Thursday, September 24, 2009

Chic Crowds, Stiletto Blisters, and Anna Wintour at Mercedes Benz Fashion Week

Photo by Peter Stigter and
Jonas Gustavsson for The Times

By Liz Donovan

Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week, in all its glory, is admittedly a little intimidating. The crowd at Bryant Park is tough to please, which I learned the hard way during my first venture into the tents last fall. (One comment from a fellow attendee I tried to introduce myself to: “I didn’t know there was a life in New Jersey.”) But for the Spring/Summer presentations, September 10 to 17, I arrived in Manhattan confidently prepared to shine — and snub, if necessary. I managed to pull together a chic outfit, which required me to ditch my glasses so to not compete with my hair accessories. Vision-impairment aside, I fell into the herd, strutting from Promenade to Salon to the main Tent, taking in the newest and hottest designs set to hit stores and fashion rags over the next season. Here are some highlights from the week:
  • On Thursday, September 10, Tory Burch made her debut in the tents. Burch opted for a presentation instead of a runway show — a packed house of attendees circled around the runway, where models posed clad in the designer’s newest looks.
  • Shopaholics and fashionistas alike hit the streets on Thursday, September 10, for Fashion’s Night Out, sponsored by Vogue. Shops across the city offered cocktails and entertainment, among other perks, to encourage shopping and boost the city’s economy.
  • NJL spotted a fierce-looking Anna Wintour leaving the Michael Kors presentation on Wednesday, September 16.
  • Steven Cox and Daniel Silver, co-designers of menswear line Duckie Brown, teamed with event sponsor McCafe to launch a limited-edition glove line that will benefit the Ronald McDonald House Charities. Actress and philanthropist Holly Robinson Peete was a guest speaker at the unveiling on September 10 in the Bryant Park McCafe booth. To purchase the gloves for a suggested donation of $50, send a Twitter message at
  • Funktastic designer Betsey Johnson made an appearance at the Sharpie booth Monday, September 14 to design a one-of-a-kind tee-shirt that will be auctioned off to benefit cancer research center City of Hope. Fashion week attendees were given exclusive Sharpie tee-shirts, also designed by Betsey, and were invited to create their own designs by stenciling and doodling on bracelets, headbands, ties, and clutches.

By the end of the week, I had gained one traffic ticket, countless stiletto-induced blisters, and tons of material for New Jersey Life’s fashion pages. Stay tuned for the latest trends and looks you’ll love.

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