The show began with a shock when the 95-year old eternal “club kid”, Zelda Kaplan, fainted in the front row.  We found out later that she passed away shortly after.  So you would think it would be a bit hard to truly focus on the Joanna Mastroianni collection that came down the catwalk immediately after that.  But from the moment the first look walked the runway, all eyes were on these incredible clothes, an ode to another icon, one of the original fashionistas, Iris Apfel.

She was the perfect muse for someone of Mastroianni’s talents, both as a designer and an artist.  Every detail was carefully planned, and what could have looked over-the-top in less expert hands, instead was just right.  The fabrics were luxurious:  taffeta, organza and cashmere.  The embellishments showy enough to stand out, yet delicate enough not to overwhelm:  seed pearls, shimmering silver and beautiful embroidery.  And the colors were deep and rich.

The show began with an intricately embroidered black dress lined in lush red and trimmed in leather. What followed was a collection of brilliant whites, liquidy blues, bejeweled reds and shining pewters, decorated with big feathered broaches and sky-high head wear.

When she came out for her bows, Mastroianni gave Iris Apfel her much deserved moment, bringing her onto the runway for a standing ovation.  There was no doubt that this was a collection designed with her in mind.

Photography: Anton Brookes

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