By Anna Sekula Posted February 6, 2008, 1:13 PM EST
It's hard for fashion types to ignore the Y-3 show. Not only does the Yohji Yamamoto collection for Adidas draw a big crowd of celebrities, but the set has consistently been one of the most unique and creative during New York Fashion Week. Sunday evening's presentation at Pier 40 was no exception, with an innovative runway backdrop built entirely of ice. The show drew guests such as Helena Christensen, Damon Dash, Ellen Pompeo, and Chris Ivery.
Attendees sat along one side of the catwalk, facing an igloo-like wall of ice blocks. The curvilinear structure ran the length of the runway, a total of 230 feet. Shrouded in an icy blue light, the glacial set provided a suitable backdrop for the colorful winter sportswear. And even though the day's temperature was relatively comfortable, the folks at Y-3 padded the bleacher seating with white felt, placed blankets on each seat, and handed out hand-warming pouches. They even heated the bleachers from below, keeping the seating area at 59 degrees.
With creative direction from Etienne Russo and Vicky Sanz of Belgium-based Villa Eugenie, OBO and Sculpted Ice Works worked with scenic designer Jonathon Beck to produce the backdrop using 1,143 blocks of ice, each measuring 40 by 20 by 10 inches and weighing 250 pounds. Temperature control was key (one of the reasons Pier 40 was ideal, given its lack of insulation and proximity to the river), requiring tests with lighting beforehand.
Correction: The original version of this story incorrectly stated Vicky Sanz's name.