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New York Fashion Week Featured Designers are Interviewed

Aired September 15, 2012 - 14:30   ET


ALINA CHO, HOST: Hi, everybody. Welcome to FASHION, BACKSTAGE PASS. I'm Alina Cho at Lincoln Center, the home and heart of New York Fashion Week. This season we're taking you behind the scenes for an exclusive inside look at the spring collections for 2013.

New York Fashion Week is one of the biggest events of the year. It's where big name and emerging designers show off six months of painstaking work, like Marc Jacobs, who showed a sleek collection of stripes and suits that won rave reviews.

MARC JACOBS, FASHION DESIGNER: After last season's romance and all of the paisley and sort of swirly patterns, we wanted something crisp and sexy.

CHO: It's where fashion meets politics. Tracy Reese dressed Michelle Obama for her speech at the DNC.

TRACY REESE, FASHION DESIGNER: I just felt honored to be a part of this amazing moment. She just glowed in it, made it come to life.

CHO: At the RNC, Ann Romney wore Oscar de la Renta.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Fashion is unbelievable. Just ladies did unbelievable work for their husbands.

CHO: And come spring, the looks you see on the runway will finally make their way to the stores.

You always look for your 10 things, your 10 must-haves?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Pastels and florals.

CHO: Things you can see through.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Solar skirts. Black and white with a montage.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Of these patterns and ethnic vibe, I would love for that to be a must-have.

CHO: A woman who has been setting trends for decades is Diane Von Furstenberg. She got into the business of designing clothes 40 years ago, when she created a little something called the wrap dress. Women who at the time were wearing power suits went wild. And they still do.

At 65, Diane Von Furstenberg is a woman who can't sit still.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Dare to be a woman, this idea of a dress, the simplicity.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They love her, they want to be her. There's nobody like that in the business.

CHO: DVF started her business in 1970. She had just moved to the U.S. a princess after marrying a German prince. They were the toast of New York, yet she wanted her own identity.

FURSTENBERG: I didn't know when I was young what I wanted to do, but I knew the woman I wanted to become.

CHO: So she came up with an idea, using jersey, a stretchy fabric she loved, she created in 1974 the wrap dress.

FURSTENBERG: Very, very, very practical little dress. It looked like nothing that, you know, you could put it in your handbag. And it was so different than anything that was available.

CHO: It was an instant hit. By 1976, she had sold a million of them.

You had no idea.

FURSTENBERG: No, and I was so young, I was 26, 27, 28.

CHO: And already on the cover of "Newsweek."

FURSTENBERG: This of course is the very, very, very first print I ever did.

CHO: You're kidding me?


CHO: That chain link dress even made an appearance on the first family's first Christmas card.

Were you surprised?

FURSTENBERG: Totally. Are you kidding?

CHO: An empire that includes everything from iPad cases to perfume, to a home collection she launched last year, 54 boutiques sold in 70 countries, and a wrap dress that still flies out of the stores.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's a classic. What can I say? Every woman looks great in it.

CHO: A verifiable fashion icon and celebrity.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm such a huge fan of yours.

FURSTENBERG: Dare to be you. Be true to yourself. You can design your life and be the woman you want to be.

CHO: DVF is a fashion veteran. Bibhu Mohapatra is on the rise and my pick this season for designer to watch. Days before he unveils his spring collection at New York Fashion Week, Bibhu Mohapatra is light on sleep and trying not to panic.


CHO: This 40-year-old Indian born designer launched his namesake label in 2009. In three short years, he's already created his own design language, prince and patterns on structured silhouettes.

MOHAPATRA: It's in a way a classic red carpet dress, but the more you look, there's more going on.

CHO: He's dressed Hilary Swank, Kristen Wiig, and Glenn Close. His biggest moment yet, when first lady Michelle Obama wore one of his designs in an August appearance on "The Tonight Show."

CHO: How did you feel?

MOHAPATRA: Very humbled.

CHO: What is your deem?

MOHAPATRA: To touch as many lives as I can through my craft.

CHO: So keep an eye on my designer to watch. To learn more about him, read my article in the fall issue of "Time Style and Design."

Coming up --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did you see the tweet from Zac Posen?

