Fashion Week Diary: Day 5 With StyleCaster’s Content Manager

Michelle
Fashion Week Diary: Day 5 With StyleCaster’s Content Manager
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Peter Jensen spring 2011 collection, above. But that's only a small part of the jam packed day. Keep clicking through the slides to get the whole story.

It's 8 AM and time to wake up on this glorious Sunday morning. I have officially blacked out the fact that this is my usual day of rest and pack up my bag with the essentials: the day's schedule, recorder, sunglasses and BlackBerry.

Start the morning off with a few emails, including my StyleCaster daily email which tells me it will be rainy with a high of 70 degrees. Realize I've left my only umbrella at the office and my schedule is sending me straight to the shows from home. Rain, mist and anything involving precipitation do not do well with my hair.

8:30 AM: Adorn myself with a few go-to accessories that I wear pretty much every day. The wrap watch is La Mer, the ring is by Dannijo and the wooden bead bracelet is something I picked up at a street vendor in SoHo. I don't usually leave the house without them.

9:30 AM: My favorite Zara shoes are back from the shoe repair and ready for some Fashion Week action!

I put them on and head out the door. As I wait for the subway to take me Uptown, I get subjected to a nice little conversation between myself and a random guy who really likes to talk to strangers, except he is doing most of the talking. It's a little too early in the morning for me to be patient with his life story. Luckily my BlackBerry starts randomly playing some of my voice notes from the week's interviews and I feign distraction. Don't you just love technology?

10 AM: First stop - Timo Weiland where I get to chat with both Timo and his design partner Alan Eckstein.

Alan tells me that as a ritual before the duo presents each season, he spends the night at Timo's house and the two watch movies. That's right, no Alex Wang party for these two. As far as working on a design team rather than as a singular entity, Alan tells me "It's great; we are a system of checks and balances, and we both bring something different to the table, so it's wonderful like that. And it's more fun – you're surrounded by friends."

10:20 AM: As I walk around the presentation, a "Bittersweet Symphony" remix plays over the speakers. I'm loving the Scandinavian inspired collection full of color, stripes and playful separates.

As Timo explains to me during the presentation, these coiled and dyed ropes represent the Baltic and the sediment of the river running through it to go along with the Scandinavian inspiration. 

10:30 AM: The stop motion film entitled The Watch by Ryan McNamara is a fun backdrop to the collection. Timo tells me that for one of the shots, the girl had to jump in the same back bending motion 70 times. Wow.

10:45 AM: Christian Siriano comes out to support Timo and Alan, and that girl Samantha from The City makes an appearance as well. Her publicists must be working overtime, because I'm pretty sure I've seen her at almost every show I've attended.

11 AM: Pass by Jay Emanuel (ANTM), the entire Vogue crew (well, sans Anna), Rumi Neely, Karlie Kloss and Scott and Garance on my walk out of Lincoln Center. It has officially started to rain and I'm panicking. I finally find an open cabbie and proceed to have a photoshoot with myself as a way to check if my hair is surviving (I don't keep a mirror in my bag). Not a happy camper and praying the people in the cab behind me aren't on their way to the VPL show too... That could be embarassing.

11:05 AM: Looks like my hair is surviving... so far. Success! Cabbie is definitely laughing at me at this point.

11 AM: Arrive at the VPL show. Right off the bat I can tell it's going to be one of my favorites of the week – earthy hues of grays, beiges and browns interspersed with neon pops of color provide the color palette for the loose-fitting layers and drapes in Victoria Bartlett's collection. But there are of course some tighter, more revealing pieces with cut-outs and crops that have become her signature.

As for the inspiration for the collection, the word of the day is "suspension." As Bartlett tells me backstage after the show, "It was all about the idea of things gravitationally falling, coming away from the body, hanging by a thread, so there were a lot of sheer elastic ribbons that look like they're barely there."

VPL's closing look.

On choosing her models for the show: "I like girls that are forthright and have their personality and that are strong. I like to work with girls that I've worked with a lot – there are always new ones, but I like a family element where they get to know you and they know your energy – I think that's really important," says Bartlett. 

11:45 AM: Couldn't get enough of the amazing accessories accompanying the clothes on the runway. These tube necklaces were a collaboration with Brian Crumley, who crafted these pieces out of hand-blown glass and rubber and latext tubing.

Want. Need.

12:30 PM: Get back to the office to check out my VPL goody bag. How did she know I'm such a huge fan of PopChips?!?

