Falling for Spring Fashions
Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week ushered in a new era this year with the historical move from Bryant Park to Lincoln Center and a major upgrade in technology: the addition of Fashion GPS-which streamlined communication and expedited check-in procedures. Mayor Michael Bloomberg showed his support for the move, declaring, that he thought Lincoln Center would be a “perfect place for a fashion show–fashion is art.” He went on to say, “New York City is fully committed to the health and growth of our fashion industry.”
The consensus among organizers and industry insiders was that this inaugural season at Lincoln Center was a success. A common thread among designers this season was the presence of beige, which ruled the runways for spring, alongside neighbors on the color palette, white and ivory-in sheer and non-sheer fabrics and the requisite spattering of black. Several designers showcased vintage designs, including Gottex and Betsey Johnson, with a throwback to the 80s and Marc Jacobs with his Studi0 54 inspired 70s designs, complete with vintage accessories and big floppy hats.
Mercedes-Benz Presents Designer Carolina Herrera
The Mercedes-Benz Presents Designer’s runway show is one of the highlights of every Fashion Week. This season was no different, as the elegant and stylish, Carolina Herrera was chosen to receive this great honor. Herrera showcased her latest collection on September 13th and was recognized throughout the industry for her impeccable style and sophisticated designs- attributes that are also prevalent in the Mercedes- Benz brand, as evidenced by the motto emblazoned in the main lobby of Lincoln Center, as a backdrop for one of the two new Mercedes Benz sleek vehicle displays “The Best or Nothing.” The 2011 E550 Cabriolet and the new 2011 CL63 AMG were showcased throughout the week for guests to admire and desire.
Our favorite space in Lincoln Center was the Mercedes-Benz Star Lounge, which was created through the collaboration between design consultant Carlos Mota and fashion icon IMAN, the first display of the new IMAN Home design collection. The lounge played host to dozens of celebrities and designers throughout the week.
“Anyone who attended the inaugural season of Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week at Lincoln Center could feel the energy from the runway shows to the lobby — it could not have been more exciting,” expressed Lisa Holladay, Manager of Brand Experience Marketing for Mercedes-Benz USA. “Along with all of the volunteers and supporters, it was the designers who truly made it happen with a range of collections that engaged and inspired us all, throughout the entire week.”
Monique Lhuillier’s spring 2011 collection was inspired by a dream, as models graced the runway in colors that ranged from pastels to candied apple reds. Perrey Reeves, aka Entourage’s “Mrs. Ari” commented on how Lhuillier’s creations make her feel like a princess and how she loves the femininity and gracefulness of each piece- which has its own unique presence. Celebrities in attendance included: 90210′s Jessica Lowndes, Odette Yusman, Giada De Laurentiis, Lost’s Maggie Grace, Emma Roberts, and Gilmore Girl Alexis Bledel.
The Badgely Mischka show transported guests back to the Great Gatsby era, and included models styled with soft flowing curls, beaded hats and romantic slip gowns. The designers created a chic collection featuring embellished day and evening wear and Oscar-worthy gowns. The front row included: Denise Richards, Kristin Cavallari, Gabrielle Union, Kelly Rowland, LaLa Vazquez, Kelly and Bensimon.
“And I’ll say, it’s all right…” blared the Beatles’ classic, Here Comes the Sun, through the speakers for the entirety of the Michael Kors’ show, sending virtual rays of sunshine through the crowd. Can we say “insta-good mood” at 10:00 a.m. on a Wednesday? Inspired by summertime, long days and cook outs, Kors’ creations are a reflection of his upbringing on the beach. Shades of avocado greens, lilacs, bold fuchsia, and yellows were paired with fitted tees and leather camel trench coats.
After the show, through some bizarre and fantastic twist of fate, as we were making our way through the ebb and flow of dense crowd, observing Donald Trump as he exited, we happened upon none other than Dr. Ruth Westheimer (Vest-heimer), who shuffled us backstage right along with her, and shared her secret to happiness: “Finding something you love and sticking to it.” That explains why the good doctor is smiling after all these years! We caught up with Kors backstage who shared that his homes served as the inspiration for his collection- his garden in New York, house on the beach on a sunny day, bar- b- ques and relaxing. Kors said he emphasized length, color and texture in this collection. “This is the first time I’ve ever done a collection without any black! I’m in a sunshine state of mind.” When asked about his favorite piece, he admitted that it has to be the double-faced leather trench coat because it’s something you can wear for more than 30 years. While we were talking with Kors, lucky guests had the opportunity to select their favorite pair of Michael Kors sunglasses as a parting gift. “Sun, sun, sun…here we come!
