Over the years fashion week has become increasingly democratic. Okay, so maybe the front rows are still a no go zone to us mere mortals but on the whole, they are a lot more accessible than they ever have been. First up was the rise in bloggers attending the shows followed swiftly by live streaming and now things are going one stage further.
Thanks to a partnership between Maybelline and Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week, you'll be able to watch runway shows live in Times Square this week. Nicholas K, Tadashi Shoji, Richard Chai and BCBG Max Azria will be shown on a giant screen throughout the day on Thursday, The Cut reports. At the moment that is the only day that the initiative will run but if a success, I'm sure it's only the start of more to come.
With New York Fashion Week just over three weeks away, worries have arisen as producers of Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week, IMG Fashion have found themselves in a dispute with Local One, the union that oversees most of the stagehand and theatrical labour at the event's venue, Lincoln Centre for the Performing Arts.
The disagreement is surrounding the location of the Fashion Week tents, which are scheduled to be located at Damrosch Park. Although the contract between Local One and Lincoln Centre gives the union jurisdiction over many events held at the performing arts centre, it does not require the use of union labour for events taking place on the plaza or surrounding areas, including the park where the tents are said to be pitched.
Local One, however, believe that as they are usually awarded contracts for outside events, that IMG should be required to hire their staff - "Local One is the labour provider. We have a relationship to the entire campus," Mr Claffey, President of the union explains, "It's absolute practice." A spokesman for IMG told press that the company are doing all they can to avoid further escalation of the spat, however with the union holding an emergency meeting to discuss options yesterday morning - ideas include picketing - both IMG and Lincoln Centre will have to resolve the issue quickly.
Since 1961, Ken has played loving boyfriend to his female plastic counterpart, Barbie, and over the years we've seen him stand willingly and supportingly in her shadow - watching her play a supporting role in Toy Story 2 & 3, be made into art by none other than Andy Warhol, walk the catwalk at Mercedes Benz Fashion Week and even sign a contract with Christian Louboutin. After waiting so patiently, it seems Ken's time has come to shine as the plastic heartthrob is not only following his girlfriend's lead with a role in Toy Story 3, but he also appears in an editorial for Esquire UK.
According to the magazine, Ken enjoyed the shoot - "It was beyond personal shopper, and each designer was highly sensitive to my masculinity. Quality design really suits me!" Quality design indeed, Ken models some of the latest designs from Burberry Prorsum, Prada and Gucci in the shoot, which was styled by Catherine Hayward and shot by Matthew Donaldson. Editor in chief Jeremy Langmead joked that working with Ken was great as there were "no tantrums," although his plastic body meant there wasn't much variety between shots.
"Hasn't everybody at one point or another had the fantasy of being a cowboy? A cowgirl?" Derek Lam asked backstage, whilst pondering the inspiration behind his latest catwalk collection. As inspiration from the Wild West could be seen on the SS10 runway shows of Chanel and D&G, it was just as present on Lam's AW10 collection, with fringed but tough black leather skirts, suede-heeled cowboy-esque boots and sheriff-style tailoring to be found on shirts and outerwear.
Lam juxtaposed the likes of suede, cotton, leather and jersey to make up a collection that although evoked a cowboy feel, still contained enough urban detailing - structured panels, biker style trousers and hardened shoulders - to make the pieces wearable, and not costume like, with favourites being the seam detailing skinny leather trousers, suede shouldered cotton shirt and the two finale draped floor length gowns.
An overriding sense of forgotten glamour could be felt throughout the Carolina Herrera runway show for AW10, with ladylike gloves, sweeping hats and waist nipping silhouettes collectively giving off an air of refined elegance. The Herrera lady - and she is most definitely a lady - has a keen eye for detail; eyecatching art-deco applique, shimmering embroidery, carefully placed ruffles and billowing gathers added a vampish twist to the very feminine collection.
