What a treat it was to sit in on a fashion chat between iconic Vogue editor-in-chief and Condé Nast artistic director Anna Wintour and irrepressible Neiman Marcus fashion director and senior vice president Ken Downing. This special event at Neiman Marcus at the Mall at Short Hills wowed about 100 loyal shoppers who were inspired by the engaging conversation about haute fashion trends. The event was punctuated with a colorful runway presentation, just in time for the holidays.
The fashion show included sequins everywhere, pink and bright yellow accents, opulent jewelry, fishnet hosiery and a new-wave spirit with 80s-inspired couture and Madonna references. Downing made a point to say, “I like the seventies, but I’m ready for the eighties moment to hit really hard.”
Mixing sparkle and shine, the runway presentation treated shoppers to eye-popping leather jackets, tights, plaid pants, asymmetrical earrings, clutches and patterned hosiery. “I spent my entire career getting you all out of pantyhose and now I want you to get back into them,” Downing quipped. “I love the textured leg with its colors and interesting patterns.” Another of Downing’s favorite trends is substantial bracelets and cuffs. “Wear two bracelets … one on each wrist … or wear no bracelet at all.”
Dame Anna Wintour (officially named a dame by Queen Elizabeth II earlier this year) also discussed her position in publishing, explaining that it gives her a platform to help young designers and to be active in today’s important issues for which she cares deeply. The conversation between these two fashion-industry mega-stars included their views on supporting diversity throughout the fashion industry. Wintour also mentioned emerging talent including young English designer Michael Halpern who recently was honored at the British Fashion Awards.
The December issue of Vogue features actress Meryl Streep. A visit to vogue.com will earn you a video clip of Wintour and Streep, sitting in the famous editor’s office, sharing a far-ranging conversation filled with humor and insight.