After fourteen seasons, you'd think we would have already witnessed everything that could possibly happen at Fashion Week. But just as the designers somehow churn out fresh clothes every half-year, so too does the Fashion Week experience keep finding new ways to surprise, delight, and horrify us. Read on for some of the highlights and lowlights of this season, including the answer to the question, "How tan does Valentino look if you're sitting right behind him?" (Spoiler: To approximate the answer, go find a brass candlestick and polish it.)
Potentially Awesome Trend
We saw some fantastic cool shades on the runway — gorgeous greens, blues, and deep teals. We will wear them gladly, and hope Hollywood does the same.
Potentially Expensive Trend
Leather, leather, everywhere leather. It’s gorgeous to behold, but seriously, just how broke do these fashion houses want to make us?
Potentially Worrisome Trend
One of the designer mind-melds involved playing with shoulder shapes — some puffy, some simply broader and slightly squared. It’s not a trend we’re opposed to in theory, just as long as it stops short of making us look like Dynasty throwbacks, linebackers, or that person at the gym who never leaves and says things like, “I’m getting swole.”
Most Tiresome Trend
You thought it was annoying when you sat behind that jackass who decided she needed to photograph the entire show by holding her iPad up in the air. But then you sat behind someone who decided she needed to take both still photos AND video and thus spent the whole time holding TWO PHONES right in front of your face. And THEN, the person NEXT TO HER did it ALSO. One day, someone is going to crack and snatch those electronics right out of your hands and then throw them into the Lincoln Center fountain, and it will probably be one of us.
The fabulous voluminous, teased-out curls at Marc by Marc had us tempted to dry our hair by sticking our heads out a cab window to see if we could re-create it. Fortunately, the wonderful swingy ponytails everywhere (but especially at Donna Karan and Michael Kors) reassured us that we'd be able to fix whatever mistakes we made via the Taxicab Method and still be chic.
Most Exciting Adventure in Seating
We almost fell off our chair when we got to Oscar de la Renta and realized we were right behind Valentino. The Valentino. Which meant we got a primo view of Anna Wintour tossing him a coquettish wave, and we're totally photobombing the snap Hamish Bowles took of the tan designer on his iPhone. And, for the record, Valentino's famous burnished hue is everything you want it to be.
Most Dramatic Security Development
For the first time ever, we witnessed multiple guests being threatened by security with immediate and permanent removal from the premises — usually when said person was really insistently creeping on a front row. Weirdly, most of these creepers seemed totally unfazed by the idea of being banned, which makes us think they may be unwelcome all over town, and Lincoln Center would be just one more notch on their belts. Props to security and PR for taking a hard line on some of the weirder weirdos who make it harder for all of us to enjoy our jobs.
A woman in the front row at Dennis Basso was minding her own business when a model-created gust of wind blew the WWD she'd been holding in her lap down onto the runway. She — and a quick-moving security dude — managed to scoop it all up before the next model came stomping down on it. But the cutest part of this little kerfuffle was the fact that although the woman in question looked mortified, she and her friends (median age: 60) also could not stop giggling about it.
The aforementioned Dennis Basso was full of Ladies of a Certain Age in furs and turbans and fur turbans. We thought we’d correctly sorted the stars from the social grande dames until we got home and realized Joan Collins had attended the show and somehow we missed her. Our entire life has been leading up to a moment in which Joan Collins throws a drink in our face. We cannot believe we missed our chance! Again! Why, God, why?
For streetwear, we enjoyed how relaxed and cute Rebecca Taylor was. For fancy-pants folks, Oscar de la Renta is perennially perfect. And for pure, unadulterated showmanship, we have to give it to Betsey Johnson, who came out in workout tights, tiny shorts, and a headset, and led her models in an actual aerobics session that included push-ups, crunches, and weight-lifting — with full Champagne bottles. If this is how she does it at home, we’ll be there in twenty minutes.
We were sorely saddened by the eight anonymous offerings at Project Runway. Sometimes the eventual finalists look better on TV than we remember them, but considering the clothes are judged (and theoretically worn) in person, we are concerned this will be the final judging at which Nina Garcia quits on-camera and Zac Posen picks the winner by pointing randomly with his eyes closed.
