February 12th 2013

faucets, fashion & fanfare

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What do fashion and plumbing possibly have in common? One conjures  beauty, curves and cleavage while the other brings forth images of cleavage in a somewhat lower area.
I asked myself this question when I was graciously invited by a plumbing fitting company to join them at their annual New York gathering.photo copy

Every year during the outlandish hubbub that is Fashion Week, Brizo (a boutique branch of the Delta faucet company) invites a select small number of designers to a two-day show and tell/focus group culminating in coveted seating at the Jason Wu Spring runway show. For those unfamiliar with the fashion world, Jason Wu is a white-hot, young Asian-American designer best known for clothing Michelle Obama not once, but twice, for her husband’s inaugural ball.

Many plumbing companies have sought to jump on the designer label bandwagon by commissioning interior designers and architects to create lines within their watery offerings. Brizo has done something quite unique by delving into the fashion world and partnering themselves with a costumier. As one would expect, the results are flamboyant and dramatic. The initial Jason Wu line for Brizo is classic, yet courant with it’s contemporary, Victorian-inspired edge. I anticipate the future holds interesting things for this fresh paring.

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The runway show was an experience I won’t soon forget. It was the most high-drama social event/rock concert/freak show I’ve ever had the pleasure of witnessing. This amazing circus was staged, ironically, in a classical auditorium on ever-staid Park Avenue. Inside, an enormous Phantom of the Opera scaled chandelier dangled a mere few feet above the mirrored runway floor (which was being constantly polished by a diligent army of Windex-ers). The pre-show was a thing unto itself:  A mound of fashion photographers were piled at one end of the room while the other end held court to barely-famous youngsters being swarmed by a mob of recoding-device-wielding attendants. Accompanied by blaring synthesized music, the whole spectacle took on an ancient, tribal rite feel. After a bit, the crowd settled down (quieted by an amplified voice with an appropriate fake-sounding French accent) and the main act began. The beautiful and expertly clad wan models swirled and paraded around while being examined by the sunglass-shrouded Anna Wintour (obviously the severe judging Queen of this tribe). The event was dizzying and intoxicating and lasted all of twelve and a half minutes. Immediately, the temple was emptied as the gorgeous congregants vanished like vapor into the snowy city. It was like a bizarre tornadic dream that whisked me up for a moment and then disappeared as quickly as it came.
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Thank you, Brizo for this experience. I arrived unsure of the relationship between haute couture and water piping, but I certainly left elevated by your new marriage.

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3 comments

  1. cwhitneyward says:

    Your lyrical words pulled me into the event…I was there!

  2. […] McAlpine Tankersley Architecture […]

  3. Christa says:

    Looks like a fun event, anything can be integrated with fashion.

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