Vera Wang took her east meets west influence and infused it throughout her collection. Wang, inspired by Quentin Tarantino’s classic Kill Bill, showcased the classic ethereal style with edge, channeling the exotic, strong, warrior within. Sculptured accents and bold jewels accentuated each look down the runway, worn by stoic, barefaced models. Anna Wintour and Serena Williams shared a few laughs before the show and seemed to enjoy the collection.
Sexy singer, John Forte set the stage for Nanette Lepore’s show, serenading the audience with his sultry voice, alongside his live band. Models clad in Lepore’s creations sauntered the runway in classic chic ranging from brightly colored high-waisted bikinis to cocktail attire for day and night in vibrant floral patterns- a refreshing break from the neutrals that dominated the majority of the other shows. The collection was a jet setter’s dream, providing an array of looks to compliment a tropical retreat at a moment’s notice. Lepore closed her show with a trip down the runway with one of her two daughters, both of whom took the day off from school to attend. Lepore’s audience included: Stanley Tucci, Lili Taylor, Kristin Chenoweth, Carol Kane, Talia Balsam and former Sopranos stars, Aida Turturro and Jamie Lynn Sigler.
Far from being the most glamorous or elegant show during the week, Betsey Johnson brought the fun. Among the most original of the shows, Johnson showed a video montage of herself riding her bike all around New York as the corresponding looks appeared on the runway, Le Tour Betsey. At the end of the video, Johnson played a clip of Johnson family movies which culminated in her riding down the runway on her bicycle, being presented with a trophy by her daughter, Lulu and her granddaughters and doing a cartwheel as models waved racing flags and cheered her on. Check out the video at www.Miamisocialholic.com. Seen enjoying the show were Kelly Osbourne, Denise Richards, Rimah Fakin, Carmen Electra and Ciara. Later that night, Johnson joined friends and fans at the basement of the Hudson Hotel, dancing with the DJs in their booth above the main floor, to the amusement of the adoring crowd.
LAVO NYC Officially Opens
No Fashion Week would be complete without a myriad of incredible parties and openings. One such party took place on Tuesday, September 14th, when A-list celebrities, athletes, notable New Yorkers and a few Miami locals celebrated the official grand opening of LAVO New York City, a new Southern Italian bistro/state-of-the-art nightclub owned and operated by nightlife masterminds, Noah Tepperberg, Jason Strauss, Marc Packer, Jayma Cardosa and Rich Wolf, the hospitality impresarios behind LAVO Las Vegas, TAO, Avenue, Stanton Social, Rue 57, Goldbar and Avra. The space is stylish and gorgeous- think Prime 112 meets The Florida Room, with the former stacked atop the latter, and the food, service and atmosphere are top-notch.
We had the distinct pleasure of sitting next to the “damn-some” (that’s short for damn handsome) Joe Manganiello, the hot werewolf from True Blood and girlfriend Audra Marie, who were canoodling in a booth in between bites (no pun intended). Manganiello was served a special low-carb dinner because he is on a strict diet for the show. The couple ventured downstairs to the club late in the evening and joined Ashley Greene and Xavier Samuels from Twilight . Manganiello laughed when someone made a comment about how competing werewolves/ vampires were taking over the party. Also seen enjoying the music downstairs, new “besties” Kristin Cavallari and Shantel VanSanten, who hit the Fashion Week circuit together; Lennox Lewis who tried unsuccessfully to get Russell Simmons’ attention, as Simmons was appealing to the doorman to let two models into the party; and Nicky Hilton, who danced on her banquette, swinging her arms and screaming out that she loved the DJ.
Other VIP guests at the LAVO NYC opening, including Oliver Stone, Alessandra Ambrosio, Michelle Rodriguez, Ashley Greene, Kristin Cavallari, Samantha Ronson, Dylan McDermott, Stephanie Pratt and Lenny Kravitz enjoyed music by Solange Knowles, DJ Vice and Chuckie, along with surprise performances by Ciara and Swizz Beatz. We were excited to see some of our favorite Miami locals: Chris Bosh, Nicola Siervo, D. Ashlee Harrison, Seth Browarnik and Melissa Katz having a blast at the party. Last Thursday night, Jessica Simpson threw a birthday dinner for her boyfriend, Eric Johnson, at LAVO.
Lavo opening – Photos By Seth Browarnik-WorldRedEye.com
You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger Premiere
Earlier on Tuesday night the Cinema Society’s screening of You Will Meet a Talk Dark Stranger at MOMA and after party at the elegant, newly re-opened, Lambs club brought out bold-name faces from all over the industry. The party was lauded as one of the most exclusive of the week, despite having nothing to do with Fashion Week. Granted, the film’s director, Woody Allen and his films have been in fashion for almost half a century.
