Monday, April 26, 2010

New York Fashion Week!

Spring fever may officially set in with the beginning of April. For many, the onset is triggered by the reappearance of plants that look alive, longer sun filled days, and warmer weather. For others, the fashion obsessed, the fever is fueled by the reappearance of the spring wardrobe, longer sun filled days in which to show that wardrobe off in, and of course, the lessening of days till New York Fashion Week. The start of April brings the countdown for the annual Fall Fashion Week down from a half a year to only five months! And yes, for the fashion obsessed, the elimination of the ‘year’ time frame is as liberating as the warm weather. Not to mention the fact that this upcoming Fashion Week, September 2010, will be the first to set stage in it’s new home! So congratulations fashion lovers let the spring fever commence!

As if that wasn’t enough, Fashion Week does not approach without an entourage of events at its side. The flood of both pre and post-show parties are on their way and meticulously planned to ensure all attendees will soon have a good time! Not lucky enough to be part of the selected few to get a personal invite? You can enjoy all of the glamour and glitz associated with the shows social scene from within the comfort of your own home. Newspapers, magazines, tabloids, the Internet, and TV will supply you with all of the fashion fun and entertainment to be had as well. Looking for a more interactive activity? Use the nice weather as an excuse to get out there and people watch! There will be lots of tourists arriving in New York City to check out the shows and the hotel social scene will be at a high. In addition, there are also lots of celebrities to be found. So use this as an opportunity to walk around the city and get some exercise, you never know who you may spot hiding behind their oversized shades.

Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen

Still need more reason to contract Spring fever? This upcoming Fashion Week will mark a historic change, as the long-time backdrop for the tents of Fashion Week will not be the same. During World War II members of the fashion industry were unable to travel to Paris to view the designer’s collections. As a result, in 1943 New York City organized it’s own Fashion Week. Establishing a tradition where setting bears pivotal power, the celebration of creativity is one of the staples for New York, that unites colleagues and commemorates their independence. Although New York Fashion Week will not be leaving Manhattan, the changing of scenery from Bryant Park to Damrosch Park at the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts is, to say the least, a momentous one.

Conveniently located next to the garment district, Bryant Park’s great big lawn was an obvious choice of venue for the big tents to be placed. Since becoming host to New York Fashion Week in 1993, Bryant Park has grown over the last 17 years into a Fashion landmark. Tommy Hilfiger’s Fall 2010 collection was the closing line that brought an end to Fashion Week and Bryant Park’s run as home to the renown event.

Tommy Hiifiger’s finale at New York Fashion Week

Famous designers such as Carolina Herrera, Donna Karan, and Oscar de la Renta, are just a few among others that take part in the esteemed tradition of wheeling the racks of clothes over from their offices to the park. For designers, the transporting of the clothes is a symbolic transition of their pieces moving into completed works of art that are ready to be shown.

However, not all New Yorkers view the wheeling of the racks as an exciting tradition. Rather, it is part of a hierarchial practice that produces traffic and the right for designers to blockade the only grass, found in Midtown, off for the elite individuals who received an invitation.

Bryant Park

In addition to those upset with the city for allowing the shows to take place, the exponential growth in number of shows that take place had Park Management concerned. The initial thirty-five shows that made up Fashion Week has grown significantly to around seventy per season, out growing the space actually available. After two years of searching for a suitable new venue, Mayor Michael Bloomberg, the Council of Fashion Designers of America, and IMG Fashion were finally able to establish a viable solution, coining Lincoln Center as the new home for Fashion Week.

Although the move may only be forty blocks away from the garment district, it is a monumental one. There are many in the fashion industry that feel that New York City, through the ability to collectively show in Bryant Park, was made into the global fashion capital it is today. At the Avenue of the America’s and 41st street, the opening of Bryant Park, an array of quotes to honor it are found written by people within the fashion industry. Hanging right at the front of the entrance is a notable quote by Anna Wintour that reads, “Bryant Park became the beacon of what New York fashion stands for- an industry that’s fearless, tireless and always moving forward”(NYT,Wilson). A high compliment to be given by Anna Wintour, the editor of Vogue magazine, and perhaps one of the most powerful, recognized, and respected people in the business.

The prominently placed sign hung over the door, signifies that Bryant Park, despite no longer being the official host of Fashion Week, will remain synonymously remembered with fashion. It is a bittersweet move to Lincoln Center for the iconic tents, but the show must go on! Without missing a beat, the Spring and Summer 2011 collections are scheduled to walk the cat walk at the new address this September.

Photos Of Lincoln Center- photographed by Madeleine Hoffman

Lincoln Center cont. photographed by Madeleine Hoffman

New York Fashion Week is where designer’s visions come to life. It is also where the future trends for the following season are established. September 2009’s Spring/Summer show was full of new trends. Like many Spring/Summer shows before it, a plethora of florals were shown. However, a new theme was found among many of the designers that presented their collections. Mark Jacobs’s collection had models parading down the runway wearing ruffled dresses, tailored jackets, and silk shorts. Designer Derek Lam also focused on structured jackets, jumpers, and pieces that were both fitted and loosely flowing. Both designers are leading influences within the industry, and their collections were among several others that displayed similar trends. The runway was all about fun, flirty, skin-baring, looks that were feminine and sophisticated. The contrast of the designer’s whimsical and light pieces paired with the straight cut and structured ones expressed the overriding trend for Spring/Summer 2010. As forecasted at New York Fashion Week, escapism is the essence of the trends now in style. So, while April has brought on the reappearance of the spring wardrobe, and longer sun filled days in which to show it off in, you must not forget the essential spring cleaning that comes first! Keeping the timeless classics and warm weather basics, its time to rid your closet of what’s left and make room for the new looks of 2010. Clearly, the looks to hit the runway are strong predictors of what will be all the rage next spring and summer 2011. Time to get excited fashion lovers because New York Fashion Week is just around the corner! And for the first time at Lincoln Center, you never know what fresh new trends may emerge inspired by Fashion Week’s new home.

Madeleine Hoffman