The very last show I attended during this Fashion Week was Stella Zotis. It was also, hands down, the most fun. Stella, a Project Runway Season 5 alum and my good friend, knows how to throw a serious party...with some serious fashion! Always staying true to her rock-n-roll roots, this powerhouse of a creative force completely outdid herself this season with an amazing (and sometimes unexpected) collection, a packed-to-the-gills house, and the coolest vibe of the week.
At its core, Stella's aesthetic is rockery, tough, and super-cool. But there is another side to this designer that she really showed us with this collection. Three pristine white leather outfits came down the runway, and while still grommeted, studded and skin-tight, they also softened the whole look and feel of the show. It was still rock-n-roll, just a hyper-feminine version. I've always said that you could mix Stella's pieces with more mainstream or high-fashion garments to create a really amazing look. And these prove my point even further. There was also an iridescent blue, animal-stamped leather suit...that could easily be styled tough-as-nails, but because of its pretty puffed sleeves on the jacket and below-the-knee pencil skirt, could also make an appearance in a board room. Using fur, spikes, attached little handbags, lacing and endless bits of metal, there were enough details to make me want to see each piece three times...and still run over and touch them!
Of course, strutting down the lit-up runway that snaked through the Cellar Bar at the Bryant Park Hotel were some downright couldn't-be-anyone-else's-but-Stella's pieces. The tiniest leather skirt I've ever seen somehow managed to translate as artful and high-fashion...Stella's intricate craftmanship allowed two vests to fit so perfectly that they looked like they were meant to be layered, even off the runway. And with each look on each different model, the one thing everyone was commenting on was the impeccable tailoring...leather garments are meant to fit "just so"...and each one of these was so beautifully created that it looked as though they were all custom-made for the models. Stella has certainly hit her stride...and is rockin' it out all the way...
(Photos courtesy of Rich Hall/Focus Productions)