This Fashion Week newbie recently attended the exclusive shows at Bryant Park. But even if you don't have the chance to witness a posh show in the tents, where "Yes, they really are that thin" models sashay emotionlessly down the catwalk to rock and hip-hop beats, you can get a jump on the hottest trends for autumn.
The glamorous life
A reunited Salt and Pepa were front-and-center for celebrity favorite Carmen Marc Valvo sophisticated show. Models with their hair in tight buns stutted in show-stopping satin gowns in black, white, chocolate and red and naughty secretary pencil skirts paired with fur jackets, wide brim hats and bustiers.
Likewise, Zang Toi turned on the glamour with a show featuring "America's Top Model" winner Danielle Evans. The first half of the Malaysian designer's collection included urban ski-wear and downtown chic sportswear in a mix of stripes and patterns. But he really wowed the crowd with his dramatic couture-reminiscent group of evening gowns in stark red and black ethnic patterns and feminine satin silhouettes in black and white.
Katie Lee Joel, Billy Joel's pretty and pretty young wife (she was born in 1981 and the Piano Man was born in 1949, you do the math) was amongst the hipster set checking out Yigal Azrouel's extremely wearable collection. Layers, earth tones, pinstripes, and pleated school girl mini skirts dominated the Israeli-born designer's fall look. His dominant colors were olive, gray, chartreuse, black and purple.
Nicole Miller's bohemian collection was inspired by "a modern day Joan of Arc" and featured a bevy of metallic dresses in gold and silver, hooded capes, and a modern take on "the little black dress."
Several designers showcased collections dominated by the color black, including Rad Hourani and Alexandre Herchcovitch.
Avril Lavigne would love Hourani's Goth Girl collection, which featured models with long, straight hair in black, straight-jacket-reminiscent leather jackets and skinny black pants. The Canadian stylist turned designer also turned up the heat with a few layered dresses and separates in fire engine red.
Meanwhile, Herchcovitch put on the best show I saw during Fashion Week. The lights dimmed and a recorded voice echoed: "People, all different, sitting in the darkness, all wondering....what is behind that curtain?" Then the models emerged. The techno beat pulsed. I actually got chills.
The first half of the Brazilian designer's collection was all black -- black dresses in modern cuts and a variety of lengths. Unexpectedly, the second half showcased flowing sheaths in vibrant colors and bold patterns. The last dress was bright orange, a perfect contrast to the sea of black dresses that opened the show.