Friday, February 9, 2007

Celeb encounters: Joan Jett "blessed" by Anna Sui

We all know Joan Jett loves rock n'roll. So it wasn't so surprising then to see her front-and-centre at Anna Sui on Wednesday. Sui is the Detroit rock chick who has parlayed her vintage-nosed Haight couture into 32 of her own boutiques in five countries.

Her flower children were out in force in this show - rich hippies in fact, with their 60s-look shift and smock dresses richly-embroidered and more often than not, also heavily-embellished with sequins, feathers, even what looked like silk upholstery tassles.

They were layered over the moment's de rigueur fine, jaw-high turtlenecks or shiny bell-sleeved, high-necked blouses in plasticated fabric - something we are seeing in every second collection here, starting with (well at least for me as I arrived late) Josh Goot on Saturday morning and his Wet Look laminated merino.

The collection was worked back with camp sequinned berets, OTT fur toques and predominantly flat shoes, either sweet square-toed patent pumps or thigh-high boots, the best in electric purple patent. The colours were mostly muted: tobaccos and greys, popped with purple and turquoise.

Next to Jett: Carmen Electra (they must have really hit it off because the next day they are the talk of the hotel staff at Sui's afterparty venue. Then again, being married to Dennis Rodman for a couple of months - as was Electra - would put anyone off men for life).

And although he's not a celeb per se, someone next to me thinks to point out the fact that Paris Vogue editor Carine Roitfeld has dragged along her son Vladimir Restoin Roitfeld as a handbag tonight.

What a name. And what a glam fam - apart from the fact that he chewed gum with his mouth open for the duration the show. Vladimir looks a hell of a lot like his mother: it's that simian and, there I'll say it, Robbie Williams look. I've always maintained that if you put a wig on Williams, he'd be a dead ringer for Roitfeld.

Here's what Joan had to say before the show.

So what brings you to Anna Sui?
Joan Jett: Well, I just want to enjoy a beautiful fashion show. Try to learn a little bit more about what each designer does and try to appreciate it for the clothes. I don't wear dresses, so that's not something that I'm looking at. But I think most of the designers do at least one piece that I think I can wear. So I'm really here to learn and kind of appreciate what I'm seeing.

Are you a New York Fashion Week regular?
I've done it a couple of times. But probably this year is the most I've done.

What about the link between fashion and rock and roll?
Oh absolutely. To me rock and roll is very freeing, you do what you want and you know, so I think there's definitely a connection there. Because a lot of the designers sort of have these visions that might not be accessible to a lot of people but to other people, it speaks to their dreams.

What's the most rock and roll thing you have ever done?
(Laughs) Probably something I can't talk about.

I mean you've trashed hotel rooms at the very least, surely?
No I never did that. I don't think that's rock and roll.

What's the secret to longevity in rock?
Well, I've never stopped. I've always been on the road. I'm always out there, I'm putting records out all the time. So I try to stay, you know, in there. It's not like I've been retired for 20 years and then come back.

But it's such a youth-driven business. And you're still front row.
I think a lot of it is just luck, timing, you know. I can't really tell you. It's intangible. But I definitely feel blessed every day - that people still want to listen.

Might we see a Joan Jett clothing line at some point?
You might.

What would it look like?
Hard to say. Very comfortable, sort of androgynous probably.

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