CHO: His YouTube videos made him an internet sensation. We meet the man or woman behind the viral videos.

P'TRIQUE, FASHION CRITIC: Can I say something? I'm Cho-tally into you right now.

CHO: He's the treat, and we're front row. Plus, when Zac Posen launched his label a decade ago, he had a meteoric rise and a dramatic fall.

The headline that said Zac Posen, fashion's biggest poser.

ZAC POSEN, FASHION DESIGNER: It was really traumatic and sad.

CHO: What he's learned about how to come back. My one-on-one with Zac Posen is next.


CHO: Welcome back. This season we're highlighting two big anniversaries in fashion. First, "Vogue" is celebrating 120 years of style.

Known as the fashion bible when it launched back in 1892, it was a little event on the rites and rituals of Manhattan society, 10 cents and 35 pages. Today, the September issue is 916 pages and weighs nearly five pounds. It captures what "Vogue" calls the best and rarest of fashion and culture.

Then there's Bergdorf Goodman, celebrating 111 years of luxury fashion. The premier department store on New York's fifth avenue is truly one of a kind.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There's only one in the world. It's the epicenter of luxury and fashion and design.

CHO: Jackie O and Grace Kelly shopped here. Haulstead and Michael Coors got their start here, a store that looks and feels like a home.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I would like to hope that if you can't find it there, maybe you don't need it.

CHO: It can be tough to be at the top. Zac Posen knows it. He was the hottest thing in fashion until he was not. A one-time darling who admits he got too big for his breeches, had an infamous fall from Grace, and with a mea culpa is now winning back fans.

Glenn Close at the Oscars, Reese Witherspoon at the golden globes -- if there's a red carpet, Zac Posen's clothes are on it. The boy wonder with a big personality, and the big bows started his label a decade ago with a splashy show and splashy reviews.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think he's going to do amazing stuff.

CHO: The fashion world flocked, and he was just 21.

That must have been a little overwhelming.

ZAC POSEN, FASHION DESIGNER: Of course. You know you sort of get swallowed into a wave of fashion.

CHO: Posen's shows got bigger. The bows deeper, and by his own admission, his ego was out of control.

POSEN: With every blessing, there's always a curse. I wasn't really aware of what that was saying to the fashion industry, to the public.

CHO: It didn't help that Posen --

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You're a New York boy, born and bred.

POSEN: I am.

CHO: -- suddenly decided his clothes weren't appreciated in the U.S. in 2010, he decided to scrap New York Fashion Week and show his collection in Paris.

CHO: Some people said, who does he think he is? At the time, were you aware that that was swirling around you?

POSEN: No. No, I don't think so. And I think probably at the time, I didn't care. CHO: You said that "In Europe, my clothes are respected."

POSEN: Worse quote of my life.

CHO: The critics were really unkind.

POSEN: They were.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Took it, went to Paris, and I think he got a little egg on his face. He was smart enough to realize that he needed to start over.

POSEN: After two disappointing seasons in Paris, he returned to New York. Then, a year ago, with an already bruised ego, this scathing profile emerged.

CHO: The headline said "Zac Posen, Fashion's Biggest Poseur." Was that the low point for you?

POSEN: It was hard. It takes that down period, eating humble pie to realize, you know what, I'm going to be focused on my talent, my creativity.

CHO: Homemade, huh?

POSEN: Crust and all.

CHO: Now it appears Posen may finally be getting back on track.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think what's interesting about his comeback is he's actually returning to a lot of the traditional things that caught the public's attention to begin with, that Hollywood glamour.

POSEN: You're only as good as your last collection, your last piece you do. But my real from my heart is that you have to love what you do.

CHO: Are you in a good place now?

POSEN: I'm in a really good place. Fashion, and it moves very fast, but every day is a joy.

CHO: Here's the king of fashion and the prince of the plaza.

Wow, wow, wow, wow. Tommie Hilfiger opens up his home, his art collection, even his closet.

TOMMIE HILFIGER, FASHION DESIGNER: My own clothing store, even though I wear the same thing every day.

CHO: We're taking you inside the legendary designer's $50 million apartment at the plaza hotel.

