Brett Heyman knows how to throw a good fashion-week party — and while she’s at it, show her latest collection of handbags. A multifloor suite at the Plaza Athénée provided the house-party vibe — albeit a fancy one — for her fall collection, which she said was inspired by “Belle du Jour” and “Desperately Seeking Susan.” Heyman referred to it as “a mash-up of the Sixties and Eighties.” While a screen played the classic French film, a Pandora soundtrack blasted tunes à la Madonna’s “Into the Groove.” From the Eighties, Heyman played upon punk and rock references, most notably Stephen Sprouse’s signature — and ample — use of safety pins, which adorned bag straps or embellished bags with the shape of a heart or the word “Nailed” — a double entendre quite familiar to the brand. Heyman worked broken hearts, fishnets and flames — a nod to Metallica — into key evening styles. “Thrasher,” “Flaming” and “Kiss” were the phrases of the season. A velvet ribbon lacing up the front of a classic Jean clutch drew ahhs from several party guests, including Jason Wu, Paul Andrew and Candy Pratts Price.
Perhaps the biggest news, though, was Heyman’s first foray into a proper leather and python day bag, which took its cues from “Belle du Jour.”
The two styles are classic Sixties shapes, but with a shot of Heyman’s acrylic touch. The first bag, with a front turn-lock closure and acrylic plate across the front, was named for Heyman’s son Theodore and is called “Theodora.” The other is called Candy after Pratts Price, from whom the designer has sought brand advice. “She is like an encyclopedic reference [of accessories,]” Heyman said of the long-time Vogue accessories director. The bags retail for $1,495 and $1,595 and eventually will include the catch-words and motifs on their acrylic accents. Looking down the road, the designer offered a preview of her upcoming jewelry line with a pair of three blacks hearts tiered on a hanging earring. One lucky guest, Leandra Medine of Man Repeller, went home with half of the pair hanging from one ear.