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Fashion Week

Fall/Winter Fashion Week is upon us! From February 6th through February 13th Lincoln Center will transform in to a pulsating mecca where the biggest names in fashion will showcase their newest designs.  New York Fashion Week is the epicenter of fashion, but it wasn’t always that way.  In fact, before the 1940s, American fashion was ignored almost entirely.

During World War II, fashion industry insiders weren’t able to travel to France to see French fashion. A fashion publicist named Eleanor Lambert saw this as a fabulous opportunity to showcase the previously neglected American designers and organized a “Press Week.” The very first “Press Week” was held in 1943 and was a huge success, inspiring fashion magazines to include American fashion amongst the French designs!

By 1994, Fashion Week had become a long standing tradition that created iconic moments such as Calvin Klein launching his underwear line with his name emblazoned on the waistband in 1972. (This is IMPORTANT STUFF YOU GUYS! Those CK models are hot!) In 1975, the model Iman broke the race barrier on the fashion week catwalk. But up to this point, fashion week didn’t have a central location. It was scattered amongst different venues throughout the city. In 1993 it consolidated itself at Bryant Park for a weeklong fashion extravaganza. The shows took place in white tents which became a symbol of fashion week. Tickets were available by invite only.

In 2001 Fashion Week was cancelled. This is because the very first day of Fashion Week that year was the now infamous date of September 11. After the towers collapsed, they very understandably cancelled Fashion Week. The next year London’s fashion week agreed to switch dates with NY fashion week so that the New York’s fashion week did not fall on the first anniversary of 9/11.

(Side note here – there are currently FOUR major fashion weeks – New York, London, Paris, and Milan.)

In 2009, Mercedes-Benz came in as official sponsor of Fashion Week and changed the name to “Mercedes Benz Fashion Week.” In 2010, Fashion Week left Bryant Park and moved to my beloved Lincoln Center where it continues to be held to this day. Fashion Week continues to break barriers/make history. This year promises to provide the most ethnically diverse models yet. The Diversity Coalition called for designers to use more diversity among their models, including more plus sized models.  Word on the street is this year designers have delivered.

Tickets to get into fashion week are highly coveted and hard to come by.  Never fear if you can’t get in to see the actual show.  All you have to do is stand outside the fashion show to see FABULOUS people walking out.  The tall impossibly skinny models will whisk past you dressed in their designer furs.  Audience members will also come out dressed to impress, and are more than happy to pose for any eager photographer.  I went to check out the scene, and found several freelance photographers asking all sorts of fashionistas to pose for them.  The fashionistas were all too eager to oblige.  The chilly weather led to scores of colorful coats and stand-out boots. Here is what the scene looked like this past Tuesday.

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For more information on this year’s fashion week, please visit the official Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week website. 



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