Wednesday, October 1, 2008



PARK AVENUE ARMORY, 67th Street/Park Avenue, Thursday-September 11th, 2008
7:00 PM

Words, Images by Judith Ecochard

There was no way we were ever going to miss this massive show by the giant Netherlands’s based urban cool, denim brand-G STAR.

We counted on it being in that top 5 category of production values-in addition to chic styling of casual wear that Europeans just seem to effortlessly get!

And –it was FABULOUS!

ADDED PLUS: G-Star teams up with the United Nation’s End Poverty program- that has 189 countries supporting the Millennium Development Goals (eight of them) to end extreme poverty by 2015.

Scottish born, Gotham dwelling actor Alan Cummings and Heather Graham (what’s she up too-we like her TV show that was cancelled in a blink of an eye) were the MCs’ in a way. They gave heartfelt info on the Millennium Project…and of course, looked great!

They alternated reading off the list of the stated goals to end poverty- as put forth by the G Star/End Poverty 2015 Millennium Campaign.

NOTE: The cheers got the loudest- when Cummings had a sentence; “...with the next President of the United States, Barack Obama…”

Added punch- the starkly lit runway seemed to rise up from the ground.

Epic, stadium style seating surrounding a huge runway stage setup against a boulder backdrop- was set up in the Drill Hall-one of the largest uncolumned spaces in NYC.

The inky dark blue humongous ceiling (80 feet!) of this Park Avenue Armory space (55,000 square feet!)- where yes, the military actually uses this gymnasium-sized facility when not in use for chi-chi art events, and a very, VERY sophisticated lighting spotlights, LED graphics and computer generated backdrops-added to the over the top atmosphere. This made the show an EVENT.

The clothes, a sleek mash-up of polished streetwear and a few dressier outfits that were downright suitable for office drones- could not have found a better space.

And the presentation of the garments was like watching a well-choreographed production of a Broadway show (or typical pop music concerts these days).

Creating more visual interest was the huge runway ramp that was well, ramped up by solid blocks-that rose out of the court sized stage-at different times, timed to the beat of the toe tappin, head nodding boom.

Models/dancers moved well to the music, often starting and stopping with poses worthy of Madonna’s “Vogue” video.

And the show itself was a twenty-five minute non-stop festival of 64 looks –presented in nine “Rounds” in keeping with the boxing theme.


The gargantuan doors opened and the stately, wood paneled, Tiffany glass decorated hallways were filled with the happy blasting of a New Orleans style brass band –lined up on the huge stairway that seemed to stretch to Heaven.

It was packed.

There were several historic huge reception rooms and two flanking hallways set up with bars serving sparkling and white wine, and Peroni beer.

Delicious passed canapés went so fast as the cater waiters were mobbed by crowds parked at the kitchen doors!!!!

We met many Europeans that worked for G-Star- so we got the scoop:

“Retro-sports from the Thirties is the main inspiration,” according to a congenial Senior stylist (one of three brought overseas)- that worked on the show.

Being 'off-duty", he of course didn’t have a business card- and his name got lost in translation.

But we did get the Rene Lacoste polished sporty vibe…with jersey jogging pants and jackets, cable knit v-neck tennis sweaters with knee length pleated shorts, spiffy white blazers/ pants combos, and hoodies,

There is a definite urban sensibility too however with a “NY Raw Navigator” leather pants, jersey and denim trench coats, somewhat slim and American boxy cut suits for guys, sweater vests, and cute dresses and one piece rompers for gals. And the footwear is G-Star's too.

Colors veered toward the dark side-midnight black,charcoal gray, navy,-plus white white and a few feminine multi-hued silk prints.

And, as the Stylist noted: “…even though G-Star is denim based-we really do it special for New York.” YEAH-A KNOCKOUT!

FACTOID: G-Star used to be named Gap-Star but Gap sued (so American of them)

“So we said, no problem, G-Star is more modern!” (happily recounted by the super friendly wife of President of G-Star USA).

…and the name was changed.