Twice a year, in February and September, New York City hosts Fashion Week: an eight-day long fashion extravaganza. According to The New York Times, New York Fashion Week presents approximately 320 shows and hauls in over $860 million for the City (more than the US Open, the marathon, or Super Bowl). Fashion Week is the culmination of months of work for not only designers, but also for many other artists and contributors, including supremely talented producers, hairstylists, makeup artists, nail artists, fashion stylists, set designers, DJs, and models, all helping to make these shows works of art. We always love an invite to a show whether for our clients or designers we admire. For buyers and editors the shows mark the beginning of their work for the next season, but luckily for us we can sit back and enjoy the shows solely for their fashion and artistic merits.
I attended two shows: the Jill Stuart show, held in the Tents at Lincoln Center, and the Marc Jacobs show at the Armory. I also watched MADE Fashion Week at Milk Studios from afar (okay, from our offices across the street).
I had always wanted to see a show in the Tents, and I wasn’t disappointed. Amidst the flurry of activity and branding, I spotted fashion bloggers taking notes, harried editors dashing to their next shows, Diet Coke girls passing out beverages, and a slew of advertisers from Samsung to American Express to Mercedes Benz.
After standing in line for a bit, we were ushered into the Jill Stuart show. By some sort of luck, we ended up with seats for which we were very grateful. The Jill Stuart show was presented in a classical format with one catwalk, tiered seating, and upbeat music. I was unfortunately not able to scope out the famous celebrities and editors in the room, but according to reports I read the next day, Anna Kendrick was the big name sitting front row. I would have liked to meet her because I am pretty sure we would be best friends if given the opportunity, but I digress. Let’s talk fashion: Jill Stuart described her Fall/Winter 2014 collection to FashionTV: “The girl is a girl with an attitude, who selects and carefully handpicks her clothes based purely on instinct. She’s boyishly poetic, she’s massively unpredictable, she’s an irregular beauty.” True to this, I loved Jill Stuart’s blend of fabrics in this collection. She paired leather skirts and silk and wool tops, which allowed the leather to pop without being overbearing. The numerous dresses she showed in this collection would be perfect for a New Year’s Eve celebration or cocktail party, but be prepared to show a lot of leg! My favorite part of Jill Stuart’s line was the wool coats. Each in different colors and shapes, the coats brought each look together, and I loved them.
A few days later on the last night of Fashion Week, we attended the Marc Jacobs show. It was truly an experience. After trudging through yet another snowstorm to make it (when will winter be over?), we arrived at the Armory on 25th and Lexington. There were seven catwalks and only one row of seating per lane. The models (including Kendall Jenner!) snaked their way around the massive space passing fashion icons like Anna Wintour, Bill Cunningham, Grace Coddington, Alexa Chung, Russell Simmons, André Leon Talley, and more. With clouds above and stools below, the show launched with Jessica Lange’s sultry voice repeating the words: “Happy days are here again. The skies above are clear again. So let’s sing a song of cheer again. Happy days are here again.” At first, I thought that was just going to be the intro, but that mantra was repeated for the duration of the show.
Much of the Marc Jacobs line, his first since leaving his Creative Director post at Louis Vuitton, consisted of inventive but understated fashion garments. The items that stood out to me as truly exceptional included the tiered multi-color A-line dress, the full-length gown dripping in sequins, and the fur bomber jackets. Of note also was the use of sheer fabrics, particularly in the outfit modeled by Kendall Jenner. After experiencing a Marc Jacobs Fashion Week show, which the media understandably loved, it is no wonder that the same The New York Times article mentioned previously estimates that Mr. Jacobs spends about $1 million per show. Everything from the décor and the lighting to the staging and the music harmoniously came together to complement the stunning clothing. For Marc Jacobs, no detail is too small (from bleached eyebrows to lilies on every chair) and his precision is evident in everything he does, including these incredible shows.
Just as quickly as the fashion scene swept New York this February, it's gone. Next up for the major fashion week shows will be London, Milan, and then Paris, but I cannot imagine any will compare to the energy of New York. To be able to attend shows during New York Fashion Week is truly an unforgettable experience