New York Fashion Week S/S 2011 – Part 1

Two weeks ago I was given the amazing opportunity to participate in Fashion’s Night Out and attend a couple of shows at New York Fashion Week for the spring/summer 2011 collections. If like me you grew up reading Vogue magazine and daydreaming about the glamorous world of fashion, then you can imagine the Cinderella experience it was to be in the midst of all the Fashion Week festivities. As an obsessive garment sewist and fashion design student I received a wealth of sewing inspiration to last me a very long time.

The fashion crowd at Barney’s.


Fabulous window displays abound!


Sipping champagne at Burberry.


To kick off Fashion Week on September 9, I went to Fashion’s Night Out, a worldwide event created by Vogue magazine to encourage fashionable shopping during the recession. This 2nd annual shopping extravaganza is the consumer kick-off to Fashion Week designed to make us mere mortals actually feel a part of it all even through in reality we really aren’t (unless you know the right people, but more on that later…). But you can buy the FNO t-shirt and drink FNO bottled water (it’s true that fashion water tastes better than regular water), but more importantly you can run all around town from 6-10 p.m. for fashion celebrity, designer, and model appearances.  And maybe you’ll actually buy something. But who can actually shop with all the distractions FNO provides!

My friend B. and I started at Barneys where we entered 9 floors of extravagant fashion chaos. We saw infamous window dresser Simon Doonan on the first floor. Hipster designer Alexander Wang on floor 8, up-and-coming designer (and CFDA winner) Juan Carlos on floor 7 leading games of musical chairs (very dangerous in stilettos), along with various fashion industry personalities entertaining the crowd on other floors. I was standing behind uber-talented London designer Duro Olowu (a personal favorite) and tried to refrain from asking him to sign my FNO water bottle. Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen, designer duo Proenza Schouler, supermodel Liya Kebede, ceramic artist Jonathan Adler, and many more were also in attendance making appearances. As we fought the fashion-obsessed crowds, I browsed around happily fondling Rodarte dresses, petting Gaultier coats, and admiring  the construction of Marni skirts. 

After fighting the crowds to get back out the door, we headed down 5th avenue to several more destinations. We mingled in a monochromatic sea of sleek grey and black clad CK lovers at Calvin Klein. We admired the recent b + w CK campaign photographed by Bryan Adams (yes, that Bryan Adams), who was scheduled to play a music set later in the evening.

We made a quick stop in Louis Vuitton to watch a mesmerizing performance art piece with around 50 beautiful men dressed like fancy waiters doing a synchronized dance performance along the exposed three-level staircase. My favorite part was the cute dancer boy in the store window holding up an LV bag and licking it slowly and meaningfully. (Strange and riveting all at the same time.)

To finish off our fashionable night we made our final stop in Burberry. I must confess that I am obsessed with designer Christopher Bailey. Burberry Prorsum is so sleek and hip. The clothes, coats, and drop dead gorgeous thigh-high leather boots are to die for.  And who doesn’t love their stunning ad campaign featuring pouty lipped English boys and girls looking spot on cool. We walked around Burberry sipping champagne while I tried to refrain from putting on one of the amazing coats and rolling around on the floor in ecstasy. Then it was off to dinner and bedtime.  A perfect Friday night in the city don’t you think!

On Thursday I’ll post about attending the shows at Fashion Week, so stay tuned!

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