Saturday, February 20, 2010

Fashion Week Recap; Adieu Bryant Park

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Like every season, it's been a crazy week. Everyone always goes in so excited, with so much energy - but by the time the week is over, no one wants to see another person for as long as they live, haha. Unfortunately, we weren't able to spend as much time in the Tents as we would've liked. eFlirt is really picking up speed and the last seven days were crazy, but in a good way - full of launch parties, video shoots, meetings and much more.

It was the end of an era this season. The last season in the Bryant Park Tents. When I first heard this news a year ago, I was saddened and frustrated by it. How could they move from such an iconic place? However, I now think it's for the best. Fashion Week used to be glamorous, classy, exciting, and Bryant Park used to be the prized stage. It's just not that way anymore. Most shows have moved offsite because of raising prices, including most of the major names. The tents have become a shell of once was. What was once a sacred place is now full of children (seriously), bitchy cocktail waitresses and wannabe fashionistas who just want their picture taken. It's not about the fashion anymore.

I'm looking forward to Lincoln Center. It's the site of the New York City Ballet, the Philharmonic, and many more great shows -- and now it's the site of Fashion Week. I'm hoping this amazing location will inject a little glamor back to Fashion Week, and I hope it'll start to be about fashion again and not just being seen.

Adieu, Bryant Park. Hello, Lincoln Center.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Goodbye, Alexander McQueen

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This Just In: Alexander McQueen committed suicide this morning. He was one of the most influential British designers of our generation. Anna Wintour issued a statement today:

"We are devastated to learn of the death of Alexander McQueen, one of the greatest talents of his generation. He brought a uniquely British sense of daring and aesthetic fearlessness to the global stage of fashion. In such a short career, Alexander McQueen’s influence was astonishing — from street style, to music culture and the world’s museums. His passing marks an insurmountable loss."

This is extremely sad news, and all too timely during the first day of Fashion Week.

(Photo credit: Fashionindie.com)

It's Fashion Week!

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Hello, fashion lovers. I'm so sorry for my long absence! A LOT has happened in the past six months or so, but I'm back just in time for Fashion Week!

So today is the first day of the Fall 2010 Fashion Week. I went to the tents today to pick up my credentials - That's right! I'm legit! For the first time in four seasons, I don't have to sneak past the guards. The whole reason I'm going to Fashion Week this season is to network and promote eFlirt Expert VIP. I was just expecting to pick up my pass, walk around for a bit and leave, but of course Terry had other plans for me.

First of all, the swag is GREAT this season! It's the last time Fashion Week will be at Bryant Park, so they're pulling out all the stops. Free manicures, makeup, chocolate fountains, boos and all the magazines you can fit in your purse await. The fact that there's food at all is a new thing, but the fact that it's - gasp! - chocolate and fattening is a total turning point. Maybe in a few years we'll see real girls on the runway? We'll see.

So I was in the middle of my free manicure when Terry tells me to get a standing ticket to the Duckie Brown show because there was an empty seat next to him. At first I didn't really feel like it. I didn't have a ticket to the show so I didn't think they would let me in, and I wasn't really dressed for a show since I didn't think there was a chance I would be in one.

Right when my manicure was done, they started letting the standing people in the show. So, I figured what the heck, I might as well try. So I went up to the check in table and told them I checked in a few days ago. Of course my name wasn't on the list, but they gave me a standing ticket anyway! *Note: It's SO EASY to sneak into shows, folks. Just act like you belong in there and you'll get in. * I get in and Terry had given away his seat because he didn't think I was coming. So I try to cram into the standing section, right when one of the ushers announce that there was another empty seat! So I run and grab it and - ta da! - I had a seat in the Duckie Brown show.



All of this happened in about an hour, and it was a great start to the week! Tomorrow starts the real networking, and I can't wait!

Friday, September 25, 2009

The day the stars aligned

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Hey folks - sorry about the delay! I knew this would take some time to write, so I wanted to wait till I had time to really think about it. Tuesday of last week, the day before Fashion Week ended, all the stars aligned. Be aware - this is a very long post!
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I woke up bright and early to try to get in to the Badgley Mischka show. I thought to myself, "If I can just get in, this will be the best day ever." I called the week before to get confirmed, but never got a final answer. So Laurie and I got to the Tents at 9:15 a.m. so we could be first in line for the show which started at 10. For some reason, the guards were being extra grumpy that morning and made everyone wait till 9:30 before they let us in.

Once inside, we went straight to the check-in table. I was fully expecting to be turned away when we said our names, but we weren't! We were on the list! On the list for standing tickets, but on the list nonetheless. So we were first in line for standing, which meant we were getting in! But 10 a.m. came and went, and I started getting nervous. The standing line was very short, much shorter than expected for such a big show, so I started to think they weren't going to let any standing in at all.

