BPR loves Emmett!
INSIDE Emmett McCarthy's new store at 240 Elizabeth Street in NoLIta, a customer will find a white cotton halter like Marilyn's, a little black brocade dress with Audrey's name on it, and a tailored silk coat painted with red roses and black shadows à la Jackie O. They are perfectly nice, but they look hurried, like the result of a reality show challenge.
This is understandable, as Mr. McCarthy, 43, a castoff from the second season of "Project Runway," is now in a race to establish himself as a serious designer before his 15 minutes run out.
"I always thought that having a store would be the best way to establish my own collection," he said. "I felt like I was at a point in my career where I could pull this off. I had the exposure, and money saved in the bank."
Mr. McCarthy was characterized on "Project Runway" as an experienced men's wear designer, referring to his preshow role as a design director for Ron Chereskin. In fact he began his career in bridal design and has considerable background in women's wear. His first solo effort is called EMc2 — think of it as a theory of reality TV, not relativity — and it may surprise viewers who thought his taste was a tad vanilla.
Beyond the thoroughbreds, Mr. McCarthy has designed geometric print jersey dresses, a frolicsome blue flower print coat and some great brocade handbags trimmed with metallic leather.
The prices are sensible, about $325 to $415 for a dress and $525 for a coat, and his fall sketches look promising, in particular one for a sculptural gray flannel skirt.
Mr. McCarthy has also invited several of his cast mates to sell their wares at the store. These include earrings made of dangling electrical fuses from Diana Eng, a slinky gray jersey kimono dress from sleeper contestant Kara Janx, and promised deliveries from Chloe Dao and Nick Verreos.
The show seems to have given Mr. McCarthy an affinity for the sound bite and sympathy for designers dealing with creative deadlines.
"Trying to get clothes out of Kara," he said, "is like trying to get money from small business loans."
- Eric Wilson/The New York Times