September 7, 2011

Celebrating NY Fashion Week and Fashion’s Night Out


NY Fashion Week kicks off tomorrow! Twice a year, in September and February,  New York City plays host to an assortment of American Fashion designers (and a few International designers as well), as they show their preview collections to a crowd of journalists, buyers, celebrities and the elite socialites at New York Fashion Week. Fashion Week provides these designers an opportunity to not only show off their upcoming season, but set trends. The Fashion Week shows are by invitation only, making entry to the shows akin to attending the Superbowl.

Feeling left out because you weren’t on the invite list? No need to worry as New York City itself gets into the fashion spirit with many stores, salons, spas, restaurants, and bars participating in Fashion’s Night Out. For the third year in a row, designers, celebrities, and performers mingle with shoppers as they take part in after-hours shopping extravaganza’s Fashion Night’s Out. The 2011 version of Fashion’s Night Out will be even bigger and better this year with new events, locations and even allowing shoppers to participate in the festivities from home on-line. For more on Fashion’s Night Out activities see

New York City’s first Fashion Week, then called Press Week was held in 1943. Fashion publicist Eleanor Lambert organized the event to showcase American Designers to fashion industry insiders and fashion journalists because they were unable to travel to Paris to see French Fashion shows during the World War II.  Only Press was allowed to the show (to entice buyers to visit the designers’ showrooms) and that helped showcase American designers as many fashion magazines like Vogue( normally filled with French designs) increasingly began to feature American fashion.

From the large white tents in Bryant Park, to the new home in Lincoln Center, Fashion Week has kept up with the times. Technology has certainly helped shape the future of fashion making it cheaper and easier for designers to create their collections; it has also allowed them to broadcast their lines over the internet. Many designers have opted to not only market on-line, but sell exclusively on-line. Some designers, (for example, one of my favorites, Norma Kamali) has an application on the iPhone. In really keeping up with the times, Fashion shows use Fashion GPS , a new technology that offers quick seating and check-in for guests at the shows.

Because of the recession, many designers began stepping outside of the box. With the cost of a show upwards of $750,000, many designers incorporated ways to cut costs. From combining lines, changing venues, displaying mannequins, designers were able lower costs. Fashion collections , in a trend to show recession friendly fashion, began showing stale colors and pieces that can be layered or worn alone as ways to double the wear out of one piece.

Mercedez-Benz Fashion Week ( is perhaps the most well-known event held during the New York Fashion Week, but it is not the only one. Many top-name designers, including Calvin Klein, Marc Jacobs, Donna Karan, and Ralph Lauren, show their collections at other venues.

Once again, I am pleased that I will be able to show pictures of some of the collections, courtesy of my favorite fashion photog Shawn Punch (pictured)!


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