I have always liked to think of fashion as an attribute of culture. The fashion capitals of the world, from Paris to Milan, always seem to showcase styles representative of their customs and what makes their city beautiful. New York is no exception. Just a train ride away, New York City offers a tribute to fashion that is echoed over international boundaries; the life of Manhattan and all its wonders, its modern trends, and hip atmosphere is constantly reflected in Fashion Week.
It is not just a fashion show or an art exhibit, it is a magnificent homage to the fashion world. Fashion Week praises fashion and all its craziness, but more importantly, its impact on the way we live today. It influences how we look in the morning and what we shop for.
This year’s Fashion Week made its debut on Sept. 9. It was an affair that lasted all week long and presented fashion that is sure to be idealized for the next year. Hosted by Mercedes-Benz and unveiled at New York’s Lincoln Center, it was nothing short of impressive.
Lincoln Center is legendary; it is a cultural element of New York that is known world-wide. The designers for Spring 2011 were showcased for fashion’s cult followers, the Carrie Bradshaws, the “Devil Wears Prada” wannabes, the artists, the fans, and the local New Yorkers, who are no strangers to the hype of Fashion Week. The most notable designers, as well as some up and coming names dressed their models in their newest designs. Anna Sui, Betsey Johnson, Nicole Miller, Tracy Reese, Tommy Hilfiger, Donna Karan, Narcisco Rodriguez, L.A.M.B., and Elie Tahari were just a handful of designers that added to their repertoire of revolutionary creations.
The show kicked off with the Project Runway Theatre, and later in the same day, presented past winner Christian Soriano’s designs. The Global Glam Collection, inspired and derived by the W Hotels, featured a line of clothing inspired by the latest International W hotels from London to St. Petersburg. Gwen Stefani’s Harajuku line, L.A.M.B., and IVANAhelinski were the last two lines to end the week-long festivities. A mixture of classic designers, whose style many have come to love and appreciate, and new faces rounded out the Spring 2011 collections that are destined to defy this year in fashion.
I have a dream of attending Fashion Week. I have an even bigger dream of working for the show; the rush, the racing around to perfect lineups and outfits, and the instant gratification of watching a model you’ve worked with reveal the outfit for the artist who made it possible, who made the images and ideas in their mind come to life, is alluring.
Danielle DiMarino, a junior business major, attended Fashion Week working for designer Charlotte Ronson. No matter how small her responsibilities might have been, every task she performed impacted the exhibit of Ronson’s new line.
“I assisted the stylist Natasha Royt during the show’s run through. Once we were at Lincoln Center, I guided the dressers hired by Mercedes to make sure they knew how to dress each model. I was also assigned my own model to dress,” she said.
DiMarino was also assigned the job of sewing any tears or damages and handling the garments to ensure their quality was maintained for the show. Despite the responsibilities that may have rested on her shoulders, the end result was worth it all.
“I was so stressed when my model had to change her outfit for her next look,” DiMarino said. “My favorite thing about fashion week is the appreciation for the art of designs. Being surrounded by fashion gurus of the industry made me feel like my dream of working among these important people one day is in my reach.”
Students with a knack for fashion, styling and design have the opportunity to work with the top designers of the industry in New York City, where it is always bustling, where new art, fashion and culture is always blossoming, and where countries and cities around the world look to mimic its chic lifestyle. Fashion Week is the event born from pure creation of the designers who navigate the fashion scene. They control what is featured in magazines, sold in stores, worn on the streets, and copied over and over again until a trend finally becomes obsolete. They create looks that die out and are reborn again for future generations, making what is old new once again. I’m not in with this cool crowd yet, but I feel as if it is just within my reach. I’m a New Yorker. I love fashion. I love fashion in New York. Fashion Week may be a calling I have yet to answer.
Photo credit: Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week