So Long Bryant Park: What I Learned About Fashion Week

Monday, February 22, 2010

“I remember walking into the Tents for the first time, a dreamer and a stranger to this world,” – Kelly Cutrone, People’s Revolution

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. For females, Award Season and Fashion Week are like the Super Bowl for guys. It’s just one of those things you lust to attend in your life. Last week, I somewhat about to fulfill a dream a dream of mine – stepping into the tents at Bryant Park Fashion Week.

Being a fashion-obsessed person who reads way too many blogs and magazines, I somewhat knew what went on a Fashion Week. However, this week, I learned many more secrets that I would love to share with those readers interested!

Disclaimer: I never want to sound like someone I am not. I was in New York for 3 nights – staying at the Bryant Park Hotel across from the tents. On behalf of a client, a colleague and I were meeting with 10 editors from different women’s magazines. A fairy godmother-like editor from O, Oprah Magazine offered us tickets to two shows she was unable to attend. So yes, I made it into the tents because I had an invitation to flash. However, due to timing, I did not actually have the opportunity to sit through the show. These notes are based off of information I learned during my meetings.

· Are You On The List: The people on the invite list for the shows include celebrities, investors, editors, friends of the designer, high-end retailers, students and party crashers. There are a number of random nobodys that have the balls just to make their way into a show. The key to crashing a fashion show is to look like you belong and don’t let anyone doubt that you don’t below.

· Who Are You Wearing: I always thought it was customary that you must wear clothing to a show created by the designer you were about to see. That’s false. Basically only celebrities (who are paid to attend!) and socialites wear the designer.

· Personal Style: An editor I met with said that when you attend the shows, you should really express your personal style – wear what you feel comfortable in. It’s easy to spot someone who is trying to hard. I saw this first hand when a girl wearing a zebra print dress with a black shrug looked more Jersey Shore than NYC Chic inside the tents.

· Sponsor-paloza: The inside of the main tent is a bit like a NASCAR Race. This area is infiltrated with sponsors. Of course there is a Mercedes Benz on each side of the tent (its Mercedes Benz Fashion Week). Additional sponsors included the American Heart Association, Starbucks Frappuccino, QVC (I bought a Haiti shirt from a little girl at this booth) and Maybelline.

· One, Two, Three: The view from my hotel was basically tent city. The “Tents at Bryant Park” are really big, white tents. You need a ticket to enter the main tent (the enterence is shown above). Right when you walk in there is a main holding space that features the sponsors and booths. This is where people check in and wait for the next show. The shows take place in three different tents – the salon, promenade or tent. Each tent is a different size and all designers must pay for their show (many have sponsors). Other areas of tent city include the backstage area for models to get ready and some VIP cocktail areas. I guess if you really think about it, the tents hold some of the most fashionable people on the planet, yet they are un-stylish TENTS!

· Tick Tock: I was baffled to learn that the shows typically only last TEN minutes. Yes TEN. It takes longer to fill the tent with spectators than it does to for the actual show to take place. What’s crazy to think that designers work for months for just ten minutes!

Well there you have it! My brief recap of what it’s like when you make it inside the tents! During the week I had some D-list celebrity spottings – AnnaLynne McCord (who I hit with my purse on accident), Shane Grimes (both from 90210) and Elizabeth Hasselbeck (who looks so so young!).

And just incase you’re wondering, I was wearing a bright blue dress, black tights, a long black coat and black patent pumps ; )