Saturday, February 14, 2009

FALL 09 FASHION WEEK DIARY More notes from the back row… or how I survived on a million cups of coffee and no sleep.

As I’ve told you before, you don’t need me to give you a blow-by-blow description of every single outfit on the runway since there are plenty of other websites which do a terrific job. Instead I’m giving you an idea of what an editor’s life is really like – and it ain’t glamorous!

Feb 11: Well fashion week got off to a fun start. I went to a party sponsored by GQ magazine, which in conjunction with the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA), was formed to recognize rising new menswear designers in America. Held in a huge space in Rockefeller Center, the event was jammed with press, designers and industry honchos. For some reason, the food served at a mens’ press party is always better than the “healthy’ junk at other parties. Between bites of mini cheeseburgers, pizza and wine, I actually took note of some of the fashions worn by the cutest – and youngest- models around. Out of the six designers who showed, I liked Benjamin Bixby’s grey wool pea coat worn over a plaid cotton sport shirt, shawl-collared sweater and dark denim pants. Also very wearable was another car coat (do you see a trend here?) in black wool/cashmere thrown atop a short sleeve polo and black wool slant pocket suit pants.

Feb 12: Nothing like starting the day off with a fabulous designer, Monique Lhuillier who has to be one of my very favorites. Naturally, a late day collection this glam deserved a fitting venue and the informal show was held in the Plaza Hotel’s Oak Room Bar. Not only were the clothes gorgeous, the Laurent Perrier champagne I drank went very nicely with the mini quiches and tomato tarts. Insider tip: If one plans accordingly, one can basically make it through the week on hors d’oeuvres/coffee/bottled water/wine and anything else on offer in and outside the tents without spending a cent. On the downside, it’s not the smartest way to eat, but on the flip side you lose lots of weight running from show to show on empty. But I digress. While every single frock in Lhullier’s “Modern Ballet Russes” collection was to die for, I personally would rob a bank for the ivory/noir (think soft grey) ¾-sleeve tea-length, full-skirted cocktail dress in re-embroidered lace. Also not too shabby was her white silk organza one shoulder cocktail dress with horsehair detail.

Crap and Couture Would Rob Citibank of its TARP Money for this Monique Lhullier Beauty

Feb 13: I actually dragged myself out of bed at the crack of 8 am for one of fashion week’s hottest tickets, the Red Dress Collection held inside one of the main tents in Bryant Park. What this show’s about, the red dress, is the centerpiece of the Heart Truth which is a national awareness campaign warning women about their risk of developing heart disease. What makes the event fun is the fact that the specially designed red gowns are modeled by celebrities and not professional models. Hosted by Tim Gunn who got the ball rolling with an inspiring welcome message, the show kicked off with Amanda Bynes loaded down with Daniel Swarovski jewelry. Other “models” in this year’s lineup included Brittany Snow in Marchesa, Valerie Bertinelli in Christian Siriano (my favorite gown), Patricia Arquette in Nicole Miller, Cicely Tyson in B. Michaels, Hilary Duff in Donna Karan (another standout), Katie Couric in Carmen Marc Valvo, Viveca A. Fox in Jenny Packham, Kristi Yamaguchi in Vera Wang, Lynda Carter in Carolina Herrera, Daisy Fuentes in Pamella Roland, Tori Spelling in Betsey Johnson, Jennie Garth in Badgley Mischka, Nia Long in Tracy Reese, Susan Lucci in Gustavo Cadile, Jane Kaczmarek in Michael Kors, Amanda Beard in Cushnie Et Ochs, Nastia Liukin in Max Azria and Amanda Harris in (another winner) David Meister. After the excitement of the show I worked up an appetite so I can only hope that a double cheeseburger qualifies as health food.

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Crap and Couture, Notes From the Back Row