked if it brought back fond memories of school.
“You got made fun of if you got in the yellow bus!”
Mehl said she would absolutely be doing another fashion show. But on a bus? “May be. Probably not,” she said. – AFP