I woke up this morning feeling a bit dizzy, but had to get up because Carl Ditmars, my trainer, was going to be knocking on the door in less than a hour. I made it through my workout and tried to figure out what I still had left in my wardrobe (that was clean) and suitable for the last day of Olympus Fashion Week. How can you honestly look fashionable and cool when the humidity is nearly 100% and you are taking subways and walking everywhere?
I settled for loose, navy, linen pants, and a hot pink, ruffled (well, ruffles will be big, next Spring/Summer) linen tunic top and on my feet, the $10.00 spongy black leather mules from Target that I’ve been wearing all week (ewuuuu!)
When I got to the tent, I noticed that there were some goats (live ones) outside in front of the steps. So much for a circus atmosphere! I think they were there for a Saks Fifth Avenue promotion of cashmere, butI felt really sorry for the goats (do goats, sweat?) and hoped they had water for these beautiful creatures.
I walked inside the tent, for the last time. I decided to try just one more time to snag a Women’s Entertainment Network tote bag from their booth (large, bronze–the last thing I need is another tote bag, but I wanted this one). I had tried every single day of Fashion Week, and still hadn’t succeeded. It was always the wrong time for give-aways, or they were “out” for the day. I was beginning to think that I needed to bring the perky, freckled redhead with the big smile who only said “no,” the broomstick of the wicked witch of the West! To my surprise, the redhead who always says “no” wasn’t there, and in her place, a young woman with an interesting necklace who handed me one without my even asking for it!
Feeling bolstered by my “success,” I made my way to the backstage entrance for Lela Rose to view the hair (by Dessange) and the Makeup (Bobbi Brown). To my relief, my name was on the list and I was handed a pass and walked right in. I met Melissa and Gretchen, my contacts from Bobbi Brown (both beautiful, charming women). It was fun to meet after corresponding with them by email for so long. Even more exciting to me, I met Bobbi Brown! As with MAC Cosmetics and Redken and Aveda, I personally use Bobbi Brown makeup products and love them! I was surprised to see Bobbi Brown personally taking up a makeup brush and doing a model’s makeup. Despite the stress getting all the makeup done, she was charming, relaxed (“I’ve been doing this for years,” she confided), and easy to talk to. I watched Bobbi and the other makeup artists apply a soft Spring palette of porcelain skin with sheer, rosy cheeks, soft, beigey eyes and an incredible, pink, sparkly lip gloss that will be the coveted color for Spring. The hair was done by Ashely Javier for Dessange. The style was half up/half down but interestingly twisted in a mini chignon-type twist, secured with bobby pins. Sort of “society girl gone bad.”
I wandered through the clothes, figuring that I might not get into the show so I ought to take a peek, up close. In fact, one of my favorite parts of Fashion Week has been access to the backstage, where I can see how the makeup and hair coordinate with the clothes, and I get the honor of seeing the clothes first, up close and personal in a way that most people never do. I am still amazed that the press are allowed to photograph and actually handle the clothes. You’d think that right before a show this would be a recipe for disaster (what if someone ripped or dirtied something?) but it seems to be standard procedure. I saw the designer (with her adorable, beige, dog on a leash) but I didn’t try to talk to her. I liked the elegant but non-fussy clothes. My favorite was a long, embroidered burlap skirt with green embellishments, worn with a very sheer, ivory (gazaar) blouse. I also liked a bright, navy, feathered mini dress with feathers, although I don’t know how many people could really carry it off.
“First looks!” came the call, so I decided to take my chances on the standing room line in the main tent. This would be my last show. I got a standing room ticket, and found myself in line next to the journalist I’ve been chatting with all week. We spent a pleasant 20 minutes talking business and fashion, and then the standing line began to move forward, the two of us, with it.
We walked into the already packed Atelier and realized that there weren’t any empty seats and we would be standing. So, I positioned myself near the opening of the runway. Just as I was begining to relax and chat with one of the Fashion Week staff, an ample woman with a very loud voice and garish makeup (and a large, ugly, peach hat with a feather) came barging up the steps, pushing two young girls right in front of me. As she pushed, she said: “these are my journalism students and it’s their first fashion show so I want to make sure they can see.”
Isn’t that nice?
But — she pushed aside two working journalists who really needed to see the show. Then, she hissed instructions to her “girls” during the entire show, disturbing everyone around her. I am sure that these poor girls will learn to do the same in years to come.
After the show ended she swooped down the stairs before anyone else could move, yelling: “come on girls, let’s get them!” I am not sure who “they” were, but they have my sympathy!
I picked up a small, white box tied with an orange, satin bow since there seemed to be a lot left on the seats. and I didn’t care anymore if it was “boorish.” The box turned out to contain three chocolates from Payless shoes, each decorated with an orange stiletto (delicious, actually). Fashion Week was literally “in the bag” for me.
I wasn’t quite ready to leave, so I wandered to the Pantene booth (I had ignored it all week so this was my last chance) for a free hair analysis, got a conditioner as a bonus, and then went to the MAC lounge, had a double espresso, chatted with a few photographers, and decided to call it a day.
I took one last look at the tent that had been “home” for over a week. It was in-between show ties and it was quiet, but I knew in a few minutes it would come to life again, teeming with media, celebrities, buyers and fashionistas — for one or two more shows. Then, the hubub will die down for good. The tents will be dismantled, and Fashion Week will be a memory–until the next season in February.
I walked out onto the steps. The humid heat hit me like a blast furnace. I said goodbye to one of the guards that had greeted me all week. “We will do this again,” he said “next February.”
Maybe, we will!