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Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in New York City features Philadelphia favorites

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Last week, I was happily on my way to NYC for Fashion Week and very excited to check-in with some Philadelphia designers who were showing at Fashion Week. About a half hour out of the city, my Amtrak train slowed and came to a halt due to a fire on a NJ Transit train right in front of us! After arriving six hours late and missing all the Saturday shows—my pal and I went out to take in Manhattan. We got to bed around 5am, but I was up at 9am on Sunday to see my first show, Luca Luca  in the tents.

Fashion Week is a mystery to many, so let me explain: The ‘Tents’ at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week  are set up for a week in Bryant Park, behind the New York Public Library. Major labels and designers are invited to show their collections, and in this case it was the Fall 2010 collections. It’s not open to the public, so you have to be press, or invited by a label or a celeb. I got lucky this year, with knowing a few sponsors and a former supermodel that I have become friendly with. NYC Fashion Week

This has been the best Fashion Week I have had in my four years attending! I saw many great shows including: Luca Luca, Thuy, Carolina Herrera, Narciso Rodriguez, Dennis Basso, Richie Rich, Pamella Roland, Anna Sui, Diane Von Furstenburg and Michael Kors and the QVC Live Show.

Many of the collections weren’t as bold this year, as in years past. Designers used a lot of draped cardigans, pants and blouses in tones of grey, camel, black, beige and tan. Many of the fall dresses were hot though, dark reds, jewel tones and even some bridal wear.

Many models were sporting pale skin, lined, bright eyes, with fushia and red lipsticks, strong eyebrows, and clean messy hair in topknots or flowing loose. I also saw a lot of hats this year- big helmets symbolizing power and on the other side of the spectrum cute fedoras promising fun.

I can’t help it—even though I have seen many shows, a huge grin always comes to my face, when they pull the plastic off the runway and the lights turn on, then the pounding music begins and the models strut down the runway. And of course, to see the clothes before most of the world is pretty awesome too!

A Fashion Accessories Showcase, hosted by Ana Martins, Sande Finkel, and supermodel-turned actress and PR guru Debbie Dickinson (yes, Janice is her sister) which took place at the award-winning Azaleas restaurant. The clients being showcased were Christopher Augmon, Ron Donovan, Real Jewels, and Pixel Moda Watches. While in attendance, I viewed the most gorgeous globally-inspired leather handbags by designer Christopher Augmon, and models showing off Philly girl designers Liz and Laura Rymar ellelauri dresses, items by Real Jewels, Pixel Moda watches and shoe designer Ron Donovan had his latest out. Beautiful and sweet lingerie football star Tanyka Renee of the New York Majesty team also stopped by, along with other celebs. Christopher Augmon Show

I spent a lot of time with Debbie, Chicago-based handbag designer Christopher Augmon and of course Philly girl designers Liz and Laura Rymar. We mingled backstage and enjoyed front row seats at the shows which made for a lot of fun! New Jersey Housewife Danielle Staub posed for some shots for me along with designers Thuy and Narciso Rodriguez, where Kelly Rutherford  of Gossip Girl fame jumped in to give him a congratulatory kiss, then disappeared out the back. I also got to meet Fern Mallis, the brain behind organizing Fashion Week, which was a huge honor. And of course, I saw Anna Wintour at many shows, with her trademark sunglasses and bob. She gets skinnier every year.  

It can get tiring, so a lot of Bon Jovi, Johnny Cash and U2 kept me going on my iPod, along with lots of comped water (by O.N.E in the tents) kept me hydrated, although, I confess, I did have a lot of champagne last week.

Some Fashion Week necessities include: water, flats, sunglasses, gum, MISSION’s organic strawberry lip balm and anti-friction cream to prevent blisters from high heels, Boyd’s makeup, my trusty camera was always in my bag, and no good writer is without her tape recorder and notebook. Starbucks also debuted its new luscious 100-calorie frappacino- I had a few of those to keep me going as well.

One of the things that was a first for me was walking the red carpet. At all these shows, the sponsors have an area set up for media to photograph the attendees. As media, I didn’t feel the need to walk the carpet, but Debbie pulled me on at the Richie Rich show and announced me as an IT-girl from Philly, as it felt like a million flashbulbs were going off with people calling my name to face their cameras. This was lots of fun- I worked it, grinning and posing!

After that show I headed back to the tents for my final show, with local shopping favorite QVC, who was also a sponsor of MBFW. QVC was working it with local models and also showing their Spring 2010 collections, which had a huge palette of color with their designers. The QVC show was rockin the runway with some U2 on that final night. Lis, Lori & Lecki Backstage at QVC tent

QVC is now showing LOGO by Lori Goldstein- who is one of the best stylists in the biz and a total sweetie besides. Her new harem pants, dresses, cardigans, blouses, hats and purses are just perfect for spring. The show was broadcast from the tents live back to the West Chester studios and out to the audience to customers could purchase the new collections while watching the final show in New York. Right after the show my pal and I hit up QVC online to snag a purple LOGO bag and harem pants.

I talked to Pamella Roland about her collection, who is now designing a line for QVC, Sterling by Pamella Roland, who was inspired by Venice- collection of the new and the old, lots of glitter and sparkle. The Pamella Roland customer likes color, she told me, so her collection is full of bright hues- pink, bright yellow, and made of cotton that breathes well, adding to comfort.

Makeup artist to the stars Mally discussed the models’ faces with me and what look is in for Spring: strong brows and lots of color.

On the final night in the tents, all were silent as the curtain closed on Bryant Park for the last time. So it was back to Philly, where I’m looking forward to Philadelphia’s Fashion Week, which I hear is shaping up to be bigger and better than last year!

Christine Tarlecki can be reached at engchik@comcast.net

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