As of last Thursday, New York City’s Bryant Park became the center of the universe–at least according to the fashion world– with top designers showcasing their Spring 2010 collections for an audience of celebrities and other insiders.
Fashion Week shows take place mainly in large tents set up in Bryant Park (Sixth Avenue at 41st Street), though some designers hold shows in separate locations throughout the city. In the tents, shows start at 9 am each morning and are held practically every hour until the late evening-not to mention the after-parties, during which the tall, skinny and beautiful (and those who love them) spill out of Bryant Park into the equally fabulous nightlife of New York.
New York Fashion Week has gotten even more well-known in recent years with the blockbuster success of the reality TV competition Project Runway. Each season, three finalists compete in a super-secret runway show at Bryant Park for the chance to start their own fashion line. All Fashion Week shows are technically closed to the public, as tickets are said to be “for the private use of each designer” and his/her guests. However, in the past American Express (a sponsor) has offered its cardholders access to VIP Fashion Week packages that include sky-box seats in the Bryant Park tents. W Hotels have also sold Fashion Week packages, including a suite and two VIP passes to one show.
Even if you miss out on the action in the tents, you can feed off Fashion Week energy by doing a little window-shopping (or actual buying) on Madison Avenue or in SoHo/Nolita. During this year’s Fashion Week, New York was one of a number of cities around the world celebrating Fashion’s Night Out, an initiative driven by Vogue magazine, NYC & Company, the City of New York, and the Council of Fashion Designers of America with more than 700 participating retailers and designers open late and hosting exhibits and other incentives designed to “promote retail, restore consumer confidence, and celebrate fashion.” Shopping is just doing your part for the economy.
In addition to-or instead of-celebrating fashion through shopping, you can also take in a “Fashion and Politics” tour or check out a major exhibition dedicated to the work of Isabel Toledo (the designer behind Michelle Obama’s Inauguration Day outfit) at the Museum of the Fashion Institute of Technology (F.I.T.). With four nights left, try and scope out the spillover from Fashion Week after-parties at hotspots like Tenjune, or just enjoy a burger and frozen custard at the Shake Shack in celebration of your non-model status.