Catherine Malandrino

Neighborhood: Meatpacking District
Type of Place: Designers

Happy Fashion Week! As New York prepared for its catwalk close-up, some of its grooviest shops celebrated Fashion's Night Out on September 10th. A global event, the night featured fashionable festivities in the UK, Greece, Italy, Russia, France, Brazil, India, Spain, China, Germany, and Taiwan as well as NYC.

I was drawn into Catherine Malandrino's celebration, in the Meatpacking district, by the three modern dancers clad in leotards and tights that the designer had hired to stretch, twirl, and generally be dancerly in her shop's window. The night's theme was "Paris meets New York Marché," and inside, shoppers bopped to tunes spun by Parisian dj's (though I must say they were playing English speakers like Wham!, Blondie, and the Pet Shop Boys when I was there), lined up for free drinks from Cointreau, and scooped up thanks-for-coming gift packs of Caudalie beauty products (made from wine-grape seeds).

Oh...and there were clothes! Malandrino's style is feminine, graceful, and warm—much like the dancers she had chosen to showcase. Her prices are not what you'd call every-day-affordable, but these clothes will make lovely special-occasion additions—and could inspire shoppers to new ways of combining textures and putting outfits together. I admired a cashmere shrug in lilac ($395), a gold silk-blend ruffled dress ($475), a cherry silk blouse with ruffled neck and sleeves ($375), and a maxi dress (continuing the summer's love affair with this style into fall) in teal with a beaded neck ($695). I also loved a belted bustier dress in purple-and-brown-patterned silk—but got too caught up in its design details to remember to record its price.

If you're craving the Malandrino lifestyle but don't have several hundred bucks around to spare, housewares (picture frames, pillows, etc.) and other accessories are available at a range of prices. No-Mu-Ba-Ra rose water is lovely and reasonable at $45; a ruffled silk pillow (echoing the ruffles on many of Malandrino's clothes) in pale green is $195.

Crowds continued to pour in even after drinks were no longer being served—which says a lot on a night when gratis drinks in many shops were, no surprise, a popular draw. Malandrino's wares themselves are something to see, free drinks or no: flattering and well-constructed, in gorgeous materials and vibrant colors that remind us to include daily beauty in our lives.
  - Pamela Grossman; Sept 14, 2009

Catherine Malandrino
652 Hudson Street
New York, NY 10014
(212) 929-8710
(212) 929-8753 fax

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