Sunday, September 14, 2008

NY Fashion Week -- Spring '09!

I'm back from Mercedes Benz Fashion Week in NYC! Hubby and I attended the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fundraiser for emerging designers, which was sponsored by American Express. The featured designer was none other than Zac Posen! Thank you, American Express, for the opportunity to attend a show under the tent at Bryant Park!

The atmosphere inside the tent was festive. There were several vendor booths, including iGoogle, Judith Ripka, Havaianas and Office Max, believe it or not. Amex puts on a good show, I must say. Servers passed around drinks and hors d'oerves while we waited for the runway to open. The DJ played an array of R&B tunes from the early 80's. There's nothing like old-school funk to get a party started!

When the runway opened, there was a lot of pushing a jockeying for position! I saw Malan Breton, designer from Season 3 of Project Runway, as I was going in. I said, "Hi Malan!" He responded, "Hello, Daaahling, how are you?" It was as if we'd known each other forever! Malan was eliminated from Project Runway early on, but he is a truly talented designer and has shown during Fashion Week since then. I am glad to see that he looks happy and is doing well in the industry despite his early departure from Project Runway.

We were given green wristbands upon entering the tent. Once we got to the runway, we were happy to discover that the green wristbands had the better seats. The runway looked just as it does on TV. All the chairs and walls are black. The runway and the backdrop from which the models enter are white. For the Zac Posen show, the runway backdrop was decorated with dozens of clear chairs that looked like the Phillipe Starck Ghost Chair. They looked as though they were just randomly thrown up on the wall and they stuck. The chairs were a great effect. They provided an interesting back drop without taking away from the presentation.

Andre Leon Talley, Vogue's editor-at-large, was sitting in the front row. Zac had already shown earlier in the week. This show was a re-do and a fundraiser for the CFDA, as I mentioned. Thus, I knew the "real" fashionistas had already seen Zac's "real" show earlier, so, I was surprised to see Mr. Talley there. As it turned out, he was the emcee. Those of us fashionista wannabees were giddy with excitement and self-importance, since we were in the exclusive runway at Bryant Park! We were of all ages, sizes, and colors. We all had a fashion for passion (except for maybe, Hubby). There were those who were dressed to impress and looking around to see and be seen. Several people were taking pictures and having people take pictures of them on the runway. How fun! Eventually, production assistants pulled the protective plastic off the runway and lights went down. The show was about to begin!

The show started with five models wearing shimmery, lingerie-like pastel dresses and handbags. They were beautiful and powerful in full makeup and flowy big hair. They were robotic in a way, but not completely. They reminded me of the fembots in the Austin Powers movie. The collection was absolutely beautiful. There were lots of gorgeous, floaty, pastel fabrics. I am not a fan of animal prints, but I do like the way Zac did them. There were leopard prints that were enlarged and faded on flowy dresses. There were slim fitting dressses that were cleverly decorated with paillete "stripes". Other dresses were billowy, ruffly and seemed to glide across the runway. There were lots of jewels on the garments, which I found surprising on outfits for spring. One can see that Zac is a true artist. It was amazing to see Zac's vision and artistry come to life.

Andre Leon Talley interviewed Zac for a few minutes after the show. Zac explained that he had been working in the industry since he was 17. He went to London at that young age, as well. His family is a huge part of his company and thus his success! Zac did seem to be exhausted. It was probably near 11 pm at that time, so that is understandable. He is thoughtful person who really cares about his customers. The sheer volume of garments was impressive. Zac Posen is one of my big three, along with Carolina Herrera and Michael Kors, so I am glad I got to see him!

Hubby and I were pretty tired ourselves, after our whirlwind NYC trip. Before we went to Bryant Park, we did manage to visit the Magazine Cafe (I'd received a flyer earlier in the day). I liked Magazine Cafe. It's got just about any type of fashion magazine you'd want, from countries such as Canada, Italy, France and Australia. There are also home decorating magazines and finance magazines. I'm kicking myself that I didn't buy that YSL collector's edition magazine, which featured looks from each of his collections. Looks like I can order it online, so maybe I'll do that, if I don't visit sometime soon. :) It's a little light on the "cafe" side. I saw only a small area up front that you could have a coffee. However, they do sell a nice cup of coffee. It's also a good place for inexpensive "I heart NY" tchotchkes.

We were in the mood for steak, and so we went to Keen's Steakhouse, as suggested by the concierge at the Marriott (we didn't stay there by the way, but concierges are usually happy to make a recommendation to anyone). Keen's is an old New York steakhouse. The waitstaff was quite helpful and the steak was delicious. We chose potato leek soup and Caesar salad as appetizers. The soup had a nice flavor, but it was not thick -- the way I like my potato soup. The Caesar salad was very good. We had crispy fries and glazed carrots as sides. Delish! The ceiling is decorated with hundreds of old pipes. They look as though they were old enough to be smoked by the native Americans who sold Manhattan! I do like Keen's, but a few of the patrons seemed to have had a little too much to drink. I'd probably refrain from staying there too late at night. I love finding "spots" -- places I know I can return to when I visit the city again. Magazine Cafe and Keen's are definitely spots when I'm in the Garment District.

I've attended a couple of Fashion Week shows now. Let's hope I actually get to work one, next time. Behind the scenes, of course. :)

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