Macy’s Passport Presents Glamorama invades San Francisco full force with groundbreaking fashion from iconic global brands of our generation, tantalizing sounds of the legendary – no, revolutionary! – 1960s bands, the Beatles and the Rolling Stones, and life-saving charity programs out to slay fatal disease, hunger, and poverty. On Friday, September 14th, at the illustrious Orpheum Theatre in the heart of San Francisco, The British Invasion: The Music Then. The Fashion Now. combines runway fashion, exciting musical, dance, and theatrical performances, and an ever glamorous after-party to transform fashion into compassion as this unforgettable event stands to benefit longstanding partners AIDS Emergency Fund, the Glide Foundation, and Project Open Hand.
VIP Socialite was honored to be invited to celebrate this show’s 30th Anniversary and is ever-grateful to have been spoiled by Macy’s events’ exceptional hospitality – complimentary 4th row seats to a $500-1000-a-ticket show, VIP access to the red carpet, exclusive interviews with headliners Robin Thicke and Karmin, complimentary patron cocktails, and priceless moments celebrating another successful event with the cast & crew of the show (not to mention the delicious male models) at the after-party – need I say more?
Red Carpet Experience:
Adorned in high-waisted, tribal patterned Harem pants, a black crop top, fiery-red lipstick, and her infamous Karmin Suicide Roll hairstyle, Amy Heidemann of Karmin charismatically greeted the cameras and press alongside her fiancé, Nick Noonan, in front of the oversized Macy’s Glamorama Record.
Amy and Nick gushed about the Macy’s Glamorama tour. “It’s amazing. To be able to do things to give back is so cool, it’s one of our first experiences with that actually.” Nick jokingly commented, “And Macy’s takes terrible care of us,” to which Amy chimes in, “O yea, we’re not spoiled or taken care of at all.”
The couple, incredibly hilarious and adorable together, is engaged, but has yet to have the wedding. What was planned to be a small gathering as of last year will now possibly be “U-streamed for all of Karmin’s fans to see”, joked the duo. But if Nick’s mother has anything to say about it, this will not be happening no matter how hard they try to convince her.
Their musical journey has skyrocketed since their youtube debut, almost as fast as Amy’s rap in Karmin’s rendition of Chris Brown and Busta Rhyme’s “Look at Me Now” track. With over 73 million hits on youtube, “Our lives are completely different. It was literally a year and 3 months ago that no one knew us, and we’re here now. We used to have weird day jobs, I was a wedding singer, he was at a boxing gym answering phones, and now we get to travel the world and perform for thousands of people at a time. And all we can do is try to thank them the best way we know how and that is by performing and wilin’ out on stage.” Needless to say, their fast-growing fame became completely graspable after watching their exciting performance during the show.
Soon after our conversation with Karmin, the paparazzi looked like the finale of a Fourth of July fireworks show as the very sexy Robin Thicke, who was rockin’ a black leather jacket and a modern rendition of the pompadour hairstyle, smoothly strolled on to the red carpet to pose for pictures with the duo.
Finishing up a new album, filming a TV parody show titled “Real Husbands of Hollywood” with comedian Kevin Hart set to be released in 2013, and wrapping up his first movie titled “Abby in the Summer,” we discovered that Mr. Thicke has not only been extremely busy all year, but will soon be delighting the ladies with more of his talents.
Robin Hall, Macy’s Senior VP of Events, also joined us on the red carpet. “We’ve been doing this for thirty years and it’s very meaningful to us.” Looking very dapper and sleek in his black suit, red tie, and black emo glasses, Hall informed us that Macy’s Glamorama, “Really does a lot for the community. We are very early-on supporters of AIDS and HIV and we’re really, really proud of that, and it’s been a really enduring commitment on our part, but we love doing the show. That’s the silver lining, is we have this beautiful show to back it up and help us raise money.”
Fashion Show Experience:
Nothing could have illustrated the intensity and compassion with which the benefitting programs help HIV/AIDS victims and really how much Macy’s Glamorama does for the community as could the very moving documentary film that began the show. With the Beatles heart-felt song “Let It Be” playing to the confessionals and inspiring words of HIV/AIDS victims and supporters, there were eyes filled with tears in every direction of the audience I looked. Without programs like Project Open Hand, “My life would’ve been different. I would not have had one,” said James Nelson, HIV/AIDS victim. “It saved my life.”
Tommy Hilfiger started the fashion line-up with its notorious theme of haughty equestrians and polo players who stand for propriety as models displayed the cool, classic American ensembles while being accessorized in equestrian helmets and boots, ivy caps, and leather gloves. The men looked dashing in their knit sweater vests, gold-buttoned blazers, ivy league society-badged jackets, and bow ties. The women were calmly cool in their brown and burgundy plaid dresses and tops. Among the neutral, classic color palette of browns, navies, and burgundies that Tommy Hilfiger is known for was a slight splash of color which came as a pleasant surprise to me – a matte vibrancy of honey mustard yellow pants, leather gloves, and bow ties.
In light of the British spirit, Walter Baker had its fierce females walk onto the runway through the infamous fire-engine red, English telephone booths one at a time. The most notable item for this collection was the black leather leggings worn by all of the slick-straight haired models. To end this collection was a draping, floor-length, leather cape, an accent very much in line with the fierce, dark angel meets fashionista, “bad-ass” feel of the entire collection.
Playful, ornate patterns on blazers and collared shirts alike, matte yet colorful pocket squares and bow ties, and suit coat /pant combos that brandish the usually fashion faux-pas of wearing different colored slacks and jacket at one time – Tallia Orange has definitely added a twist to boardroom attire by letting creativity and color shine through the traditional wardrobe of professionals. To complete the debonair look, the male models walked across the iconic backdrop of Abbey Road that is featured on the Beatles “Abbey Road” album cover and were accessorized in bowler hats, wayfarer reading glasses, and vintage trunk-luggage cases.
