When my daughter made her First Holy Communion, she wore a dress copied from an old favorite Romeo Gigli of mine — plain navy jersey, Empire waist — reworked in miniature in the requisite white. Shortly before the big event, she wanted to give her look a try-out.
“Mom, where’s my kickoff of Romeo?”
“Knockoff, Grainne, not kickoff.”
It was an ironic malapropism, because much to the chagrin of her grandfather, six uncles and, truth be told, her mother — Grainne made her First Communion on Jan. 31, 1993. Super Bowl Sunday. As mom to girl-of-the-moment, I had to put on my game — er, Communion — face, and feign delight, even though I wished secretly that the saintly old nun who scheduled the affair was a bit more in touch with matters of this world. So much so that I managed to wrap up the post-ceremony soiree by kickoff. While various family members were tuning grumpily into car radios en route back home to upstate New York and Boston, my new communicant and I were nestled up in front of the television set. Final score: Dallas 52, Buffalo 17.
Which brings me to the events of this Sunday. When the Philadelphia Eagles and New England Patriots kick off, I will be nestled into an ultrachic but overheated space on West 12th Street, anticipating the start of Diane von Furstenberg’s show. Diane will be followed by Tuleh, and Tuleh in turn by Luca Luca. Which means that I should be in front of my TV at just about the time Donovan McNabb (knock wood) is hoisting that big, gaudy trophy overhead as champagne trickles down over his exhausted yet jubilant brow.
Despite the presence around me of every retailer and journalist in fashion, in one way I will feel alone as I take in that trio of shows. Because save for the comradeship of my dashing friend and colleague Ed Nardoza, almost nobody else cares about missing the Super Bowl. Nor do the disinterested understand that in moments of true human drama and suspense, TiVo can’t replace real-time viewing. All of which just makes the situation worse, since like a press-savvy designer, misery loves a crowd. At least this time around, I don’t have to fake pleasure in the scheduling folly, because, well, I’m not Bryan Bradley’s mom.
A Stella McCartney sketch of a custom dress made from protein-based silk in partnership with biotech lab Bolt Threads. The dress will be displayed at The Museum of Modern Art's upcoming design exhibition, "Items: Is Fashion Modern?"