Chemetal energizes the Fashion Week runway.

Polished Aluminum Classics from Chemetal set the stage for the Marc Jacobs Fall collection.

Classic Metals from Chemetal energized the runway at the Marc Jacobs runway show at New York Fashion Week February 14. The polished, mirrored surfaces of Chemetal #901 and #701 were everywhere. They covered the runway floor and seating area benches. The reflective surfaces electrified the Stefan Beckman-designed space, doubling the height of the quilted columns, and gave the jam-packed, thigh-to-thigh celebrity crowd a whiff of mirrors-on-the-floor naughtiness. It was made possible by Chemetal’s substantial inventory, quick turnaround and thoughtful customer service.

New York Times fashion writer Cathy Horyn mused that the cool austerity of the show could be interpreted as a sophisticated 1950’s dressing room, but that she preferred the clinical coolness of the padded walls and mirrored floors, “that pointed to an almost absurd fascination with style,” adding, “it’s a little mental, no?”

Whatever the intent, or interpretation, the show was a big success. And it was big. Set to an overt chorus of Marilyn Manson’s industrial metal chant, “The Beautiful People,” Jacobs strutted 63 different looks onto the runway.

According to The Times, the show – set, lighting, music, stylists etc. was estimated to cost at least $1 million. That averages out to $1750 a second for the 9 minute plus show. Pow.

578, that’s right, 578, 4 x 8 and 4 x 10 foot sheets of Chemetal #901 and #701 were used. It was the perfect material, standard-sized and relatively affordable. As important, it was available, in stock at Chemetal on short notice. But barely.

To make it work, Chemetal suggested that the set builder, Kadan Productions, in NJ, use both #901 and #701. Both designs are very similar in their mirrolike appearance. The difference is that #701 is an HPL laminate, a thin metal foil atop a laminate backer. #901 is a solid piece of .020″ thick anodized aluminum. Each has its benefits, like clean edges and bendability (#901) and laminate installation ease (#701).

In the frenetic world of fashion, little of this mattered. Kadan was famillar with both designs. It all came down to time and inventory.

After an initial order in late January, the project grew. Kadan needed more material, alot more. Chemetal received notice for an additional 400 plus sheet order late Friday, with PO confirmation over the weekend. Chemetal had the material in stock. Early Monday, Chemetal cut #901 sheets from the coil, packed it with remaining #701 sheets and loaded it on a special delivery truck. The show was one week away. The order, or the set, in its final Fashion Week form, may never have happened if not for Chemetal’s expansive inventory and smart thinking.
While Chemetal doesn’t recommend its material for flooring, they understood the nature of the installation. The runway set looked great, in part due to the timeless beauty of Chemetal Classic Metals.

When asked about his fashion designs for this show, Marc Jacobs, according to Women’s Wear Daily, said, “I thought about all the things I’ve done in the past, and perennially loved. That’s my description of classic.” So to with Classic Metals from Chemetal.


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