Inside NYC Spring Fashion Week 09
Diary of a Fashion Week First
The first day at The Tents
-April Daniels Hussar
Of course – the most pressing issue on my mind leading up to NYC Fashion Week … WHAT TO WEAR?! Never having been, I imagined it being something like auditioning for the cool girls’ clique in junior high, only without the blue eye shadow. (Oh, wait … I forgot the 80’s are back … so with the blue eye shadow). Luckily I was able to call on the services of Dawn Russo, stylist extraordinaire and owner of the fabulous online boutique BellaDawn.com. She assured me my skinny jeans and heels were just the ticket, then provided me with a super chic, yet super practical bag in shiny navy blue. It instantly pulled my outfit together and allowed me to tote around the millions of items I accumulated over the day.
Never being one for early mornings, I hopped on the train to the city just before high noon. The day as it unfolded:
12:10 p.m.: Distracted in Penn Station by the new Vanity Fair – oooh Marilyn Monroe is on the cover! Resist buying it because it looks to weigh about 85 pounds and I have a long day ahead of me.
12:12 p.m.: Notice my Starbucks barista is wearing cool, chunky oversize pearl necklace … suddenly fear my pearls are too understated to achieve the funky chic look I was going for. Indecision strikes!
12:13 p.m.: Commit cardinal fashionista sin … real cream in my iced coffee. (Don’t tell.)
12:40 p.m.: Finally, the famed tents of Bryant Park are in sight! A thrill.
1:00 p.m.: Find the correct line to stand in after standing in the wrong line patiently, then wandering aimlessly around the entire perimeter of Bryant Park. Already regretting my choice of footwear. I thought these were my comfortable heels? Why have they forsaken me? Ponder going barefoot … fashion faux-pas?
1:41 p.m.: At last, have been freed from the credential line and now have my official Mercedes Benz Fashion Week press card, which I hang nonchalantly around my neck. Yeah, I belong here … it’s cool. Now I’m on the line for Rubin Singer. My feet protest, I am hemmed in by the crowd, but I am excited.
1:50 p.m.: Spot a fabulous necklace adorning the woman next to me and strike up a conversation with her. Alas, I have lost her card. Call me, fabulous necklace lady!
2:00 p.m.: Ticket in hand, I am not waiting to actually go IN to the Promenade, perched on part of the giant circular planter that serves as the centerpiece, if you will, to the entire tent lobby. Centerpiece and makeshift bench. Said planter is the host of a bevy of beauteous “ruby slipper” inspired shoes concocted by the pantheon of shoe designers: Louboutin, Blahnik, Choo etc. Love it!
2::15 p.m.: Am handed the first of millions (yes millions) of child-size Evian bottles by a delightful girl in a pink gown. These Evian sirens, clad in fuchsia evening gowns, will become a familiar site through out the week, as will the girls in burgundy bearing Petit Ecolier milk chocolate topped butter biscuits. I didn’t realize fashionistas eat carbs or butter, but they do. Oh yes, they do. (Petite Ecolier photo from shophound)
2:16 p.m.: Valhalla! Inside the Salon, searching for my seat in Rubin Singer. I spot goodies on the front row, but back in my cheap seat there are none. There is, however, a placard with my name on it … I feel so official! Soundtrack of seagulls; lots of blue white light.
2:45 p.m. (ish): Rubin Singer is GORGEOUS. Flowing, sumptuous yet playful fabrics; sophisticated, airy colors — navy-blue, cream and white. Incredible structured elements: wide, pointy shoulders, hoods, flowing trains. I’m in love.
3:15 p.m.: Lunch at one of the tables dotting the perimeter of Bryant Park. (Pax wrap, Diet Coke, Excedrin). Shoes are off for a blissful little break.
3:45 p.m.: Back in line, this time down 40th street a bit, waiting for b. michael. Deep thought: Fall fashion week, which happens in February, wil not be so stinky. NYC is still stinky in the September heat.
3:59 p.m.: Diva emerging from black car in front of the door: “I don’t do lines.” You and me both, sister.
4:11 p.m.: Perched gratefully on a bench up in a grimy-looking balcony, aka the press boondocks, while the “guests” take their seats below. Judging by the conversation I overheard amongst a gaggle of videographers, Sarah Palin is not a popular lady here.
4:something p.m. (at this point I have lost track of time … my notes are scrawled and jumbled): Comsopolitan photographer tells me all the Fashion Weeks have their own vibe, depending on the city. London is stuffy and formal; Milan is hedonistic (he makes big kissing sounds). And New York, I ask. BUSY, he replies instantly. A perfect assessment. Maybe it’s just that when not actually watching a show, everyone is busy with their iPhones and Blackberries, madly typing and scrolling.
Later (I am such a detester of waiting that time has stretched into an eternal loop … help me …): I note a bunch of empty seats and try to make my way into them, but am turned back by a fierce PR girl. The PR girls at Fashion Week in general are either lovely and friendly, or fierce and snotty. This one is fiercer than most. However, just as the show begins, the whole flock of them comes to roost with me on my perch on the back balcony stairs, from which I watch the show. They are at one point called away to “make gift bags” and they depart, sadly. I momentarily rejoice with evil in my heart … payback. But then I feel bad. They are not evil. They soon return like a gaggle of black-clad, thin and efficient geese, to settle down around me again, and keep me company through the show. One sits on my toes but I don’t mind.
Finally: The payoff! The models enter languidly from a staircase stage-left (that’s your right, or did you already know that?), slowly descend the stairs, slowly stroll the short runway – down and back – slowly pose in front of the backdrop, and slowly make their way up a staircase stage-right. The effect is pure magic. After all the rushing and business of the day, the gorgeous clothes and luxurious pace creates a dream-like experience – a garden party in Heaven.
5:25 p.m.: Back at the tents, perched at the Office Max “recharging station” for iPhone recharge and champagne.
5:45 p.m.: Am denied standing room access to Nicole Milller by a not-evil PR girl. I don’t have the heart to try to weasel my way into the next two shows (that’s what you get when you register on the very last day – unless you’re Anna Wintour – not much). I decide to make the trek back home … to return another day, fresh and in flats.