Last Saturday night, I went to the Project Runway party at Fashion Week in New York. It was one of those events that seem designed to make you feel uncool, at least if you’re older than 25 and not wearing six inch heels designed to look like cloven hooves. I don’t mean that in a bad way – I’m long past the age where feeling uncool got in the way of having a good time – just in a ‘that’s the way it is but whatever, pass the Make It Work Martini’ kind of way.
What was interesting – besides the necklines that plunged to navels and the guy in the sparkly micromini – was that although this was a fashion party, it was a fashion party that was sponsored by tech companies. Intel, HP and Microsoft were the sponsoring hosts, which seems counter-intuitive at first glance, because you don’t associate tech geekery with leading edge fashion, or even sparkly microminis, but when you think about it, what’s not tech-y about fashion? And moreover: what’s not fashion-y about tech?
Apple, after all, has showed us that gadgets can not only be beautifully designed, but so beautifully designed as to almost be fashion accessories (an iPod or iPhone carried with those iconic white ear buds makes a style statement, does it not?) I have a Karim Rashid-designed netbook in blazing pink that I adore for its sparkly prettiness, and I recently gave my mom an orangey-pink Sony Vaio netbook that she declared beautiful enough to keep on her coffee table. And who doesn’t love a gorgeous laptop sleeve, or those Kate Spade iPhone cases? (I had one of those Kate Spade iPhone cases, until Jasper smashed it and it sacrificed itself to save my iPhone, which showed an almost sentient grasp of priority.)
There is, of course, an argument to be made that pretty accessories and flashily-designed gadgets represent an almost sexist view of the female tech market. Pink netbooks! Women will love those, because women love pink! SO OBVIOUS! Let’s make pink ones for the ladies! But I don’t know. Most of the guys I know are just as interested in a sleek aesthetic and nice-looking design as any woman is. Maybe they don’t want the pink ones – my husband doesn’t; he refused to use my Karim Rashid netbook when his laptop died some months ago – but that is, I think, just a matter of specific taste. And I happen to like pink. (I once went through airport security with my netbook in my pink gear bag while I was wearing pink boots, which prompted a security agent to say, girl, that is commitment to style. INDEED.)
So maybe I’m not cool enough, style-wise, to feel like I totally fit in at Fashion Week. I’ve got some stylin’ gadgets, and I know how to use ‘em, and that’s cool enough for me.
(Although I wouldn’t mind being able to carry off one of those sparkly microminis, seriously.)