If you love fashion as much as I love fashion, then you can understand why attending New York Fashion Week for the first time was a dream come true. Typically the only people that are able to attend Fashion Week are store buyers, editors and journalists, fashion bloggers, prominent stylists, top clients and guests of the designer, and special guests. Through the graciousness of a fashion industry friend, I fell in to the last category and was able to attend shows for two Spring/Summer 2011 collections, Max Azria and Diane von Furstenberg.
Now, before I get to the shows, I have to say a word about the awesome people watching opportunity Fashion Week provides. Held at Lincoln Center for the first time this year (it moved from Bryant Park), I got there a bit early with my friend B. just to stand outside and watch the parade of fashionable people in and out of the tents. We should have bought some popcorn, because this was better than a movie. How fun to see the real people wearing outfits straight out of the latest fashion magazines, the sky high heels, the thigh high boots, the chic, the overdone, and the outrageous. Endless entertainment, my friends, and all for free. My friend and I kept up a constant commentary, picking our favorites and marveling at the "what was she thinking" outfits. Then our fashion industry friend arrived and took us inside the tents through the black-clad security guards into fashion never-never land.
Once inside, we went straight into the tent for the Max Azria show. Max Azria is best known as the designer of BCBG and Herve Leger, but he launched his own namesake line in 2006. Now you have no doubt seen countless runway shows on television or online. And if you are wondering if it looks like it does on TV, well it absolutely does. Rows of sleek bleachers with seat assignments in a large black room and an endless runway. The closer you are to the front row, the more you rank in the fashion food chain. At the end of the runway is the photographer "pen" where they each have one foot of space each to crowd in and get ready for the model parade. As everyone made their way in, we were told that all the shows were running about a half hour behind. It takes longer to get everyone in and seated than the length of the actual show. But in a glorious 20-minute presentation, Max showed flowing spring dresses and feminine separates in subtle nude colors and sophisticated black and white (check out a video of the runway show here). Truly breathtaking. I am definitely inspired to break out some silk fabric from my stash and make myself a romantic dress. The backs of the dresses were the best part with artful cutouts and clever strap placement. This is something I will definitely experiment with in the future.
Next it was on to the big tent for the Diane von Furstenberg show. Before the show even started, the excitement began just by scanning the crowd. Hollywood stylist Rachel Zoe was sitting in the front row looking impeccable. CNN personality Anderson Cooper was at the far end of the runway. And front and center was the Vogue holy trinity of Grace Coddington (creative director), Andre Leon Talley (fashion editor), and of course the fashion queen, Vogue editor-in-chief, Anna Wintour (wearing her signature large sunglasses). I had to pinch myself to make sure I wasn't dreaming that I was in the same room with Ms. Anna. Sigh. However when the lights went down and the music started, I forgot about everything else to focus on the amazing parade of bold prints, expertly draped silhouettes, and graphic color combinations that Diane sent down the runway. Every outfit made me want to run off to the Italian coast as soon as humanly possible. Her hooded and draped tops and jumpsuits in bright colors were a personal fave (I love a good hoodie). Her clothes are always sexy and woman-friendly, plus no one mixes prints better than Diane. Amazing! And seriously, how can you not be inspired by Diane as a woman and as a designer at the top her game after all these years in the industry. Love her!
After a day of intense fashion inspiration all I wanted to do was run home and sew, sew, sew! It definately inspired me to be more adventurous with my sewing and take more risks. If you get your sewing inspiration from the fashion runways too, drop me a line and tell me about it!