September: the leaves start to change, the air is noticeablely crisper, and the daily commute takes an extra fifteen minutes with the start of school, backpacks, and big yellow busses. After witnessing approximately twenty-five Septembers in my life, I thought I had seen it all…until of course Mercedes Benz Fashion Week picked up and moved to Lincoln Center.
When Fashion Week first announced its groundbreaking (and for many of us creatures of habit, earth shattering) move to it’s squeaky clean new venue I, as many Fashion Week-goers, felt panic. Like a freshman in High School, the move to Lincoln Center would be like the first day of school: wandering around, unsure which door to use, where to check-in, and the like. Considering myself an experienced NYFW attendee having braved three previous Bryant Park seasons, I was not looking forward to the return of uncertainty.
September 9th marked the official first day of Fashion Week and I, like thousands of fashion industry professionals, herded into Lincoln Center with a sense of hesitation. After my first check-in with the Fashion GPS system (for those of you who are not familiar with Fashion GPS, it is a new system instituted for Fashion Week which assigns guests a bar code and number which is used to “scan” into each fashion show, digitally confirming or assigning your seat) promptly spit out a bar coded deli-counter slip which I then used to scan (again) into the venue, I felt like I was warming up. Though at first the new system seemed impersonal, I no longer needed to arrive thirty minutes before the scheduled fashion show to wait in line, be shoulder checked by self-assured thirteen year olds, and wait while the triage PR ladies searched endless lists for your name and seating assignment.
FINALLY, efficiency! And after waiting in line for 45 minutes to check in with three different individuals with clipboards for Z Spoke by Zac Posen (maybe the system was down, maybe they did not embrace the new system as I had), I abandoned my hesitation, embraced Lincoln Center in all its digital glory, and never looked back.
I arrived in New York on Thursday, September 9th at 3:30am with my first fashion show starting at 10am that morning. I ran non-stop through shows and presentations along with Fashion’s Nigh Out on Friday, September 10th, briefly came up for air on Sunday, September 12th, which I squeezed in a brief lunch and hotel room movie, and ended my week on Monday, September 13th, which ended with Betsey Johnson and a fashion show featuring three up-and-coming designers, one of which was my friend and colleague, Jonathan Joseph Peters.
Twenty-two shows in five days makes one realize how models stay so skinny and at times faint off the riser of their fashion presentations. With little time for breaks, let alone snacks, I was forced to enjoy 1:30am pizza and pasta sustenance before retiring to my home at The Empire Hotel.
At the end of the day, time spent during Fashion Week is precious: it is an outfit change, a bite to eat, resting your eyes for thirty minutes, a showroom appointment, or even a brief catch-up with friends. The Fashion GPS system and seemingly impersonal new venue I once feared saved hours of wasted time and stress. My final conclusion: whatever the method that allows time for twenty-two shows across five days (and compared to other industry professionals, that is nothing!), I accept, appreciate, and consider myself a reformed Lincoln Center fan and follower.
Please check back for specific show reviews and photos!