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Devotees

Decoded Fashion and CFDA Host Fashion Hackathon.

On Super Bowl Sunday, when most New Yorkers were prepping for the big game, hundreds of fashion and technology devotees were going head to head.

Decoded Fashion, a company aiming to connect the fashion and technology worlds, and the Council of Fashion Designers of America hosted something called a “fashion hackathon,” at the Alley, an event space on Seventh Avenue. An assembly of programmers, developers and graphic designers were given 24 hours to create an app or start-up idea to be pitched to a cast of judges (this reporter included). Five semifinalists were chosen to complete their pitch by the last day of New York Fashion Week, Feb. 14. Judges were instructed to identify apps or solutions that could be useful to the fashion industry and support the CFDA mission of considering the future. Originality of ideas, user interface and design, and overall technical achievement during a day of coding were also weighed.

Fashion may be an unlikely subject for tech geeks, but the event drew a large number of participants, as well as the support of the CFDA (including the designer Zac Posen); Condé Nast; and new-media fixtures like Dennis Crowley of Foursquare, Dirk Standen, editor-in-chief of Style.com, and Valentine Uhovski of Tumblr.

“I’ve been to a lot of hackathons, two to three hundred people, but this is the first hackathon I’ve been to that attracted 600 people, half of them women,” said Drew Schutte, the manager for emerging technologies at Condé Nast.

Typically

Prada Goes With Her Feelings.

A fashion show typically lasts about 10 minutes, and that’s just enough time to either be suicidal from boredom or convinced you haven’t even begun to live, since you never thought of wearing a black party dress over the gray cardigan you leave at the office because you, Ms. Mouse, are always cold.
Miuccia Prada, like Rei Kawakubo and Phoebe Philo, established that there is a world of difference between men and women as designers. One difference is that a woman will readily use her feelings to build a collection instead of an outside source, like the work of an artist.

Karl Lagerfeld might be clever at loading up the pop cultural references at Fendi, and obscuring the evidence in a dizzy pile of fun furs, but you can’t imagine him trying to give a shape and texture to female repression. He’d rather stick a pen in his eye, but that’s just a guess.

More than 20 years after the sex fantasies of Gianni Versace and Jean Paul Gaultier, studded leather looks like an adolescent rash, it’s so commonplace and down-market.

No wonder Donatella Versace, in her show on Friday, made the spikes in collars and dresses four inches long. There’s no edge left to the fantasy. But male designers have never been good at the kind of fashion known as “ugly chic.” That emotional territory belongs to female designers. Actually, the territory belongs to just one.

“It’s everything I like,” said Ms. Prada before her show, referring to the done-undone quality of the outfits, with tweed or beaded chiffon dresses worn carelessly over drab cardigans, the garments left partly unbuttoned so they fell off shoulders. The midcentury silhouette, with deep fur cuffs on hard leather jackets and gray flannel suits, was another Prada favorite. The gloomy set and the wet “Les Miserables” hair seemed mostly a Prada ploy, and didn’t really add anything.

As the models lined up for the show, Ms. Prada said: “I’m obsessed with this problem — that everything is forbidden. There is so much control that you can’t abandon yourself to anything.” If Ms. Prada, who turns 64 this year, is frustrated, she shouldn’t be too concerned. A generation of women has been peculiarly susceptible to her fashion: they feel exactly what she feels. So, even if this was not the most challenging Prada collection, its naïve, almost do-it-yourself glamour still got under your skin.

Most interesting

The most interesting look in the Fendi show on Thursday was a minimalist black wool coat with a left-side panel of black shaved mink and a thin belt that half-closed the garment. The fur supplied a subdued decorative touch, the two-sidedness played a trick on your eye and the coat’s shape looked modern and easy to wear.

Mr. Lagerfeld had other two-sided pieces in this vividly colored, engaging collection, as well as dresses and coats partly overlaid with shaved fur that was cut on the round and given a neon band of color. “Fashion is almost always about illusion,” he said. There were pieces that combined leather and feathery bits in a block pattern. Or were those compacted frills actually fur? Hard to say.

“You can’t tell what the fur is today,” he said. Nor could you be really sure if some of the trousers and tops were infused with a sports influence. Waistbands were finished with what looked like striped fur. Those bright pinks and blues certainly could be found on any mall rat. Silvia Fendi brought a similar, multihued madness to accessories, including fur-blocked pumps.

But maybe the most magical thing is how Mr. Lagerfeld, in spite of the noise, managed to keep on a high level of design.