Caroline Vreeland’s Fashion Week Diary: I Had Chills From the Moment This Show Started

Fendi: A return to the iconic F logo had us positively squirming in our seats. The sheer tights, socks, dresses and skirts rubbed against each other like skin on skin. I was particularly infatuated with the baby bucket bag. My attendance at this show was accompanied by a videographer from L’Officiel Italia, who was making a diary of my very Fendi day.

Caroline Vreeland's Fashion Week Diary
Caroline Vreeland’s Fashion Week Diary.
CREDIT: Sumana Ghosh-Witherspoon

amfAR: As I settled into my seat at the dinner table, tucked between my friends Elizabeth Sulcer and Jasmine Sanders and the rest of my Bulgari family, I had no idea what the night had in store. Halfway through the truffle gnocchi (which was nearly too marvelous for interruption),  I heard my name called among a list of gorgeous models. We were being beckoned onstage to help raise money for a specific lot, a photo with all of us! As they began the bids, I had an idea. Grabbing the mic from Alessandra Ambrosio, I took matters into my own hands and asked the audience if they would bid higher if I sang a song and the girls behind me did an interpretative dance. “At Last” by Etta James seemed like a good jazz standard to pull out of my sleeve. We ended up raising $40,000 for the selfie! It felt really good to be a part of this; it was a wonderful experience. No pressure that Andrea Bocelli had just preformed right before me.

Versace: Honestly, just don’t. Don’t look at me, don’t speak to me. I had chills from the moment this show started. “This is dedicated to my brother” came booming out of the speakers as 4 girls came toward us at once. Then Kaia. Then a trio. This staggering and unique grouping of girls felt like fresh girl power. “Imagine a world without his risk-taking, his innovative genius and, above all, his allegiance to women.”

In a classic tribute to her brother, Donatella f**king outdid herself. Every single thing was perfect, from the traditional Versace gold and animalia to the cowboy hats and upside-down heart-shaped bodices. I can’t even believe I was there for such an iconic moment, let alone alive for it. (But if you checked my pulse after the show, I may not have been alive after all.) When the show came to an end, I already thought it was the best thing I had ever seen. Then the supers came out. At this point I was ready to be wheeled out on a stretcher. It reminded me of something Diana Vreeland used to say about Cristobal Balenciaga’s presentations: “One never knew what one was going to see at an opening. One fainted. It was possible to blow up and die. Audrey Hepburn turned to me and asked why I wasn’t frothing at the mouth at what I was seeing. I told her I was trying to act calm and detached because, after all, I was a member of the press. Across the way Gloria Guinness was sliding out of her chair on to the floor. Everyone was going up in foam and thunder.”

“Gianni, we love you, and we can still feel you when we close our eyes. Can you feel it? This is the celebration of a genius.” And so it was.

Versace spring 2018 runway.
Versace spring 2018 runway.
CREDIT: Rex Shutterstock

Philosophy: The red leather shorts were made for me! Want! Need! And the kimono-style belts I obviously can’t live without. Especially when wrapped around that long black sheer lace number — delicious. As for the purple, glittering shorts look — I’ll take two. Every girl I know in the front row had her KiraKira app turned on for that one. Alas, the finale: (I’ll have you know that I just wrapped season one of “Versailles,” and god damn, I love when they drift scandalously from room to room in their white nightgowns by candlelight.) So it was with great pleasure that I watched Lorenzo’s white nightdress army storm the palace!

Philosophy spring 2018 ready to wear
Philosophy spring ’18.
CREDIT: Rex Shutterstock

Missoni: After hearing Angela Missoni’s heartfelt speech at amfAR a few nights before (they were honoring her for 20 years as creative director), I felt like I knew the kindness in her heart, which I feel is particularly absent from this world (in fashion and otherwise) as of late. I was sad I could never fit my boobs into the delicate little beaded bikini which stole my heart on the runway. I could, however, wrangle myself into one of the sheer body suits which closed the show, which had my special beads woven throughout. I especially loved the dwarfing effect of anything beneath or around those giant hats.

Caroline Vreeland, Shea Marie
(L-R) Shea Marie and Caroline Vreeland at Missoni’s spring ’18 show.
CREDIT: Rex Shutterstock

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