It turns out that this season is the second-to-last – and not the final, as we at Meniscus originally thought – Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week at New York’s Bryant Park; the move to Lincoln Center’s Damrosch Park commences in September 2010. Whether that will make darting around the Tents and various off-site venues even more difficult remains to be seen, but until then, here’s a look at the swirl of Midtown activity…
Star sightings: Christian Siriano’s show had a packed front row with the following: actress Kristen Johnston (best known for her role in “3rd Rock From the Sun”), Victoria’s Secret model Alessandra Ambrosio, Tori Spelling, Amerie, Kelly Rowland, Mena Suvari, Katrina Bowden and Veronica Webb. Johnston and Amerie were later seen at the neighboring Bryant Park Hotel, the actress awaiting transportation to her next stop, and the singer being put on hold for an abnormally long period of time right in front of us at the fabulous Koi Restaurant. (Amerie later went back to the Bryant Park Hotel to visit the Victoria’s Secret VIP suite.) Martha Stewart gleefully waved to fellow spectators and tried to take pictures of the fashions at Chado Ralph Rucci. A row of young starlets attended Herve Leger by Max Azria – Peaches Geldof, Mischa Barton, Hilary Duff, Amanda Bynes – as well as Sports Illustrated Marisa Miller and socialite Tinsley Mortimer unveiling a new straightened ‘do rather than her signature waves. Suvari, who donned an up-do at Siriano’s show, opted for punk rock the next day at Rebecca Taylor’s show, which was also attended by Miller and Gabrielle Union. Miss J became the new Nigel Barker, seemingly turning up to every single show at Bryant Park, as did the Real Housewives of New York City. And, of course, Mickey Rourke showed up for some odd reason at Max Azria…although that wasn’t the real kicker. Ron Jeremy – yes , the porn star – was a guest at Avril Lavigne’s Abbey Dawn show at the Metropolitan Pavilion. (Other guests at the show included Nicky Hilton and Nastia Liukin.)
Overheard at the Sharpie Bar, Bryant Park Tents:
Female staff member at the Bar: “You can have only one item (shirt, sunglasses or headband) for free. Is that okay?”
Male visitor to said staff: “No.”
A very suite roundup: Once again, the lounges were in full force throughout New York Fashion Week. Victoria’s Secret unveiled its new collections, one of which included some out-of-character solid neon lingerie. The Nintendo DS Lounge included a Sephora makeover booth and loads of fun shirts by Kidrobot, as well as the launch of a new fashion video game titled “Style Savvy,” which teaches players how to become stylists and run a boutique. (The first designer to work with Nintendo to create customized virtual outfits for this game is Charlotte Ronson; others are in the pipeline.) The HauteLook lounge featured rotating vendors represented on their exclusive sample sale site, while The Daily Suite offered makeovers courtesy of DEX New York and a booth featuring…Bjorn Borg underwear.
Rowenta get your clothes steamed?: The Rowenta Lounge, however, gets special mention here – and it continues to run through Sept. 29 at 5th Ave. and 41st. St., just across from the New York Public Library. I brought in a pair of Evisu jeans wrinkled and mangled beyond belief, and their trusty steam irons – also used backstage at New York Fashion Week as an official sponsor – returned them to normal. They have other products on display for trial usage, so bring in a garment that you need to have steamed and the friendly marketing folks will be happy to do the honors for free. (Unfortunately, a tank top by Australian sportswear company Metalicus couldn’t be salvaged, but we blame the material used for that one – even machine washing and drying the garment didn’t work!)
Why bother?: The award for Worst Presentation goes to Tamara Pogosian, whose clothes were showcased in a small dimly lit room at The W Hotel – The Court. Scheduled for two hours, the sponsorship banner was still being posted on the wall three-quarters into the time slot, and the room could barely hold 20 people.
Bibs Teh contributed to this report.