On the Runway

On the Runway

While I constantly follow fashion, both for IN New York and for my own pleasure, I’d never actually attended Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in NYC. So, when a nice invitation came from BCBGMAXAZRIA, it seemed time to rectify that omission. Here’s a rundown of my first runway show experience:

9:50 A.M. Braving the mounds of snow and ice, I arrive for the show, slated for 10 A.M. in “the Theatre at Lincoln Center.” This gives me some trepidation, since there are many theatres at Lincoln Center. However, I just follow the fashionista crowd (you can tell who they are, because flocks of photographers are circulating around them) past the David H. Koch Theater and to an entirely new edifice, erected for the week. It looks surprisingly permanent, even if the floor bounces a bit.

9:50-10 A.M. Still following the crowd, I walk and walk and walk through the black (for high fashion, what other color is there?) corridors, past huge photographs of models, and sponsors’ booths, and numerous ticket takers, waving my printed-out invitation as I go. At one point, get my actual ticket for the show. It seems I’m assigned Priority Standing Room, which seems like a contradiction in terms, somehow.

The scene at the show

10 A.M. I find the all-black Theatre. Take up my PSR place, overlooking the middle of the runway. At one end is the stage entrance, with a pulsating BCBGMAXAZRIA logo projected on the wall. Music pulsates, too (reading the program, there’s actually someone credited for the playlist, along with hair, lighting, casting, etc.). I needn’t have hurried, the woman next to me says – “they won’t start for a half-hour, at least.” I groan at the idea of standing for 30 more minutes. But we must suffer for fashion.

10:15 A.M. A nice managerial type materializes and announces the final three rows of seats are open and we standees can occupy them. My neighbor and I immediately vault over, as the aisles are impossibly crowded with meet-and-greeters and  celebrities posing for the paparazzi. Near me, two dolled-up girls are snapping shots of each other.

10:32 A.M. My neighbor called it – the show starts. The runaway isn’t actually elevated; it’s just on the floor, with an island of seats in the middle of the loop. So it’s kind of hard to actually see the models, and too dark to read the program. I learn to zero in on a gap in the row of floor seats, which affords a precious glimpse of the entire model, and the silhouette of her ensemble.

BCBGMAXAZRIA ensemble (Photo: Aaron Showalter/New York Daily News)

 The clothes, from the Fall 2014 collection, seem especially appropriate for this snowy season. Call it Eskimo chic. Lots of muted earth tones, with lighter stripes and simple patterns or color blocking. Much use of supple leathers, suedes and dramatic fur accents and accessories. One ensemble in particular causes an appreciative murmur from the audience: a huge fox collar (actually a scarf) atop a sleeveless black shirt and skirt.

10:42 A.M. Presentation ends. I wend my way out, through the building and onto the Lincoln Center plaza. People are still coming and going, the papparazzi are still shooting. Some of them even snap me, which does wonders for my morale.

The fashion show's over, but the fashion fun never ends. Maybe I’ll pay a visit to a BCBGMAXAZRIA boutique to see if I can pull off the chic-Eskimo look. Or just to see the clothes, period.


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