Eva Minge Spring 2012 – New York Fashion Week Review

Have you ever looked back on an hour of your life, and wished that you could rewind and make a different choice, knowing that whatever decision you made would have resulted in a better use of your time?

It’s a regret that this writer continues to carry nearly half a year after the conclusion of the Eva Minge runway show at the Spring 2012 Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week collections.  Part of the official schedule but held at a nearby off-site venue – Good Units, the industrial warehouse-meets-nightclub in the Hudson Hotel basement  – meant that enough time had to be allotted for guests to finish watching Eva Minge’s collection, then walk the several blocks north to Lincoln Center for Venexiana, the final runway show of the evening. 

The proceedings did not start off well when the arrangement for reporters appeared to be on a first-come, first-serve seating basis, without any name checks.  After realizing that the standing area comprised a square balcony actually overlooking the runway area – with the best view of the models resulting in the tops of their coiffed heads and not the clothes they were wearing – everyone moved downstairs.

Did I mention a runway area?  Make that two runways.  All the models were required to walk one, turn around and walk down the other.  This would not be a bad idea if the clothes were compelling creations.  Instead, to the seemingly endless loop of the “Pirates of the Caribbean” theme song, model after model sashayed around in unflattering cut after unflattering cut.  A spinning vortex of translucent skirts, swimsuits resembling lingerie, and hoodies that had seen better days at the Gap was caught in a visually deafening parade of black and white stripes, contributing to the prison-like environment of the claustrophobic room.

How long was this show?  It took so long that I whipped out a handheld wireless device, watched most of the last set of the U.S. Open semifinal match between Rafael Nadal and Andy Murray with noise-cancelling headphones, saw Nadal win the match…and the runway show was still going on.  With several of us thinking of an escape – by avoiding the lone bona fide exit door in favor of the other that led to the inner workings of the Hudson Hotel – we made our way out of an M.C. Escher-inspired maze of staircases into the night air only to learn that we had, in fact, missed the Venexiana show.

Perhaps, looking back, the experience was not entirely one of regret.  One of our photographers later reported that the delightfully kooky Venexiana designer Kati Stern actually repeated dresses from past seasons (a surprising move, considering that her runway shows are traditionally very long with about 70 looks – but Minge easily breaks that total).  Also, I know now that if Minge’s name ever appears on a New York Fashion Week schedule, that that particular time slot will be better spent checking out an up-and-coming designer in a far-flung part of town.

Meanwhile, Minge’s next endeavor is a repeat Spring 2012 showing during the Paris haute couture collections.  Haute this is not, couture this is not, and instead of taking that shuttle from Valentino’s show to the Hotel Shangri-La next week, soak up the classic atmosphere and enjoy a nice dinner at Fouquet’s, site of the annual Cesar Film Awards.  It’ll be a much prettier offering than Minge’s jail attire, and you’ll likely finish your food before she finishes her show.

photo by Neilson Barnard/Getty Images for Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week