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Fashion Chat: Jay Manuel and Miss J. Alexander Really Love 'Double D's'

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Wednesday morning, while waiting for the Ports 1961 show to begin at the New York Public Library, I looked up from my program to see Jay Manuel and Miss J. Alexander from America's Next Top Model wander in. The duo took their place in the front row and began chatting animatedly, pausing occasionally to smile for photographers. Thanks to the intimate venue and limited guest list, the swarm of reporters was smaller than usual. So obviously, I seized the opportunity to sidle up and swap Fashion Week stories. "The J's" happily shared their favorite fall trends, upcoming plans and their love of "Double D's" (it's not what you think). Keep reading to get the scoop.

What trends you seen a lot of this Fashion Week?

JA:
I've seen a lot of ankle boots: chunky, clunky, wedgy and refined. With fur trims, feather trims, leg warmers at the bottom.

JM: But in terms of color, we were talking about green—and that mossy green being like a huge trend for fall. Look (gestures at my jungle green 3.1 Phillip Lim jacket, which has just been promoted to favorite piece in my closet.)—you're already ahead of the curve!

JA: And layering, whether you layer an outer coat over a beaded tunic, over a embroidered skirt, over…a pair of leggings.

JM: And belting it all together! Which is something that I think stylists would do more, but it's interesting to see designers putting that out there for the public to see and really feeling comfortable with that style of layering and putting outfits together.

What's been your favorite show so far?
JM: I think theatrically—I was not there, but I was watched the live stream—was Marc Jacobs' show. I love drama and the shows that I create tend to be very theatrical and whimsical and I loved how it looked like the world of Willy Wonka in white.

JA: When I first walked into the room I was like "Oh my God," and I watched the curved runway and then the first girl came out and I was like "Oh My God." And then I spoke to Rachel [Feinstein], at the dinner—who designed [the set]—and she said "Jay, they asked me a week ago. It took two days to build that. With a 150 workers."

Wow.
JA: And she showed me on her iPod, she showed me the scale, the support scale drawings, which is very this one. (points to Jay Manuel)

JM: I do everything in scale and drawings.

JA: I just felt like I was sitting there with Jay Manuel doing the same thing. He'll go through it for Top Model and we'll go through the music together…the whole ambience. You know, it was insane. But, for…departing drama, was Zac Posen. The dresses when they exited, were insane. It was, coming from the front, you were like "Wow" but when they went by you, you went "Oh My God." The workmanship…

JM: Departing Drama? I think that should be a new term. Does the dress have departing drama? We'll call it "Double D." But then people will think we're talking about the chest size, but we should just come up with a whole new thing.

JA: That's a good one.

JM: We'll just call it "Double D". That dress has "Double D"—and we don't mean bust.

JA: But the craftsmanship was unbelievable. Carolina Herrera. Unmistakably Carolina Herrera. You'll always look beautiful, you can never go wrong.

Great hair at Carolina Herrera.
JA: No, I loved! And that's a good friend of mine—Orlando Pita did the hair, which was insane, it was absolutely insane. Insane. It was absolutely…bouffant.

What are you hoping to see at Ports today?
JM: For me, what I'm looking forward too is again, the silhouettes—Ports always looks so contemporary and chic at the same time. I love the fabrics, the silhouettes, it always tends to be…I don't want to say futuristic, but futuristic in a classy way and I love that blend. But, I don't know what this season is about, we got a green invitation but…I'm always a fan of the silhouette.

Cool. And after this, what are your plans? Are you going to the European shows?
JM: Well me, I'm actually working, cause I'm getting ready to show. I have a line of womenswear, but it's only in Canada right now. It's coming to the US, but it's in 200 [Sears] stores in Canada so I'm getting ready to show my show there and then we go off to start taping again. So yeah, I'm kind of around here.

JA: I'm going home to Paris. I'll see some shows in Paris. And after that I'm going to rest. And then…we go back to taping.

JM: Taping. Exactly.

JA: Cycle 19,872.

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