This year, Lincoln Center’s tents added charging stations (you had to bring your own plug, but that’s easy enough; it saved our bacon at least three times), larger bottles of free water, more seating areas for tired or deadline-pressed reporters, and a soup/salad/sandwich bar with actual tasty hot and cold offerings. Given that our top tenet of surviving Fashion Week is staying fed, this made our lives a lot easier, and a whole lot carb-ier.
Whoever decided that the tents needed a D.J. playing endless electronica versions of polka music at ten in the morning needs to take a good, hard look at their life and their choices.
Gossip Girl Head Count: 1
The CW show always reliably populated the front rows. But in a post–Gossip Girl world, would we see B, or S, or even —God forbid — V anywhere? The answer is no. In fact, the only person from the Greatest Show of Our Time who popped up at all was Ella Rae Peck, who was barely even on it in the first place. We can't believe we're saying this, but we even missed Lily Van Der Woodsen, and by the end she was about as fun as a root canal on Fat Tuesday.
Shailene Woodley hugged us — and everyone else — when we came up to interview her, despite the fact that most if not all of us had never met her before. Shailene Woodley is, it turns out, a total sweetie.
Best Looking in Person
We know we just said she was a sweetheart, but Shailene Woodley is also a total dish. Her hair is so lustrous. Her legs are so long. Her pony is so thick. We might be in love with Shailene Woodley. Bonus points go to Vanessa Hudgens, who is much more striking in real life than you think she is.
Most Impressive in Person
Miley Cyrus’s new haircut has us obsessed with her eyes — they are seriously arresting; so big and lovely — but we were also glad to see how polite and composed she was. She watched the Marchesa and Rachel Zoe shows without so much as glancing at a smartphone; she tolerated numerous paparazzi and fan crushes (including one reportedly scary one outside the tents pre-Zoe) with total grace; and she looked classy and polished and clean throughout. Well played indeed.
Most Glorious Ginger
We spied Julianne Moore at Tommy Hilfiger, and her red ponytail — more ponytails! — was sincerely a thing of covetable beauty. We’re also happy to report that she looked fantastic, so maybe she just has a strange allergy to pulling it all together on major red carpets.
At the beginning of the week we thought this award might go to Ashlee Simpson; at the end, Katherine Heigl and Jada Pinkett Smith made a surge. But the face we saw the most, day in and day out, was (randomly) that of Former Miss USA Alyssa Campanella, easy to spot because her deep red dye job — and also the fact that she’s pageant-queen tall. We spied her every day and multiple times per day, more than the reigning Miss USA, Miss Teen USA, and Miss Black USA (all attendees this season too) put together. Even crazier? Nobody had any idea why.
Most Random Sighting
Nanette Lepore often invites her pals to the show, so we’re assuming that’s why Steve Buscemi was sitting in the front row. But that doesn’t make it any less unexpected when you’re confronted with it while standing on the runway, two feet away, frantically trying to think of a question about 30 Rock (on which he guest-starred) that doesn’t involve the strange ups and downs of Alec Baldwin’s hair. Shoot, maybe we should’ve just asked that.
Question We Were Too Scared to Ask
Well, other than the aforementioned one about the Alec Baldwin Hair Issue that’s devastating our times, we should’ve sucked it up while we had Matt Damon’s attention and asked if he would record our outgoing voice-mail message — and then suggested prank-calling Ben.
Person We’re Saddest We Missed
Apparently, at Miley’s Cosmopolitan bash, she took a picture with 9-year-old Oscar nominee Quvenzhané Wallis — who wasn’t there yet when we left, which officially means (a) we missed a chance to ask her about her signature dog purses, and (b) a 9-year-old is better at Fashion Week partying than we are.
At Jenny Packham, we overheard Vanessa Hudgens telling Aly Raisman that her favorite Valentine’s Day was one she spent by herself, shopping and eating whatever she wanted and taking a nice long bath. We don’t know if Raisman was lamenting being single, or what, but it was all very soothing and made us feel a whole lot better about not spending ours with Hamish Bowles’s mustache (RIP, sweet facial hedge).
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