February 12, 2003 New York
Well connected, socially visible and—most important—possessed of a distinct design sensibility, 22-year-old Posen has become one of the week’s hotter tickets. That, plus the major sponsors he scored this season (Swarovski, L’Oréal, Belvedere vodka and Shiseido, among others), perhaps explains how he got one of the city’s most prominent restaurants to shut down for the night, and every major model including Naomi Campbell and Helena Christensen to report for duty. And although the show started nearly an hour late, Posen’s fall collection delivered a pretty, if sometimes repetitive, message to the A-list crowd (Claire Danes, China Chow).
Judging from the location and the backers, Posen’s interest in business is growing, and he’s developing new breadth in his collection as a result. He showed more daytime clothing, like slim tweed pantsuits, cotton piqué shirts, delicate blouses made from shredded, mitered strips of voile, and some great coats (a coppery trench with an oversize capelet top; a cheerful hooded jacket whose fur trim ran over the head and down the spine, ending in a tail). But while Posen was more sparing in his use of signature touches like bias draping, handkerchief hems and meticulously pieced skirts, his glee for glamorous eveningwear is unquenchable. He used a map-printed silk crepe for fluttery halter dresses, draped Christensen in a beautiful purple satin gown and sent Alek Wek out in a Vegas-worthy “dress” made from strands of sparkling rhinestones worn over a black thong. The Pool Room has never looked so good.