New York Fashion Week Spring 2011

FAMERS, I hope you have enjoyed the slide shows of some of my favorite collections and designers from New York Fashion Week.  Fashion Week is one of my favorite times of year; each season I am swept in a cyclone of myriad prints, fabrics, color palettes, flashing lights, celebrities, red carpets, cocktails and beautiful people on parade.  The tornado that descended upon the Big Apple on the final day was beyond poetic and gave a dramatic closing to a week filled with spectacular moments.

The electricity surrounding the spring 2011 shows created stimulating currents that were sparking the atmosphere well before the start of Fashion Week and added to the heat of an already humid New York City summer.  The unveiling of Fashion Week’s new venue at the iconic Lincoln Center only heightened the anticipation.  I was a mix of nostalgia and great expectation.  I love Bryant Park, my first behind-the-scenes fashion experience happened there, but Lincoln Center is a magnificent venue and a staple in New York City arts and culture and no event synthesizes all the elements of New York City art and culture like Fashion Week.  Somehow I always feel like Dorothy skipping through the Fabulous Land of Oz in four inch heels.  Only here, there are multiple wizards dictating what is hot to all its inhabitants from the elite down to the munchkins.   

The debut of Fashion Week at Lincoln Center marked the ushering of this event into the new millennium.  Courtesy of Fashion GPS, invitations were sent electronically.  After setting up an account, one could RSVP for a show and receive an email with a confirmation number.  Instead of crossing over the threshold to the tents and treading through the cobblestoned spectacle of Bryant Park, I sauntered through the doors of Fashion Week at Lincoln Center to find a chic, two-tiered lounge, a gateway complete with a modern self check-in stations waiting to take the privileged to a stylish stop.  Destination Fashion should be the name of this locale change.   Lincoln Center proved to be the perfect venue to house Fashion Week and provided an air of sophistication that was missing from the tent shows at Bryant Park.  The lounge was surprisingly spacious with lots of seating room and a sunken in media lounge provided by AOL.  The 16.3 acre performing arts complex complimented the shows and offered on-lookers a wonderful backdrop to gather and gawk at celebrities, dandies, hipsters, fashionistas and the truly bizarre. 

This season Fashion’s Night Out felt like New Year’s Eve, the streets were percolating with people as the boutiques and flagship stores held events throughout the city.  As hordes of people packed retail locations, I chilled at Caravan’s event at the SkyRoom Times Square.   As the DJ mixed an eclectic blend of old school hip-hop, pop and house that was reminiscent of the Paradise Garage and Nell’s,  guests mingled on the rooftop overlooking Gotham and sipped tasty coffee flavored Bailey’s cocktails, kudos to Caravan girl Claudine DeSola for providing cool way to celebrate a hot night.

The events, parties and celebrity watching that surrounds Fashion Week are always fun, but the real stars of New York Fashion Week are the shows.  Perry Ellis’s John Crocco offers a blend of preppy snob and So Cal chill.  “Westward the women” had to be the battle cry of Ralph Lauren’s homage to frontier chic, never to be outdone with imaginative to present American fashion, his spring 2011 collection would make any woman feel homey, sexy and stylish on the range. “Urban Forest” was the theme of Toni Francesc spring show complete with intricate wood pieces that adorned the neckline and wrists.  Any urban woman would feel like Diana the huntress conquering the skyscraper jungle of Manhattan in his fashions.  If Toni Francesc took women into the woods, then Gwen Stefani took us on an urban safari.  L.A.M.B offered bright Kente cloth prints and tie-dye outfits that would make any woman skip to the Afrobeat.  Vivienne Tam’s eastern influences created hodgepodge elegance.  Gottex’s Molly Grad sent some of the blingiest fashions down the runway.  Don’t be surprised if you see swimwear becoming the hot outfit to wear outside of the beach.  From diamond encrusted busts to minimalist structure, Calvin Klein’s Francisco Costa proved why simplicity will always be in style.  Donna Karan celebrated 25 years in fashion with “Raw Romance,” a collection of ripply sandy pieces that proved crinkles are chic.  Oscar de la Renta always offers upscale extravagance and this season did not disappoint.  Meanwhile, at the STYLE360 Lounge WALTER showed mysterious clouds of grey, charcoal, military green and ocean blue coupled with understated elegance.  Caravan/Bobi/Boy Meets Girl offered charming street wear and flirty dresses and Bebe served boho beauty down the runway.

New York Fashion Week spring 2011 has been the most electric season I have witnessed in a long time.  Maybe it was the inaugural season of Lincoln Center that supplied the jolt or maybe people just wanted to focus on something other than our never-ending economy woes, but hopefully this dynamism will be present in February as the eye of fashion’s whirlwind focuses on the Big Apple once again.

 Photos:  Jerritt Clark/Getty Images,    

Slideshow:  F.A.M.E NYC Editor