Ciao, Milano! Fresh off her landing at the Charles De Gaulle airport in Paris—after a Dior fitting, en route to her hotel—Dara, our fashion director, hops on a Zoom call with our editor-in-chief Mel Ottenberg to catch up about MFW and rave about Tod’s glamorous and old money-inspired FW 2023 runway show.
DARA: Hello, Melzy. Bonjour from Paree.
MEL OTTENBERG: Hey from New York. Did you just arrive?
DARA: I just arrived! I went to a fitting and now we’re going back to the hotel, and then Vaquera is tonight.
OTTENBERG: I’m interested in what you’re into because once we get into Tod’s, it’ll be really interesting to see what Paris is like. Milan had a really good season filled with really wearable clothes.
DARA: I agree. To me, there’s such a strong feeling about a really good wardrobe and a really chic style, a way of life, that is back on the runway that I’m really, really happy about.
OTTENBERG: Yeah, it feels refreshing to see real clothes. It does not feel boring. I’ve always thought that, while I love a stunt, stunts can get really old, and maybe we’re just not needing that.
DARA: Our eyes are tired of the stunts.
OTTENBERG: Our eyes are tired of the stunts, Dara. How many more stunts can we do right now?
DARA: That brings us greatly into Tod’s.
OTTENBERG: I was greatly into Tod’s. I mean, she’s real. What are your thoughts?
DARA: It’s all chic, no stunts, no filler, real cute, real cool. And really good shapes. It’s all shape, no stunt.
OTTENBERG: All shape, no stunt. And also, you know who she is. I’m not living her life, but I would love to. Look three is this floor sweeping chocolate coat.
DARA: The floor sweeping coat, so difficult to find, thank God there’s going to be a million next year because I need one that hits the floor with a heel. Sits like a full draping on the floor, dragging across the ground. That’s amazing.
OTTENBERG: I really like that she’s rich but she’s very modern. She’s not campy at all.
DARA: No, she’s clean.
OTTENBERG: She’s got the perfect ballet flat. She has great legs but she also will cover them up sometimes. But what I was really into is the fucking Jodie Foster of it all. It’s so Jodie at the Oscars, the glittery things. But also look nine is this chocolate suit which is giving me Julia Roberts at I think the Oscars in 1990, she’s in a giant chocolate brown suit. That would be great on a Julia Roberts type.
DARA: Oh my god, yeah.
OTTENBERG: Yeah, it’s so fucking cool. And wait, let me tell you the other ones I’m really, really into. While I’m looking, who are your girls?
DARA: There’s that look on Anne Marie that’s the white shoulder pad with the pant. What is this look? It’s that really chic girl that’s on every runway right now. She’s fierce.
OTTENBERG: I know exactly what you’re talking about because it’s got a strong shoulder, right? Yes, it’s perfect. It’s amazing.
DARA: No buttons, no collar, and it’s just about a shoulder. I love that it’s no bullshit, it’s just the shape.
OTTENBERG: Yes, Audrey [Hepburn] would have eaten this look. She really would have.
OTTENBERG: We love you, Audrey. I love that look. Give me a break, it’s great. Come on, this is news. Older money tailoring, maybe it’s Tod’s tailoring. This is like my childhood, but it looks so cool. I’ve been saying over and over and not doing it, that I just need to buy tons of old Giorgio Armani stuff on Ebay and just see what works. I just think this looks cool.
DARA: Yeah, you could wear this at ease. Totally. I’m into it.
OTTENBERG: 38 is really cool.
DARA: You know I’m buying 38. That’s a buy.
OTTENBERG: 40 is this leather power dress.
DARA: This little section is really giving it all to me. The black and white. The pinstripe is so fucked up amazing. The zoot suit thing is really good.
OTTENBERG: I mean, the thing about this is this isn’t accidentally perfect, because it’s been the same for so long that we suddenly like it again. This guy gets the reference and he’s doing it in a cool new way. You know what else is really good? There are these beautiful cummerbund-type things that are waist-cinchers. So if you look at 34 and 35, there’s a top and a bottom, but then there’s also a waist cincher over the top that is really, really beautiful and I think it’s really becoming.
DARA: 37 has it, too. The gray is really good.
OTTENBERG: But the one that I was really the most obsessed with, bringing 37 back into the conversation, there’s this beautiful cummerbund thing in many of the looks that you can see in this white look.
DARA: Over the top, but under the pant.
OTTENBERG: It’s such a beautiful way to finish a look. I’m really about a cummerbund.
DARA: Me too, absolutely.
OTTENBERG: I’m doing a black tie thing on the Orient Express two weeks from now, and I need to get a new shirt and a cummerbund. Why not?
DARA: I’ve been wearing the cummerbund casual. I love it daytime, giving cummerbund with jeans or baggy pants and a t-shirt. I’m obsessed.
OTTENBERG: Okay, so the last thing that we need to talk about is look number 29, but I think she’s got a sister.
DARA: Is it the green one with the embroidery?
OTTENBERG: I think it’s the green one.
DARA: I love these draped tops, very thirties.
OTTENBERG: Which ones?
DARA: These dresses that look backwards, which is cool. Sort of 1930s but backwards.
OTTENBERG: The 1930s dresses are beautiful, like 28. And 29 is really amazing. It’s really giving me a Jodie Foster glamor at the Oscars. Again, these are the kinds of looks someone should be wearing to the Oscars. The gowns. We’re looking at a seat change in fashion right now. These look like clothes for really rich people, as opposed to ostentatious things for celebrities to wear on the red carpet. I think there’s going to be this move towards wanting to do The Row as a look, Tod’s as a look.
DARA: That’s what it needs to be. That’s the fantasy, at this point.
OTTENBERG: That should be the new fantasy instead of just gowns, gowns, gowns. I love a gown, but give me a break. I hope someone at the Oscars wears a suit or something and makes everyone else look hopelessly outdated.
DARA: Yeah, like suddenly the page has turned and everyone else looks old.
OTTENBERG: I’m excited to see what it’s like in Paris.