by Beth Hammarlund
Is there any other fashion production, or music and dance production for that matter, that comes close to the impeccably produced annual event that is Macy’s Glamorama? In addition to raising funds for and bringing attention to the Children’s Cancer Research Fund, the organizers compile some truly amazing fall fashion.
You may have heard that Madonna and her teenage daughter have a clothing line at Macy’s, appropriately named Material Girl. Though my hopes weren’t high for that particular fashion segment, it surprised me as one of the most fun numbers of the evening. That’s not to say that I can remember anything about the clothes, but the models, some serious b-girls, immediately enamored the audience with their frenetic dancing. As someone who’s seen the movie Breakin’ more often than I should admit, I’d have loved to see some more stalls, but the dancers were phenomenal, especially a young woman who could probably headspin for days if left to her own devices. Every year, Glamorama features some pretty amazing dancing kids, and at the end of the Material Girl segment, they popped their way onstage to a slo-mo version of “Another Brick in the Wall.” The audience erupted in cheers. Teacher, leave them kids alone!
Several segments left me cold, such as Jean Paul Gaultier and Marc Jacobs. I cannot believe I just said that, but I have to give you guys the hard facts. Both featured minimal production value, so they were little more than runway shows. The problem is that runway shows typically have an actual runway. When the clothing is being displayed on a proscenium stage where only the first few rows are going to be able to appreciate the sartorial details, it’s going to be underwhelming for the cheap seats in the back. (And the media in the middle.)
The award for “Most Elegant Segment” goes to RACHEL Rachel Roy, in which models either walked or stood on a rotating turntable, entering and departing through a delicate curtain of lights as Rufus Wainwright’s cover of “Across the Universe” washed over the theater. My only complaint is that, due to the unique and gorgeous lighting, it was difficult to see the actual clothing. But still, pretty!
The best overall fashion segment of the evening was Donna Karen, a designer that typically elicits a lukewarm response from me. But the stage design and choreography were perfection, as was the choice of a moody French cover of The Rolling Stones’ “Paint It Black.” I didn’t even mind the overuse of fedoras.
The penultimate segment was the always highly anticipated dance number, this year a tribute to swinging London complete with a tiny b-boy Austin Powers. Enough time has passed since the last movie that a reference to Austin Powers can actually be cute again. I actually wished that it had gone on a little bit longer.
In fine Glamorama tradition, the show closed with a pack of male models in Diesel underwear. While The Beatles’ jaunty “When I’m Sixty-Four” played, scantily clad gentlemen marched up and down the stage in custodian helmets and royal Bearskin caps. Normally I find the underwear segment, and the hail of cat calls that it elicits, painfully embarrassing, but when the music kicked up and the stage devolved into a goofy Benny Hill skit, I laughed in spite of myself. More male models chasing each other around in the skivvies, please.
This year’s musical guests were Top 40 bubblegum pop duo Karmin, as well as very very good-looking Robin Thicke. I wanted to like Karmin. I really did. The problem is.. .I hate their songs. All of them. That said, the lead singer had a great voice, could rap like a bat out of hell, and engaged the crowd. Robin Thicke did the best that he could, but after the dudes running around in their underwear, his sexy soul songs fell a bit flat.
It was another beautifully produced year for the event, but if we could get an entire show that maintained the energy and perfection of the Material Girl, Diesel, Donna Karen, and RACHEL Rachel Roy segments, people would be talking about it for months.
And as for the after party…
All after party photos by Stephen Stephens for Digital Crush. Click HERE for more photos.