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Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Saturday- Mercedes Benz Fashion Week

I didn't know what to expect when I first arrived at Lincoln Center on Saturday. It was day 3 of fashion week and the energy surrounding the center when I arrived was contagious. We met up with Lisa Burwell, publisher and founder of Vie People + Places magazine and her husband who took us to the media trailer across the street from Lincoln Center to collect our press badges. Our press badges would allow us access to various shows throughout the week. Even better, if you didn't have a ticket to a show but you had a badge you could get on a list to attend the show in the standing section- which is definitely worth it! The scene when we walked into the Lincoln Center was one I had never experienced. Promotional booths from Kim Crawford wines to Pepsi Skinny to Tresemme were expected as was the plethora of photographers, video cameras and people. But it was the outfits of the attendees that truly made fashion week fashion week. Men with plastic nets over their faces or in mink with hot pink clutches, women in huge 70's style glasses with chunky socks under strappy sandals and the couture babies as I call them dressed in sequins or with bunny ears (who deserve their own post)... I could go on for a while.
Minutes before the show started
The first and only show I planned on attending Saturday was Vivienne Tam. After waiting outside the entrance to the theater for about 45 minutes we were ushered into a large room full of people searching for their assigned seats, camera's flashing, the quiet chatter of people in a dozen different languages. I settled into section C, taking in everything going on around me. I noticed the guy in front of me had his ipad out- a blogger with his twitter feed, facebook and blog all compartmentalized on one screen. The minute the lights went out he tweeted "@vivienneTam, here we go." His avid followers scattered across the US or maybe even the globe, hanging onto his every tweet to see what he thought of Vivienne Tam's Fall collection. I couldn't keep up with his tweets because the second the music started and the first model appeared on the runway all eyes were transfixed to the artful details spun together to make up Vivienne's collection. There was a balanced mix of tailored jackets and pants with flowy feminine dresses but my favorite look of all was her beaded flapper dresses. The hair, piled atop the models heads in rich buns with hairnets was an ode to Southern Chinese opera called kunqu. The models sauntered down the runway with faces made up like porcelain dolls with very little make-up apart from the thick black eye liner, as the central focus was the intricate details that were wrought into Vivienne's clothes. I tried taking photos with my iphone and camera while also watching the show through my own eyes and not the eyes of a lens, but this was a difficult task. Before I knew it all the models had paraded down the runway for everyone to have one last look, Vivienne Tam meekly stepped out from backstage to everyone's applause and in a blink of an eye the show was over, the lights were back on and everyone was shuffling out of the doors. I didn't realize until that moment that I had been holding my breath almost the entire time. 

Beaded flapper dress

Last look- Vivienne Tam

After the show was over we decided to walk around and see what was going on inside of Lincoln Center. Apart from some great people watching, we witnessed style expert and TV personality Robert Verdi asking individuals what their personal style was and then challenging them to a walk off, I was thankfully able to avoid the humiliation of doing a walk-off but it was a very entertaining way to end my first day of fashion week!
Robert Verdi interviewing before the walk-off challenge

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