My friend Waleed and his design partner, Julia, showed their Winter 2007 collection at the Baryshnikov Center yesterday afternoon. This is their fourth collection for his company, Naum, and each season is better than the last, not only in terms of the clothes, but how smoothly the whole thing happens. I was especially pleased because this was a show that almost didn't happen. A fashion show is incredibly expensive to pull off, and everything rides on the "right" people showing up, specifically, the right press people.
Waleed's and my life are strangely parallel at times. We both have big important shows in New York within a week of each other in summer and winter, and how the next 6 months are going to go depends on what happens at these events. Like me, Waleed's company suffered a blow last August during fashion week when one important style editor did not show up to see their 2007 Spring Collection, and Style.com declined to review their show without giving an explanation. It was a very low point for all of us. I felt at the time that there was simply no support for me or my amazing friends, and I was depressed by the whole thing. Waleed informed me in November that there would be no official show for Naum during Winter fashion week, a big disappointment for all concerned.
Then in December, a big turnaround and a minor miracle. Waleed and Julia won the Ecco Domani Fashion Foundation award, which gave them the cash infusion needed to put on a show and participate in Fashion Week. Julia and Waleed, who both work for other designers full-time, somehow managed to create a collection of 31 looks in a matter of weeks. And because of the all the free press and the prestige of winning the Domani award, the RSVP's from all the right people came rolling in.
I love being at the Naum shows because I usually serve as a point person and I get to check out all the backstage happenings, help keep things organized and running, as well as just be a part of a really important event for my friend. I also always spot Baryshnikov himself, which is a huge thrill for me. This time I sat in the press pit and got some great pictures which I will upload as soon as I get home!