At around 10:15, they finally let us in! We ran to get a spot where we could see, which was quite difficult because there were already a lot of people standing, which pissed me off a little. But Laurie and I found a spot as best we could and waited for the show to start. All of the sudden I heard, "Jess!" and Laurie grabbed my hand. She had been keeping an eye on the usher and spotted two open seats next to each other - which never happens. We rushed to the seats, and the show began. We had SEATS at the Badgley Mischka show!!!



The clothes were so beautiful, but the jewelry really stole the show. Unfortunately, you can't really see that in the video because the lights are so bright. Bright corals and pinks along with blacks that were so detailed made this for a very special collection. There were several looks that I wish I could have in my closet.

After the show, Laurie and I hung around the Tents for a bit, trying to network for eFlirt Expert. Then I got a frantic call from Terry, asking us to rush to the Skin show in Soho to shoot pictures for him because he didn't have a camera. We didn't really feel like going, but Terry had done so many amazing things for us that week, so we decided to return the favor. The show was supposed to start at 12, so we had to hurry.

We got to the location of the show, got right in, and waited. And waited. At 12:30, the room was still almost empty. The workers instructed everyone to take a seat in the front row, I'm guessing so it looked like there were more people there than there actually were. At 12:45, we started to really get annoyed. Finally, after the workers rearranged some more people, the show started. Skin is basically a loungewear collection, full of robes, shear tops and peak-a-boo undies, along with big fur boots for the ladies. The designer is definitely an ass man. Here a couple looks:

The show finished off with two children, who I'm assuming were the designer's:

There was such a delay between the end of the show and the finale (where all the models come out at the same time), that people started to leave! Then, the finale finally started with people standing on the runway! A very bizarre show indeed. I would fire my publicist if I was the designer for sure.

Laurie and I were starving by the time the show ended, so we found a little place across the street and had lunch. We were both exhausted, so we decided to call it a day at the Tents, plus I knew I had the Baby Phat show at 9 p.m. That night, Rich and I went to dinner. Still tired and not really feeling like going to the Baby Phat show alone, I asked if he wanted to come with me. Now, Rich is anything but a fashionista, but in the spirit of experiencing something that he never had before and trying to understand why I loved it so much, he whole-heartily agreed.

After styling him in a blue-vertical stripped button-down shirt, straight leg jeans and brown ankle boots, he looked modern enough to make it in. I had an extra ticket because the St. Petersburg Times sent me theirs and I had one from the folder that IMG gave me, so I knew it would be a piece of cake.

Thankfully we got there half an hour early because the line was already half way around the block. The workers started to work down the line and give us our seat assignments. I knew I was in because of the Times, but would have to finesse a story for Rich. The first girl didn't buy it and passed him by. Then, I had a genius idea. The invitation had a box for standing, so I just pulled out a pen and checked it for him. Done. They started letting everyone in and Rich just passed the guards by without a second look.

We got inside and grabbed a couple free "Kimora cosmos" (yes, that's what they were called) and scoped out the venue. I saw that my seat was in the last row and there was no way I would be able to see anything, so Rich and I decided to go up to the second level where the standing people would be and grab a great spot. It was perfect! I could see the whole runway and everyone on the first level, including all the "celebrities." By the time the show started, I saw: Kim Kardashian, Ice-T and Cocoa, Sheree from the Real Housewives of Atlanta, Russel Simmons, Fonzworth Bentley, Amber Rose (Kanye West's girlfriend), Lisa Rinna and several other D-listers who I couldn't remember the names of. Then, the show started at 9:30:



Oh, I love me some Kimora. The models stomped down the gold-sparkly runway in crazy lace-up heels, ripped leggings, bikinis, sequined skirts, jean vests and of course tie-died jumpers. Oh, and none of the male models had shirts on. Such a fabulous hot mess, as always. I heard one person describe it as a "school project." But she knows how to put on a show, you have to give her credit for that.

After being enlightened to what street wear was going to look like next season, Rich and I finished the night with some sangria at Victor's across the street.

Phew! What a day!!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Day 2: Networking and Nicole Miller

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So Laurie and I both got to the tents at 4 yesterday, and what a different atmosphere it was! We walked around a bit and then started working the room.

After meeting a few people, we bumped into Terry again who introduced us to Karen. Karen is the owner of a modeling agency in Maine and a social butterfly if I ever saw one. After mingling for a bit and networking with other new friends, we had a mission: sneak into the Nicole Miller show.