The curve-enhancing silhouettes conveyed an ambience for old school Hollywood, and the floor length gowns that paraded towards the end of the runway will no doubt have a flurry of actresses queing for Herrera for the next awards ceremony. It was hard not to fall for the many one-shouldered wonders and seductively feminine shift dresses, from a show that altogether enduced an overwhelming desire to dress so elegantly. Carolina Herrera has brought the lady back to the runway.
Whilst the latest Marc Jacobs collection may have been the most nostalgic we have seen of the designer to date, amidst the lack of his chameleon like quality, it was obvious that Jacobs was all about real people, and real clothing. After tearing down the sheet of brown construction paper that covered a box-shaped frame, Jacobs and his business partner Robert Duffy revealed an army of 56 models. This new 'real' direction for the designer may have something to do with the comments he made on his disdain for celebrity culture, which would explain the use of two of his Marc by Marc Jacobs staff making an appearance on the runway, as well as a succession of largely unknown models, suspected to have been chosen from his rumoured 'street casting'.
With a refreshing change to the unimaginable amount of black that the runways of AW09 witnessed, Marc Jacob's Fall 2010 collection stormed down the catwalk in a cold, but pastel pallette of icy greys and washed out stone. Hemlines were ladylike and longer than we've been seeing amongst the other catwalk shows, with Jacobs favouring the long coat, which came in shapes that were soft and cocoon like, whilst others were reminiscent of the screen siren forties. The overall look was a cleverly done new minimalism, that came with an air of nostalgia, with favourites being an entirely sequinned shift dress, and the ultra glam see-through trench.
For those of you who have invested in the gorgeous camel hues of SS10, we bring good news. Desert shades of sand, khaki and stone were awash the runway of Zac Posen, in an array of short skater dresses, ladylike blouses and wide-legged, flowing trousers. Hemlines were kept short on Posen's speciality party dresses, with figure-hugging silhouettes and an old-Hollywood glamour about the designs.
There was, however, a lack of the extravagant ball gowns that he usually sends down the catwalk, though he made up for this with some extravagant, fur-embellished winter coats. Further into the collection came a wash of greys and then red, until the collection came to a high with a succession of flirty, floral patterned mini dresses in rosey tones, all perfect for the Christmas New York party scene.
Last night Naomi Campbell launched the first leg of her 'Relief for Haiti' fashion show fundraiser in New York. Campbell hit the runway with everyone from Chris Brown, Helena Christensen, Donna Karan and Kelly Osbourne to help raise money for the earthquake victims. "The rebuild is a long job," she told Reuters. "It's something that has be ongoing".
The show was opened by Sarah Ferguson, Duchess of York, who paid tribute to Alexander McQueen whose outfits were set to contribute to the show before the announcement of his death was made. "To Alexander McQueen, thank you," she said before the models and celebrities walked on the runway in labels like Jean Paul Gaultier and Christian Dior.
As Fashion Week in New York prepares to be held at Bryant Park for the last time in February, Ruth Thinlay - who creates the fashion calendar - has ensured us that it's last time at the beloved Bryant Park will definitely be a big one. Aiming to match, if not beat last season's record of 299 shows and presentations, the New York fashion community will be able to take advantage of a full calendar of events held at the tents here for the last time. And why not wear the place out, if after all it will be the last time fashion week will be held there before it relocates to Damrosch.
"It is bound to be quite a trek to 62nd Street between Columbus and Amsterdam Avenues, but Lincoln Center has already made strategic moves to make the fashion crowd feel right at home. Next month, Vogue alum Stephanie Winston Wolkoff will start in her new role as Lincoln Center’s director, fashion week. She will be the liaison between Lincoln Center and the fashion industry, including designers, retailers, the Council of Fashion Designers of America and IMG Fashion, which organizes Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week." The Cut revealed. So we'd better get practicing running in heels, ladies... but for the meantime, enjoy the time we have left at Bryant Park.