New York Gets Treated to the Moncler Show-------
In the spectator sport that is fashion, the clothes make or break the label, but you give them a real boost with a show that leaves the crowd dazzled. Moncler knows it. The Franco-Italian label’s presentation of its new Grenoble line at Chelsea Piers’ waterfront golf club was a stunner. On the driving range, a three-story scaffold held the puffer-swaddled models in a still, faintly military formation. Bach, Bellini, and Puccini swelled from below, and the editors gawped from the club’s covered terraces, where on normal days, the linksmen would be thwacking balls. The effect, as snow began to lightly fall, was nothing short of operatic (though the Moncler-branded thermoses of spiced wine and hot punch may have contributed to the heady mood). And the clothes? Oh, they were very nice, at least as far as I could see from a distance. Grenoble—named for the Alpine town where the label was founded—aims to reclaim the brand’s skiing heritage and promises that its collections can stand up to the slopes. But style still counts, too. In-for-a-penny, in-for-a-pounders can dive into a full-body puffer suit (bet the model in that one on this cold evening was thanking his lucky stars). There were a variety of jackets in technical nylon, Shetland wool, and insulated down, and a few looks even saw the return of that mid-century bit of politesse, the ski skirt for ladies.
In its presentation notes, Moncler reminded us—by way of connecting its luxe garb with its new athletic readiness—that winter sports began as an amusement for the wealthy few. But why bother with justifications? All of Moncler’s collections are fabulously expensive—avant-, en, or après-ski—and pitched at customers unused to justifying themselves. The product is great, and those who buy it would likely say they get what they pay for. No argument here. I’m just glad that the label seems so dedicated to its extravagant shows. That way, we get what they pay for, too.