1 PM: Having such a small amount of downtime in between shows that you can't get anything significant done means only one thing – photo op time! Here's today's outfit, photographed by the lovely Kerry Pieri. My mom wore this leopard shirt back in the '80s, but she's never getting it back.

2:30 PM: Arrive at the Rebecca Minkoff presentation, which is showcasing her debut shoe collection. I ask her what the transition has been like starting with bags, and now moving on to footwear. She tells me that it's a much more technical process. "You have to make sure they fit and that they're comfortable too," she says.

In Rebecca's own words, the look for S/S 2011 is that of a "traveling bohemian – not a hippie – but more of a vagabond."

2:45 PM: Spot actress Michelle Trachtenberg making the rounds during the presentation. Had to ask what her favorite look was...

She points out the printed dress and leather jacket combo on the right.

This man, who calls himself Andre, tells me he made this mask himself. Crafty!

3:10 PM: It's back to "The Stage" at Lincoln Center for the Max Azria show where paps are going crazy for some not-so-exciting celebs... like Solange Knowles? I'm not too concerned.

One of the gorgeous flowy looks at Max Azria on Sigrid Agren. She's one of my favorite models, but I'm going to be honest – her uber thin appearance during the show shook me up a bit.

Max Azria ss 2011

Max Azria ss 2011

3:50 PM: Snap a pic of Carine Roitfeld as I'm leaving the premises. She is just always, completely, 100 percent chic. That's now two Roitfelds in a one week time frame for moi. I can feel their chic rubbing off on me.

4 PM: Spotted on the sidewalk outside of Lincoln Center. Your guess is as good as mine. Please comment if you know the story behind this pink blob.

4:10 PM: Head over to Eyebeam Gallery for a backstage interview with Cynthia Steffe designer Shaun Kearney. It's my first time meeting him, and he seems exceptionally more calm than any of the other designers I've encountered this week. Maybe the champagne being served backstage is helping the cause?

4:15 PM: Shaun tells me that he tends to cast models who are "fresh, healthy, sporty and youthful who have that feeling of optimism." This is a welcome perspective seeing as that the models I've been watching on the runway so far are even thinner than last Fashion Week. 

4:30 PM: Despite his calm and collected cool, Shaun asks the makeup artists to switch up the look of the models' blush last minute backstage.

I could use a brush set like this one...

4:45 PM: Run into one of my very favorite New York people, Carol Han, backstage. She's wearing an amazing shredded Alexander Wang sweater – the perfect cozy yet chic outfit to wear on a rainy day like today.

5:45 PM: It's a good thing Carol is my seatmate, because the show doesn't get started for at least 45 minutes after we're seated. But when it does start, it's well worth the wait.

"I was thinking about a lot of retro, jetset girls of yesterday, from like the '70s and also little Biancas of today. I like the idea of taking something cool and retro and making it modern at the same time, so I was inspired by basically my friends who tend to travel alot," Shaun told me of the inspiration before the show. 

Yummy leather at Cynthia Steffe.

6 PM: The final walk. Shaun scores extra points for using a Phoenix mashup as the soundtrack. I couldn't help but tap my feet.

8:45 PM: After making a pit stop back at the office end of day to regroup, I head back out to my final show of the day – Peter Jensen. The models start walking just as I arrive. People in the audience were 'oohing' and 'ahhing' over this super cheerful raincoat.

The designer went with some literal retro references for spring '11. See heart belt above.

9 PM: Delicious watermelon hues! Jensen's collection is putting me in a happy-go-lucky mood, and trust me, that's hard to do after this kind of a long day.

The final walk at Peter Jensen.

9:10 PM: Pop into the Pamela Love presentation which happens to be showing in Milk studios down the hall from Peter Jensen. There's a band pounding on some drums in the back of the room, giving the collection a very tribal feel.

Becka Diamond hanging out at Pamela Love.

9:30 PM: Decide to meet up with some of the other StyleCaster team members (specifically Ari Goldberg, far left, and David Goldberg, far right) at Rebecca Minkoff's celebratory fete. That's her in the middle. After hanging out with Rebecca and family at the party for a bit, I briefly consider heading over to the Zspoke afterparty but decide that I'm too tired. The fact that I have a jam packed day tomorrow with 8 shows to attend basically makes the decision for me. 11 PM curfew it is.

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Red Shadow and Hairy Barrettes at Carolina Herrera Spring 2011

Red Shadow and Hairy Barrettes
at Carolina Herrera Spring 2011
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