Thursday, October 6, 2011

Really, Jews are still wearing that belt from the 60's?

I gave in. Under the spell of New York fashion I bought those big black rimmed glasses that are appearing almost as often as Starbucks cups. I like feeling a little fashion forward, as much as a Jewish educator can. Some days I feel more like Clark Kent sans phone booth. The black rims are a retro fashion gift from the 1960s.

What else is in fashion?
At Lincoln Center, the new home of NY Fashion Week, Vera Wang featured the puff bubble skirt.
When Beyonce walked in wearing the puff skirt, she was the last to be seated along the runway, all eyes on her, she looked fab with baby bump and goddess legs. Anyone else wearing the Wang Bubble skirt would be mistaken for the Pilsbury Dough Boy with gold frosting.

The Vera Wang show was future reach. On the other hand the Badgley Mischka show was more for the Town and Country Set on the way to a fundraiser for that heartbreaking cause... horses with bald spots.

So Vera, Badgley and Mischka's show had very different vibes. But one tailoring detail was the same in both: the peplum. If the peplum doesn't ring a bell, turn back to the 1960s'. Big fashion detail, that short flounce below the waist that covers the hips.

If you haven't seen it since Jackie Kennedy or since the last episode of Mad Men, look for it at Bloomingdales this spring.

All fashion indicators say the 1960's are back.

One fashion detail from the 1960's showing now in New York is absolutely horrifying, worse than fabric that widens your hips.

Its a look I thought thought we long outgrew.

The look is showing now at the Brooks Atkinson Theater in
Woody Allen's one act play Honeymoon Motel ( one of three acts in Relatively Speaking).

Saving the best for last (?) the curtain opens to a tacky hotel with heart shaped tub and obligatory round bed. The first laugh: the groom played by Steve Guttenberg carries his "bride" across the threshold and bangs her head. Slapstick chuckle.

The ensemble cast are today's Jews dressed in the neurosis of the 1960s.

In minutes we learn that groom, Jerry Spector, is not really the groom, rather, he is the father of the groom (technically correct: the groom is his step son.) Self-absorbed Jerry stole the bride at the chupah. The bride, Nina Roth (is she a cousin to Philip) is quick to get out of her strapless bridal gown and into a garter revealing nightie.

Who shows up in this pink mirrored hotel room? The mishpacha: Sam, Fay, Judy and Eddie.

Parents bicker incessantly, Rabbi Baumel, also knocks on the door to quote Torah verses that can only lead to eulogies. Spouses sleep with sisters and therapists, and oral sex is reported to have happened at the Passover seder. Thank goodness Dr. Brill, the psychiatrist comes pen in hand.

One father steals a bride, the other father is such a wimp he lays on the bed most of the act. They are well off, can afford a big wedding and yet the only thing 8 Jews dressed in gowns and tuxedos can do is show they are self absorbed empty angry neurotic shells of human beings.

The big ahha, the climax you could say, comes not from the semi-drunk rabbi who babbles about his parents sex life in the days of the pogroms... on the run. The audience laughs as they do on occasion. Rather the widsom of the act comes from the Brooklyn Pizza delivery guy..who says, "life is short, do what feels good." For this you need to pay for a seat on Broadway?

The last fashion accessory seen on stage: the kippot of the groom and the rabbi as they exit Honeymoon Motel. The curtain closes.

What are these Jews wearing? Self loathing, emptiness, neurotic Jewishness that was the iconic visage of over 50 years ago.

Is Woody not able to clean out his closet?
How many times does this guy need to prove it is okay to sleep with your step child?

Is this the vintage look that Jews can't let go of?
What's on the Runway for Jews in 2011-2012?
I hope we are showing something more fashion forward than the Borscht Belt persona.