Cynthia Rowley sure knows the meaning of a last hurrah. Slated to present her Spring collection at 5 p.m. on the final day of New York fashion week, the designer found herself in a tough spot. Editors have already seen eight days' worth of shows, and some are already on flights to London for the next round. But Rowley's installation overcame the odds. Thirty-two looks were on display at an old hotel on Beekman Street, the same buzzed-about venue where Proenza Schouler showed the night before. The walls are peeling and the foundation has come undone (to say the least), and yet Rowley envisioned the models having a party at the abandoned space. There was confetti all over the floor and the girls wore gold bangles that doubled as flasks. Clever.
The clothes were equally creative. A camo brocade bomber jacket and matching shorts were foiled to create a metallic effect. Brocade showed up elsewhere, on pointy open-toe shoes and turquoise-enameled swim trunks that were topped with a mother-of-pearl wetsuit jacket. Neoprene has become a signature fabric for Rowley, an avid surfer. Oversize dresses and wide-leg pants had unique prints, from a fun confetti pattern to a blown-up paisley design. But the true life-of-the-party look was a purple halter dress whose layers of lace were meant to echo the hotel's dilapidated ceiling. That will be the one everyone remembers most.