Modern dancers, writhing half-naked in front of giant weather-themed video installations. Miley Cyrus, not twerking, but working — in a new gig making jewelry with children's beads. A guy mowing a fake indoor lawn in a suit, top hat and fishnet tights. We didn't need to tell you that Fashion Week isn't only about hemlines and tailoring, did we?
Some weird or wonderful (and sometimes both) moments of New York Fashion Week:
BUT WHERE WERE THE CLOTHES?
Making a splashy trip across the pond, British avant-garde designer Gareth Pugh put on a "live immersive fashion experience" involving scantily clad modern dancers undulating in a vast, darkened pier space on the East River that, in daytime, houses seven basketball courts. Guests sipped drinks and snacked on wild mushroom canapes as they followed the dancers from one stage to another, and fog machines billowed. It was all fascinating. But, um, where were the clothes? OK, maybe that wasn't the point.
ONE FAB GARDEN PARTY
Now THIS is how you put on a show. Inside a Chelsea loft, designer Thom Browne created a fantastical garden, filled with models posing as statues, some on stilts. A guy emerged to mow the artificial lawn, wearing a signature Browne shrunken suit with shorts, top hat and fishnet tights, because, why not? Actress Diane Keaton, on the soundtrack, read a bedtime story. Penned by the designer himself, the story was about six sisters, all with different fashion tastes. Models brought the story to life — and their clothes were an explosion of whimsy, color and really great tailoring.
MILEY'S NEW GIG
Who knew? Miley Cyrus is a designer, too. The pop singer hooked up with bad-boy designer Jeremy Scott to present her handmade creations — chunky necklaces, drop earrings and headgear like tiaras and embellished dunce caps, all composed of stuff you can buy in a toy store, like alphabet beads and furry pom-poms. "Miley was up all night finishing them," Scott said backstage after the runway show, where he had scooped Miley from her seat and brought her on a victory lap.
A KARDASHIAN THEME
No Fashion Week is complete without some sort of Kardashian. No Kim or Kanye this time, but young model Kendall Jenner, Kim's half-sister, continued her ascent, appearing on high-profile runways like those of Diane von Furstenberg, Tommy Hilfiger, Marc Jacobs and Donna Karan. "I had no idea who she was," Karan confessed after the show. "I mean, I knew who she was, but I didn't know who she WAS."
AND A JAGGER THEME
Another young model on the ascent is Georgia May Jagger, daughter of Mick. She opened Hilfiger's show, an ode to icons of '60s and '70s rock music, in a sateen cape that, like many of the designs, vaguely evoked those famous Sgt. Pepper band outfits. But what really caught our attention was when she hit the runway a second time just as the soundtrack, full of rock oldies, reached her dad's voice crooning "Sympathy for the Devil." Also modeling: Ella Richards, the 18-year-old granddaughter of Keith.
NO CHOCOLATE THIS TIME
Last Fashion Week, the design house Opening Ceremony treated their guests to a wall of oozing chocolate. This time, no chocolate, but the fashion house did present a play, directed by filmmaker Spike Jonze and written by Jonze and actor Jonah Hill. The play, set in the elegant Metropolitan Opera House (the audience sat on risers behind the stage and looked out at the plush seats and chandeliers), spoofed the industry, and starred Elle Fanning, Catherine Keener and John Cameron Mitchell. And yes, there were clothes in there somewhere.
Victoria Beckham's already a well-known designer. And now hubby David Beckham's getting in on the act. The soccer great caused a near riot on Madison Avenue as he appeared at the Belstaff store to promote his collaboration with the British brand, a six-piece collection including a pricey motorcycle jacket (for the record, he looked very good in the jacket). Though he's no longer playing, Beckham confirmed he's a competitive soccer dad — though he tries to stay quiet.
AND THAT'S ANOTHER ACE
Hey Serena Williams, you just won the U.S. Open. Where are you going to do next? "I'm going to show at Fashion Week!" Williams followed up her impressive victory over Caroline Wozniacki by displaying her fashion line for the HSN network, which she described as "casual wear but pumped up." She even drew Vogue editor Anna Wintour. Also on hand was her vanquished opponent (and good friend) Wozniacki, who was clearly letting bygones be bygones.
A SPLIT AND A CARTWHEEL
Betsey Johnson's feel-good shows are never boring. Drag queens and a transgender bride romped down her runway, along with a few "Real Housewives" and the 72-year-old designer's dance partner on this season's "Dancing With the Stars." At the end of the show, which celebrated same-sex marriage, Johnson did her trademark cartwheel and splits, along with a little granddaughter.
A VETERAN SHOWS HOW IT'S DONE
This one's not weird, just wonderful. Oscar de la Renta's show featured his signature sumptuous detail and intricate workmanship. At the end, the 82-year-old designer came out beaming on the arm of supermodel Karlie Kloss and another model, and gave them both kisses on the cheek. Back in the wings, you could hear all the models cheering him loudly.
WRONG PLACE, WRONG TIME
Woody Allen, who lives on the East Side, must have thought there was nothing dangerous about walking up Park Avenue on a sunny day. But Hilfiger's show on Park Avenue was just getting out, and that meant the place was swarming with amateur photographers and others eager to catch a celebrity. As Allen, in his khakis and rumpled hat, kept walking and talking on his cellphone, he was swarmed and chased across a street and up the block. Next time, he'll have to check the Fashion Week schedule.