By Tina Smithers, Guest Blogger & Fashion Week Correspondent [Ruby Slippers NYC]
Walking into the Mackage presentation in The Box at Lincoln Center during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week was like walking into a somewhat surreal display of smoke and mirrors. Literally. The models posed in groups of four on small platforms swathed in electric black light and dry ice as the rest of us gawked at the raw, ethereal scene as if peering at a hungry caged animal. The gaunt, wet appearance of the models, the up-close-and-personal aspect of the entire arrangement and the sultry new-wave sounds of Kate Bush wafting through the speakers merely added to the hypnotic experience.
Despite wanting to break a cheeseburger out of my bag for the seemingly thinner-than-your-average models (and growing increasingly self-conscious about the size of my hips), I was enchanted. By all of it. Typically known for their outerwear and leather goods (often worn by Britney Spears, Blake Lively and Hilary Duff), the Montreal-based line raised the bar for Spring 2011 with tailored jackets, high-waist skirts, shift dresses and slim-fit pants, all with edge-defining details like studs, grommets, zippers and skinny wrap belts. The palette ranged from soft neutrals (camel, ivory and olive) to candy-colored spring hues like melon, peach and canary yellow. Due to the slow-moving nature of the presentation, I was able to visualize the intricate details and see how each piece was constructed and layered to form an outfit. I almost liked it better than a runway show. Almost.