Karen then set out to make it happen. She befriended a security guard last year, so we tried him first. He got her in, but was no help to Laurie and I. So after we were sure the coast was clear, we snuck under the ropes. Then Karen gave us our instructions: Stay in the middle of the line, don't make eye contact and just go in like you belonged. And we did! We swooped past the guards and scrambled to find a place where we could see. Laurie and I both found a place just big enough behind two other taller girls near the end of the runway. Here's the finale:


It was such an awesome show. When one thinks of Nicole Miller, thoughts of matronly business wear usually comes to mind. Well, throw that out the window for next season! This is the inspiration for her line, as stated in the folder on every seat:

"The girl has a tougher edge. Pushing forward body consciousness. Reinventing fabric manipulation. A modern take on prints. Experimenting with new technology and abstracting traditional craft."

Liquid leggings, cropped leather jackets, asymmetrical cuts and different textures made the line look rocker-chic. I'm definitely going to be shopping at her store next spring.
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I'm taking today off from the Tents. We didn't have any tickets today and there's still four more days to soak in as much fashion as we can stand. So Rich and I are going to MOMA (Museum of Modern Art) and then meeting up with some friends to watch the USF game. Go Bulls!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Fashion Week Spring 2010 Day 1

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I've said it once and I'll say it again: You just never know who you'll meet or where you'll end up during Fashion Week.

I walked into the Tents around 4 today, hands shaking with excitement. I took my time and walked around, taking in the sights, sounds and sponsors. Unfortunately, the last show of the night started at 5, so the Tents were pretty dead after that. But there were still people milling about, trying to snag their last free drink. I sat down at one of the tables and met Terry, a fabulous Webzine editor and soon-to-be new best friend.

Laurie got to the Tents around 5:30, just in time for everything to be wrapped up. But at least she got to see the inside and knows how it works so she'll be more prepared tomorrow. I introduced her to Terry, and we proceeded to leave the Tents in search of stores participating in Fashion's Night Out — a sort of fundraising event featuring various celebrities, discounts and free drinks at stores to promote spending and the economy. Of course we were only looking for celebs and free drinks.

We get to BCBG when Terry realizes he has a show to get to in 45 minutes over in Chelsea, and asks us if we want to come. Laurie had a dinner she had to go to so couldn't make it, but of course I jumped at the opportunity. Thus commenced the long journey to Chelsea. Not that Chelsea is far away at all, but transportation became an issue.

There wasn't really any subway stops near the show and the subway was too far away anyway, so that was out. Everyone was leaving the Tents, so there were absolutely no cabs available. So after many failed attempts at getting a cab, we decide to try to catch a bus. We jump on one and almost sit down when a woman tell us it was an express bus to Brooklyn, so we run out just in time before it leaves. That would've been horrible. While waiting for the right bus, we decide to go into Lord & Taylor for some free champagne and saw a famous photographer who I forget the name of now.

We finally get on the bus and make it to 28th Street, but now we have to get over six avenues, which is about a mile. Again, there were no free cabs in sight, so we start walking. The show is supposed to start at 7, and now it's 10 minutes till. So I throw off my heels, throw on my flip flops and we book it. Mind you, I don't have a ticket so there's really no guarantee that I'll even get it, but I figured the worst that could happen is being turned away and I didn't have any plans anyway so who cares. Plus, Terry and I were having a blast joking about everything under the sun. He also taught me many things, like never leave home without a bologna sandwich.

We got to the show 10 minutes late, but luckily they were also running late and there was still a long line outside. They finally let the rest of us in and didn't even check if we had tickets. Everyone was already seated and the show was about to start, so we had to scramble to find a place where we could actually see, which was no easy task. Thankfully, we found a really good spot on some stairs where we had a clear view. Here's the finale:


After the show, there were several extra swag bags that people left in their seats, so I swiped one. It had so much awesome stuff in it! From there, we decided to go in search of other Fashion Night's Out stores in the Meatpacking District. After a long walk, we stopped in Hugo Boss and DVF. Then it started drizzling, so we decided to part ways and call it a night.

Befriending an editor? Check. Sneaking into a show? Check. Getting free stuff? Check. And it's only Day 1! At this point, the rest of the week could be horrible and I would still count it as a success. I've been confirmed for the Baby Phat show on Tuesday and there's a chance Laurie and I could get into the Badgley Mischka show, so keep your fingers crossed!

I'm still spinning from what an amazing night it was, and can't wait to see what tomorrow brings.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

What Not to Wear

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Check out the latest blog I wrote for eFlirt expert:

It's Fashion Week here in the Big Apple, so in honor of the best seven days of the year we're doing a "What Not to Wear" episode of our own — online dating style. Read the full blog here!

Fashion Week Countdown: 24 hours!!!