Guests at the screening and after party included Adrian Grenier, Adrian Brody, Michelle Rodriguez, Leelee Sobieski, Alec Baldwin, Martha Stewart, Ethan Hawke, Gemma Jones, Stanley Tucci, Patricia Clarkson, Deborah Harry, Mark Ruffalo, Oliver Stone, Brett Ratner, Juliette Lewis, Alan Cummings, Bobby Flay, Stephanie March, Kelsey Grammer, Denise Richards, and the film’s stars, Josh Brolin and Lucy Punch. All gathered at the screening’s after party upstairs at the Lambs Club to toast Allen with Grey Goose cocktails.
Adrian Grenier’s sole mission was to meet Woody Allen. After walking the red carpet, Grenier waited to introduce himself to Allen and was overheard saying “He’s one of my New York Legends.” Grenier spent the rest of the evening chatting with fellow party goers including Adrian Brody and Michelle Rodriguez.
Mercedes Benz Fashion Week
While this list is far from exhaustive, celebrities spotted front row to lend their support for their favorite designers included Milla Jovovich, Sarah Jessica Parker, Leighton Meester, Serena Williams, Ed Westwick, Rashida Jones, Kanye West, Jason Lewis, Kristin Cavallari, Coco Rocha, Rachel Bilson, Ashlee Simpson, Kelly Osbourne, Nicky Hilton, Courtney Love, Kimora, Samantha Ronson, Jay Sean, Amanda Hearst, Robert Verdi, Molly Sims, Omarion, Andy Cohen, Elisa Sednaoui, Deborah Cox, Eric McCormack, Iman, Veronica Webb, Katrina Bowden, Kelly Rowland, Debora Cox, Angela and Vanessa Simmons, Mel B, Solange Knowles, Nastia Lukin, Julia Jones, Rachel Zoe, Claire Danes, Olivia Palermo, Jessica Simpson, Heidi Klum, Tyson Beckford, Perrey Reeves, Poppy Delevingne, Jamie-Lynn Sigler, Michelle Trachtenberg, Carmen Electra, Cassie, Jessica Szohr, Alison Brie, Alexis Bledel, Leigh Lezark, Gabrielle Union, Jordin Sparks, Brandy, Denise Richards, Kelly Bensimon, Melissa George, Lauren Bush, Sarah Wynter, Jay Alexander, Michael Urie, Tessa Thompson, Keisha Wittaker, Diddy, Kendra Wilkinson, Shannon Elizabeth, Kerry Washington, Rebecca Romijn, Greta Gerwig, Marin Ireland, Mickey Sumner, Katie Lee, Nigel Barker, Aisha Taylor, Perry Farrell, Alan Cumming, Jay Manuel, Kristin Chenoweth, Stanley Tucci, Peaches Geldof, Elisabeth Hasselbeck, Natalie Morales, Marsha Thomason, Noel Marin, Sherri Baum, Marcia Gay Harden, and Camilla Romestrand..
Celebrity Sightings Miami
The Burn Notice season wrap party took place at The Forge on Wednesday night. Attendees included: Jeffrey Donovan, Gabrielle Anwar, Bruce Campbell and Sharon Gless who celebrated in the newly renovated Library while Dennis Rodman strolled in for a late dinner at the Wine Bar. Saturday night Rick Ross and DJ Khaled enjoyed a business dinner with two other guests and spoke about how they loved The Forge’s new look.
On Thursday night, the members of Kings of Leon dined in the private dining room of Miami hotspot, Zuma with a group of 16 people.
Eva Longoria recently dined at Sugarcane raw bar grill with a group of about 15 who arrived in 3 limos. Longoria and company sat in the lounge and enjoyed a selection of different tapas from the menu. Longoria was in town to kick-off the Rally Against Cancer, which is being co-hosted for the second year in a row by JR and Loren Ridinger and will take place during the weekend of November 12-13 (more on this in an upcoming column).
At La Fee Verte’s Stiletto Mafia party on Saturday, model Ines Rivero was seen with an entourage of dancing queens who could not stop raving about burlesque diva Nicole Soden’s performance. Miami’s male-model of the moment, Branden Haley (Front Management) celebrated his 21st birthday at the party where he was seen dirty dancing with Bravo reality star, Cristina Rice (who’s been recently spotted with Jamie Foxx).
Also on Saturday, Grey Goose Entertainment Rising Icon Jay Sean performed at the Hard Rock Opium.
Recording artist Drake was seen celebrating his father’s birthday with a group of 6 people at Philippe on Sunday. The group enjoyed the restaurant’s famous Chicken Satay and Maine Lobster Spring Rolls.
**Maryanne Salvat contributed to this story.