Last September, during the Spring 2012 shows, I spent a day with Nicholas Mellamphy. This was shot and written then, but makes its debut here (and here at The Bay's website; check it out for additional images and some in full, glorious colour) just now, in time for Spring, when these clothes will actually walk the streets instead of just the runways. I hope you enjoy this inside-peek into a very cool job. (And click here to see the rest of my time at the Spring 2012 shows. Backstage at Marc Jacobs and more!)
Nicholas Mellamphy is the Creative Director and head buyer for The Room, the Hudson's Bay Company's designer floor where socialites head for incredible clothes. He had a day chock-full of shows and market appointments where he'd view, select, and order the pieces he wants in The Room for Spring 2012. I got to tag along, noting at one point in the day that "This is your job! And it's my job is to photograph you doing your job. We have ridiculously amazing jobs!!"
I met Nicholas on a sunny Wednesday morning, Fashion Week a day from its finish. We were to meet on 35th Street, at the new home of Jason Wu. Nicholas' first appointment of the day would be there, where he'd see the beautiful designs that stomped the runway days earlier. After catching-up with industry friends and settling into an Americano, he wandered the beautiful showroom and pulled the looks he'd loved in preview. As he built a rack of clothes he stood back to imagine them in The Room. He told me he likes to merchandize it there in the showroom, to get an idea of what it will look like in the store. He shuffled hangers and carefully placed a bold pink tweed next to a dress made of breathable, taupe nylon. He wondered if it needed more blue, so dashed to the section of the showroom with smokey silk florals. Two fit models (one classic, the other with a bit of an edge) rotated in and out of the showroom, paper dolls in gorgeous clothes. Nicholas snapped his own photos and took video of the movement of each garment. The girls would walk and turn and toss the clothes around to show their expert tailoring. A gorgeous citron gown, Nicholas thought, would be perfect for a certain notable Torontonian gal-about-town. So he'd take just one for now.
Then we were off to J. Mendel's show at the tents in Lincoln Centre where we were met by The Bay's Fashion Director Suzanne Timmins. It became a bit of a day in the life of both of them, as we dashed from uptown shows to showrooms in Soho (where both Thakoon and Jeremy Laing were on-hand to walk Nicholas through their collections). The day ended at the one of the buzziest shows of the week: Proenza Schouler.
Oh, and It's no accident that this day didn't include much in the way of food: There's no time! This is fashion.