The best part about the Material Girl collection, designed by Madonna and her teenage daughter Lola, was the dance number used to display the edgy, fun, fearless ambiance they are going for. Some serious B-girls enamored the crowd with their insane, even seemingly physically-impossible moves alongside amazing kid dancers Camren Bicondova and Charliza Glass of America’s Best Dance Crew female group 8 Flavahz, Bailey “Bailrock” Munoz , and Will Simons. Camren gave us sweet insight as to what’s in store for 8 Flavahz, and let’s just say a major feat in collaboration with a certain hip-hop princess is in their future.
With British-inspired, life-like backdrops like Westminster Abbey and King’s Cross Station during this musical segment, the audience could definitely see the state-of-the-art technology special productions used to create a spectacular show.
Bar III, Sean John, and the RACHEL Rachel Roy Collection brands speak to the young, cool, style-savvy shoppers looking for pieces that work for both day and night. Both Bar III and Sean John revealed Native-American inspired prints with fall-leaf orange hues as the main flash of color in their lines. They appeared on the flirty dresses, skirts, and Harem pants of the Bar III collection and the knit V-neck, button-up sweaters of Sean John – perfect for that warm, fall feeling. With “one foot uptown and one foot downtown,” The RACHEL Rachel Roy Collection is the collection that spoke to me and evokes the lifestyle I try to embody. Elegance mixed with casual chic is the best way to describe her collection as fur-collared coats, oversized clutches, short sleeve, above-the-knee boxy dresses, and body-fitting, full-length gowns adorn the models who slowly brush across the stage on a rotating turntable, delicately passing through a luminous curtain of lights to the poetic lyrics and sounds of Rufus Wainwright’s “Across the Universe.”
As soon as the Calvin Klein collection appeared on stage, the commentary came tumbling out of the very flamboyant and very entertaining man sitting next to me, and I couldn’t have agreed more with what he had to say. “This is very Marin housewife,” and, “That is very Charlotte, Sex and the City,” were a few of his labels given to the color-blocking garments as many of the outfits featured a high-neckline, collared blouse paired with pant-suit bottoms or a pencil skirt. It seemed that a “1979 Bianca Jagger” had appeared on stage, as my friendly seating partner pointed out, when a model dressed in a luxurious, long white coat took center stage. Although this collection was not particularly exciting for me, the eye catcher of the evening, however, was its finale piece. It was almost a heavenly experience when the model glided on stage as her beautiful dark skin contrasted perfectly against the pure white of the sheer, floor-length gown to evoke an image of a goddess. The both of us could not help ourselves from faintly whispering, “ooooo.”
To save the best for last is an understatement for this show as the Nicole Richie for Impulse collection was executed flawlessly. Each piece creatively played with the hemline. The very trendy high-low skirt, which gives women a chance to be sexy and demure all at once and is one of my favorite styles today, was featured alongside the flirty and playful short skirts and the elegantly casual, long maxi dresses. To string the collection together, the designer used tribal and ornate patterns on many of the garments while accessorizing each of the models with high, side-tipped fedoras and sunglasses. As each model walked to front, center stage, she was complimented by large video portrayals of her fellow models on side-panels while being overlooked by yet another model from a bridge that stretched across the stage. This was a great way for the audience to see the designs collectively and up-close.
The closing of the show was definitely inspired by many a women’s fantasy. When The Beatles’ jaunty “When I’m Sixty-Four” welcomed all of the male models dressed in nothing but Diesel underwear to the stage, the cat calls could not be quieted as these gentlemen in skivvies marched, danced, and chased their way down the runway with custodian helmets, royal Bearskin caps, and top hats atop their heads. More, please.
If not for my incredible professionalism, I would have swooned and fainted when Robin Thicke took the stage and serenaded the audience with “Lost Without You.” Who am I kidding? I was sitting four rows away from him when his dreamy, seductive voice filled the auditorium, it was impossible for me not to sway from left to right in delight and sing along with the rest of the wonderstruck girls. The pace picked up to leave the audience in party-mode with all of the dancers joining Robin Thicke on stage for the burst of confetti that waterfalled from the sky onto the screaming crowd.
What better way to get the party started at the glamorous Official After-Party at The Asian Art Museum, just steps away from the Orpheum Theatre, than with an exciting finale? The VIP Socialite crew sipped champagne in the American Express Champagne Lounge, enjoyed specialty cocktails from Patron Spirits, indulged in British-inspired hors d’oeuvres like Fish ‘n Chips and English desserts, sampled LUNA bars and See’s Candies, had a consultation with MAC Cosmetics experts, partied with the gorgeous cast & crew of the show, and posed as a rockstar band for a Patron Photoshoot. Without the help of all of these generous sponsors and more, this lavish event could not have been possible. The unofficial after-party continued at San Francisco’s chic Clift Hotel, The Redwood Room, where more chaos and fun ensued.
VIP Socialite congratulates Macy’s Glamorama on its 30 years of continued success and thanks the producers of the show for an incredible evening of fashion, glamour, and most-importantly, inspirational charity. The Macy’s fashion benefit has donated more than $30 million to HIV/AIDS services, prevention, research, and education. Laura Schana, Fashion Director of Glamorama, who was stylishly clad in a black BCBG dress, has informed us that, “This is my 11th year doing this. I have a passion for this job and I’ve been doing it for a long time and it all goes to a good cause.” It was made clear to us that the people behind this event truly have a passion for what they do at Glamorama as it exudes out from the performers, the models, the producers, and the beneficiaries and is reflected on to its audience. After many years of philanthropically helping the community and putting on a fantastic show, we’d say they have perfected the endeavor.