Plus, I take a ride with actor Ewan McGregor.

EWAN MCGREGOR, ACTOR: I did want to rip it out, though. CHO: The train spotting and "Moulin Rouge" star is fashion's newest pitch man, the new face of Bell Staff.

MCGREGOR: I have never gone after something like that before, but it made perfect sense to me. I feel totally like a true Bell Staffian, and then, luckily, they agreed.

CHO: That and much more when "Fashion BACKSTAGE PASS" returns.


CHO: Actor Ewan McGregor takes me for a spin in an Aston Martin to talk about another British brand, Belstaff.

MCGREGOR: The clothing comes from the modest poor heritage, you know, and so when you're riding around in an old motorcycle or on an old car, there is something, some kind of nostalgia attached to that. When you're wearing clothes like this, it sort of completes the picture and feels good.

CHO: Belstaff was founding in 1924 as an outerwear company best known for its waterproof jackets. In the past year, with new ownership, the company has expanded, a full line of clothing and accessories, a new store on Madison Avenue, and its first ever runway show at New York Fashion Week.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When you put on Belstaff, it makes you feel different. We started racing cars, racing bikes. That's what gives us our edge, the fit, the cut. We're all about the dare.

CHO: McGregor is the company's celebrity face, a job he pursued by sending an e-mail to the CEO with the subject line, "Born to ride."

MCGREGOR: I have never really gone after something like that before, but it made perfect sense to me. There's something very bold about their clothing, something very -- something very sexy about it.

CHO: He's in print ads everywhere, the official Belstaff pitch man.

How do you like the ads?

MCGREGOR: The ads are great, aren't they? All those lovely sexy young people, and then me. It's nice.


CHO: Tommy Hilfiger, his name is synonymous with preppy chic and a look that is all American. What some don't know about this big name designer is he's also a big collector of real estate and art. He recently took me on a tour of his palatial home inside one of the most famous buildings in the world.

HILFIGER: Can anyone cash this in?

CHO: Some call Tommy Hilfiger the king of fashion, but here in his home in New York -- Wow, wow, wow.

CHO: -- he lives like a prince,the prince of the Plaza hotel.

Why the Plaza?

HILFIGER: Well, location is number one. But I also like the fact that it's an iconic building.

CHO: One of the most famous hotels in the world overlooking central park, on New York's famed Fifth Avenue, a two story, 6,000 square foot apartment that took three years to complete.

HILFIGER: We really wanted to go back to the way the plaza was in the beginning when Truman Capote had the black and white ball.

CHO: Old world charm.

HILFIGER: The original Plaza had red carpets on the stairs.

CHO: With a modern twist -- there's contemporary art everywhere, Basquiat, Haring, and dozens and dozens of famous Warhols.


HILFIGER: Icon, yes, because I like American icons.

CHO: Liz Taylor, Grace Kelly, Marilyn Monroe. Part of the allure is that Hilfiger knew Warhol, a man of few words.

HILFIGER: One time I asked Andy, why do you do what you do? He said, because I like it. That was it.

CHO: On our tour, we got a peek inside his private office.

HILFIGER: Actually, this is from the original "New York Times" building.

CHO: You're kidding me?

There's this.

HILFIGER: This is the "Eloise" room. It's really the tower in the plaza.

CHO: You know Eloise She's the fictional story book character who wreaks havoc at the plaza. Hilfiger commissioned the book's illustrator to do the mural in the room. Speaking of rooms --

This feels like a plaza to me.

HILFIGER: It's sort of like our own hotel suite.

CHO: With his and her closets.

HILFIGER: My own clothing store even though I wear the same thing every day.

CHO: That's not all. The Hilfigers stay busy shuttling between three homes. In addition to New York, he and his wife Dee own homes in Greenwich, Connecticut, and this, called Palm Beach, on the island of Mustique.

HILFIGER: I have always wanted to acquire trophy real estate.

CHO: Why?

HILFIGER: Because location, location, location is very important. And I think that as an investment you can't do better than that.

CHO: His advice for living the good life on a budget --

HILFIGER: Buy what you like. And you can go to flea markets. You can go to rummage sales. You can go to antique places and find really, really great pieces for not a lot of money. And I think that if you surround yourself with things you love, then it makes for a great home design.

