If you were trying to wrap your head around New York Fashion Week or the Vancouver Winter Olympics (or both), you could justifiably conclude that the designers and Olympians who turned in the strongest and most memorable performances or were marking a career milestone (or both) did so in black.
On the Fashion Week scoreboard, Joseph Altuzarra, a relative newcomer, produced a star making collection early in the week, mixing goat fur, wool and leather to stunning effect.
Then the fur and feathers came flying at Chado Ralph Rucci, in a sensational American couture quality show.
For her 25th anniversary, Donna Karan produced an impeccably tailored (and styled) collection that demanded to be worn right now. (If you were Demi Moore, you got your wish!)
Altuzarra Fall 2010 Donna Karan Fall 2010
Fall 2010 Chado Ralph Rucci and Vera Wang
On the Olympic side, Evan Lysacek became the first American gold medalist in figure skating since Brian Boitano in 1988. In as flawless a performance as has been seen at the Olympics in recent memory, Mr Lysacek, who looks and is built much like a men’s runway model, outclassed the rest of the field in no small part due to the beautiful costumes designed for him by Vera Wang.
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Ms Wang is not the only high profile designer to lend a high fashion hand to the men of the Olympics. For the Opening ceremonies, Dean and Dan Caten, the Canadian twin brothers behind the label Dsquared2, designed the sleek black suit for rocker Bryan Adams and the wool double breasted topcoat with an astrakhan collar for the French Canadian singer Garou.
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Italo Zucchelli’s collection for Calvin Klein was arguably the best men’s collection of the week. GQ.com acclaimed it as “confident, forward-looking, and fist-pumpingly masculine.” Unlike much of the Olympics, the show was steamed live. Mr Zucchelli is among the first major designers to embrace the technological changes that will drive the future of “fashion week.” But with this collection in particular, he makes you long for the time in the future where he, and let’s just say,um, not Polo Ralph Lauren, designed every Olympian’s uniform. The cut and innovative fabrication of the clothes make a strong case that here is what any truly chic Olympian this side of Jean Claude Killy would want on his back in the new millennium.
And if Mr Lysacek is in the market for other elegant looks off the ice, I’d suggest he take a good look at the Fall collection of Yigal Azrouel.