New York Fashion Week Is Dead! Long Live New York Fashion Week!


New York Fashion Week, the one week-ish periods in September and February during which designers show new collections to buyers, editors and various other fashion aficionados, is over. No doubt those who braved the Polar Vortex in skirts and heels are grateful for that. But the extreme snow and ice weren’t the only exciting elements this year. Ever since the event changed venues in 2009—from Bryant Park to Lincoln Center—the fashion-illuminati have been rebelling. MADE Fashion Week, featuring newer designers, took place downtown, while even some established designers, like Michael Kors, showed at a new space in TriBeCa. Alexander Wang really went out on a limb, holding his show in a greenhouse at the Brooklyn Navy Yard. (The consensus seems to be that the show mostly made up for the trek from Manhattan.)

Little from the actual collections will make it into the wardrobes of most of us normals. Still, Meryl Streep’s cerulean sweater speech from The Devil Wears Prada holds true—there is a trickle-down effect in fashion, and what’s on the runways will eventually make it to our closets, albeit in slightly different forms. So, I am happy to report, there’s good news: Comfort, coziness, flats and socks are in—or will be in the fall. It’s for you to decide how you feel about exposed ankle socks with brogues.

Anyway, Fashion Week isn’t just about the clothes. The shows themselves are like performance art. Designers finesse every detail from location to set design to music to the hair, makeup and attitudes of their models. They even decide who they want to sit in the front row, sometimes paying celebrities for the privilege of having them there. Some houses are even scenting their runways to improve the mood of their audiences, and thereby their feelings about the collections.

Of course, Fashion Week’s stars are not limited to designers and celebrities. Street style has become an industry unto itself. Blogs like,, Refinery29 and many, many more all owe allegiance to Bill Cunningham of the New York Times. His charming photos and videos, shot with humor as well as reverence for the funny and fashionable people of New York, have brightened my day many a time. For example, try this on for size. It will make you smile.

Photo courtesy of Wikimedia