CHO: There's videos that are all the rage inside fashion.

HILFIGER: Chic. She's putting the chic back in chic.

CHO: We're front row, backstage, and everywhere around the town with P'Trique, a story you don't want to miss.


CHO: You're watching "Fashion BACKSTAGE PASS." I'm Alina Cho at Lincoln Center for New York Fashion Week. This hour we heard from legendary designer Diane Von Furstenberg on her inspiration behind the wrap dress.

FURSTENBERG: It was so different than anything that was available.

CHO: A revealing one-on-one with Zac Posen on his meteoric rise, dramatic fall, and the lessons he's learned.

POSEN: You're only as good as your last collection.

CHO: Plus, a tour inside Tommy Hilfiger's palatial home in New York's Plaza hotel.

P'TRIQUE: I die. I die. It was a lot of luck, but you pulled it off. Be cool. It's on sale.

CHO: It's those viral videos that made P'Trique an instant Internet sensation. We spent the day with P'Trique at New York Fashion Week.

P'TRIQUE: Oh, my god, chic. Chic.

CHO: Whether they'll admit it or not --

P'TRIQUE: I'm not eating before Fashion Week. People were worried about me.

CHO: These YouTube videos.

P'TRIQUE: Do you have this in a size two?

CHO: -- have nearly everyone inside fashion talking.

P'TRIQUE: Are you seeing who is sitting in the front row.

CHO: They're called "Stuff Fashion Girls" say. Well, close.

P'TRIQUE: My intern was seated better than me. What I love is he's the whole package. He looks ridiculous. He says ridiculous things. The response has been ridiculous.

CHO: The videos debuted in February and went instantly viral, more than 3 million combined views so far. The star is Patrick Pope.

P'TRIQUE: Off duty my booty.

CHO: An L.A. based web producer who moo moonlights as P'Trique.

You look so chic.

P'TRIQUE: You look amazing. Turn around.

CHO: We spend the day with P'Trique at New York Fashion Week.

P'TRIQUE: Can I say something? I'm Cho-tally into you right flow.


CHO: Inside it quickly becomes clear P'Trique has a fan club.

P'TRIQUE: So nice to meet you.

CHO: And plenty of friends in fashion.

P'TRIQUE: How are you, honey? Nice to see you.

CHO: After all, who could resist someone who looks so good?

How long does it take you to get ready?

P'TRIQUE: Most of the time, about two hours, about a team of four, makeup, hair.

CHO: We're headed to the runway show of a designer.

P'TRIQUE: One thing I love about Carlos is he's from Brazil, so you know that he has taken into consideration the back side of the lady because Brazilian women have that.


CHO: Front row, P'Trique strikes a pose. Then it's show time. P'TRIQUE: Wow. She's like a butterfly.

CHO: And P'Trique is at the ready with commentary.

P'TRIQUE: I'm feeling like this whole collection is land and sea kind of meets under a night sky. I think the pants and think sex pot.

CHO: In a flash, it's over.

P'TRIQUE: Yay. Look at it. Turn -- beautiful. Over here, over here. Hi. I try to distract them.

CHO: Speaking of Carlos Mielli, backstage.


CHO: It's been a great day at New York Fashion Week, and now it's time for good-bye.

So great to see you.

P'TRIQUE: Let's do this again. I'll see you in the future.

CHO: Bye-bye.

Fashion Week can be a blur, eight days, more than 350 designers, and thousands of new looks. Here are my top five picks from New York Fashion Week.

This pink embroidered double satin dress from Proenza, this look from Creatures of the Wind, this from Altazarah, this dress from Mohapatra, and this look from Marc Jacobs, and an honorable mention at Target, for the first time the big box retailer partners with four boutiques to create capsule collection, prices low as $9.99.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The prices are absolutely insane. I mean, it's a dream. Honestly, pinch me, right?

CHO: We're so glad you were with us for this special edition of "Fashion BACKSTAGE PASS." For more on my fashion specials, follow me on Twitter @AlinaChoCNN or visit my Facebook page.

I'm Alina Cho from Lincoln Center in New York City. See you next time. Thanks.