She wore blue velvet on the snow white runway of Tadashi Shoji's fall/winter show on the opening day of Mercedes Benz Fashion Week. She also wore chiffon, tulle and lace, but it was deeply hued velvet that draped these models-as-exiled-Russian-princesses.
Czarist nostalgia conquered more than a few collections this season (see forthcoming articles on Pamela Roland and Zang Toi). And while no one has brought back the threadbare serf/gulag look (Not yet, anyway. Perhaps in the spring. It is, after all, winter, and that look would leave most fashionistas...well, cold.), Shoji cleverly fleshes out his elan in exile theme. He dials back the adornment while embracing Romanov romance with the paradox of a Russian bear hug. Warm, but not necessarily safe; rich, but not really royal any longer. Thus, though the fabrics are lush, the extras are subtle (or absent) and most of the necklines are high and the sleeves, long. Let's face it, the romance of "escaping across the tundra" (the look Tadashi said he wanted) has its limits, and one of them is keeping covered.
The other is maintaining your flawless beauty while evading the egalitarians. Thankfully, the cold wind gives your cheeks a tempting, youthful flush and the bits of ice on your eyelids makes them sparkle. Of course, the models in the tents at Lincoln Center on February 7th didn't have Old Man Winter's help (he stormed into town the following day). They had someone better: Luc Bouchard of MAC. Bouchard used just a touch of glimmer on the eyelids and pale, shiny lips to emulate the snow-kissed look beautifully. If only New York City winters were as kind.