10 Things We Learned at New York Fashion Week
Twice a year New York Fashion Week successfully takes over Manhattan and this past week's Spring/Summer edition was no different. First Fashion's Night Out literally took over the streets with hoards of shoppers descending upon stores, followed by a week's worth of fashion shows, runway presentations, after parties and more to keep the city's most-stylish happily occupied. In addition to models parading down the catwalk, celebrities lining the front rows and fashion bloggers taking to the streets, there was insight to be gained and lessons to be learned. With that in mind we compiled the ten important things we gleaned during New York Fashion Week:
1. Fashion doesn't start on time: So the invite says 4 pm? Think again. After experiencing every single show start roughly a half hour later, it's easy to then infer that the time listed on the invite is simply door time. More of a suggestion than an actual start time.
2. The runway will dictate your i-pod: Mike Simonetti of Italians Do It Better curated the musical selection for Jen Kao's runway show at New York public library including composing an original 12 minute track for the affair. Perry Ellis's runway presentation began with the lush harp chords of Brandy and Monica's classic pop gem "The Boy is Mine" before morphing into other danceable tracks that had the male models grooving backstage. There is much good music flying around, expect to have many a download idea.
3. Models are multi-faceted: Backstage at Perry Ellis, one male model described his studies at University of Texas in pursuit of a degree in physics. He then went on to talk about SXSW versus the city's Austin City Limits festival. Around him a model made his way across the room on his skateboard while another walked around with a guitar strapped to his back. Elsewhere backstage at Sobotka's presentation, a group of the models gathered around for language lessons from a Chinese model. Rather than just be a pretty face, time and time again models revealed themselves to have a myriad of interests outside of the fashion world.
4. Alexa Chung is everywhere: DJing at a Fashion's Night Out party? Check. Party-hopping post-DJ gig at the Opening Ceremony karaoke FNO party? Check. DJing two night late at the This is New York party? Check. Sitting front row of Proenza Schouler and Marc Jacobs? Check. Turning up in a gallery of Opening Ceremony's Sunday-night extravaganza? Check. Appearing at Tavi Gevinson's Rookie Mag prom? Check. She kept a full schedule throughout the week and kept appear and reappearing over again just about everywhere or rather everywhere worth going…
5. Everything is in: On the streets of New York and in the seats onside the venues, pretty much anything goes. Clashing prints, bright pops of color, quirkiness, Hamptons-chic, dominatrix vibe, indie-nerd, neo-goth, club kid, pirate mode, rock and roll - pretty much any style is a go. And not only is a go, it's celebrated. You'll find a plentitude of different styles all at the same show or at the same party and fashion bloggers are apt to document pretty much anything that fits their fancy and the key thing about NYFW is that everything fits someone's fancy.
6. Blonds really do have more fun: When it comes to the Spring/Summer 2013 show design duo the Blonds put on this season, the statement rings especially true. It seems every season they raise the bar and with celebrities like Paris Hilton, American Idol's Adam Lambert and Amanda Lepore seated front show, their runway presentation show extra bright. In addition to several celebrities, a cast of characters made up the audience bedecked in flashy wardrobe from previous Blonds collections and one daring attendee dressed in only strategically placed ribbons. When one thinks of a fashion show, this was exactly it: over-the-top, colorful, fashionable and inspiring.
7. Get ready to drink for free: While there isn't exactly fountains of champagne pouring like it does backstage during Paris Fashion Week, New York Fashion Week has plenty of opportunities to drink free booze. There are open-bar after parties galore like Jen Kao's which took over Le Baron for a night and allowed attendees to indulge in the hotspot's top-shelf. Refinery29 staged a late-night gathering in a penthouse suit with a number of bar positioned both inside and on the balcony offering party goers a free taste of several cocktails. And even on Fashion's Night Out, several stores let the alcohol flow in an effort to both attract and indulge potential customers.
8. Apparently Jeremy Scott throws awesome aftershows: The word on everyone' lips from Blood Orange's Dev Hynes to Jenna Sauers of Jezebel to other various editors and more was Jeremy Scott's after party for his Wednesday show.
9. Fashion Week is everywhere / Lincoln Center is just the tip of the iceberg: Yes, Lincoln Center is the heart of the official action, but so many of the fashion shows happen in hotels, terminals and more. Fashion week is truly everywhere whether it be the actual shows and late night parties or the digital ads playing in the back of cabs, brand proclamations fly-posted to buildings or in the deep discounts offered by stores in tandem with the week.
10. Exhaustion is the name of the game: While fashion week may seem fun and frivolous at times, it's a whole bunch of busy work and running from show to show, party to party, all day every day through out the week. And let's not forget it's a very social setting so rather than be reclusive, it's an arena in which one has to be on all the time. It's a highly networked scene in which business cards are constantly a flutter, well-dressed bloggers wait outside shows to snap your picture and conversations are struck up with who ever you happen to be seated next to at a show. But mostly, it's the running around all hours that wears one down.
Images by Nilina Mason-Campbell