Monday, September 19, 2011

Whew - Whatta Week! Highlights from Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2012

By: Anne M. Raso

Mercedes Benz Fashion Week is always exhilarating and exhausting at the same time. The failing economy did affect things slightly as many designers chose to have their shows off the Fashion Week site in Lincoln Center. Our favorites included the low-key and simple glamour of Rolando Santana and the bold prints of Stephen Burrows--who held their shows at Exit Art and the Audi Forum, respectively. The most flamboyant show (always) seems to be Betsey Johnson, and the favorite flamboyant and practical at the same time designer always seems to be Guishem! Straight ahead rock and roll wear with rock music to accompany it was given out in spades by Charlotte Ronson. By the way, we have to say her gift bag was one of the best from the shows--attendees got a few Hydroxatone skin products, a fun "female products" case courtesy of Kotex, Color Club mail lacquer and a couple of Charlotte's own line of lip glosses.
Backstage at Stephen Burrows
Guishem Presentation
The QVC show was also one of our favorites because it featured a diversity of designers and models and was the only show that we saw that featured two plus-size models. Attendees gathered downstairs afterwards to check out goods by everyone from Heidi Klum to Joan Rivers and have a cocktail afterwards. The greatest Asian-inspired collection we took in was Blanc De Chine, held in their Fifth Avenue store and on our way out we spotted New York's bravest in formal uniform lined up along Fifth Avenue in the thousands waiting to do a post 9-11 memorial ceremony photo op in front of St. Patrick's.
Scene at QVC
The Fashion Week Suites are always a must-visit because they feature the three Big S's tied and weary attendees are seeking out--Swag, Salon services and (on occasion), Something to eat. One of the best was the Amway-owned Artistry Cosmetics, who were a first-time suite sponsor at the Empire Hotel. The super friendly staff of publicists, makeup artists and masseuses made it a joy to attend. The paraffin hand treatments, massage and makeovers were icing on the cake. The Daily Front Row, Fashion Week's official "glossy" paper, had two suites--one was a beauty-oriented one at the Town House Spa and the other one was "a little bit of this and a little bit of that" at the Stone Roses Lounge in the Time Warner Center. The Town House Spa had stations set up where visitors saw reps from DDF Skincare, Soft Cup feminine protection products, Fake Bake, Pretty Polly funky hosiery and more. Folks at the Stone Roses Lounge got to visit reps from Silhouettes Eyewear, Avon (who have out their latest and greatest anti-aging creams) and Macallan Scotch, who created a delicious cocktail of Scotch, carrot juice and lemon juice (served in a martini glass). There were chair massages and a vegetarian lunch served daily--and more cocktails than you could raise a glass to!
Lia Sophia Jewelry's suite in the Empire was uber fun because guests got to check out pieces from their fabulous Red Carpet Collection (which ranges from $200 to $1100 per piece). The designs are creative and mix vintage wih industrial for some sophisticated and chic looks. Their cuff bracelets are off the hook and visitors to the Lia Sophia just "glammed" into them like bees on a honeycomb. We have written about Lia Sophia here before at and we have to say that their designer is so talented, the creations are giving Chanel a run for their money in the costume jewelry arena.
Cuffs at Lia Sophia
The Porsche clothing folks held an intimate suite on the Mezzanine of the Empire Hotel where attendees looked at clothing and accessories inspired by the "need for speed" lifestyle, and the Allure Magazine folks held both a "storefront" suite for the public and a by-invitation-only suite on the Mezzanine Level at the Empire. The "Allure Upstairs Suite" - as the latter was called, featured manis, blowouts, Vitamin Water, fragrances by Eau De Nous, fragrance atomizers, plus much, much more.
Porsche Clothing S/S12
Eau de Nous
As much as we like fitting into our Herve Leger, we also like to eat, so our fave food+fashion event of the week was the Goodness Pop-up Restaurant breakfast where restauranteur mastermind Elettra Wiedemann, daughter of actress Isabella Rossellini, pressed the flesh with press (PS she's so gorgeous and has her mom's cheekbones!). The breakfast croissants, scones and other pastries were homemade and quite deelish -- we actually could barely keep it to only three like we wanted to, as it was hard to see the models and skinny fashionistas walking by outside while we were chowing down on caloric goodies. Elettra's eatery was on the side of Ed's Chowder House, and we hope to see her open a permanent restaurant in Manhattan--she has a lot of talent in this area (plus, she looks like a fashion model). We hear that there were plenty of healthy items on the lunch and dinner menus, just so you know!
Elettra Wiedemann
Needless to say, Fashion Week can take the "mickey out of you," but we spent a nice couple of hours relaxing with author Jackie Collins in the quiet and solitude of the Library at the Hudson Hotel. Collins took in a few fashion week shows including Venexiana but she invited 20 or so bloggers for an intimate meet and greet and reading to promote Goddess Of Vengeance, her 28th book since starting her career out with a bang back in 1968. Collins was friendly and approachable, spent time talking to each and every blogger there, shared a "Lucky Cocktail" or two, and even read a chapter from her latest sure-to-be-a-bestseller followed by an intimate Q&A session.
Jackie Collins
We here at is glad we have to next February to rest up for the next Mercedes Benz  Fashion Week--because it takes about that long to recharge ourselves! We have no idea how those superchic fashion week dames (and drag queens) do the whole week in high heels. Those folks deserve to be in some sort of Fashion Week Hall of Fame right alongside Karl Lagerfeld (who we happened to meet up with at Macy's the night before Fashion Week officially kicked off, by the way...the fashionistas were in full force for his after-appearance party in the President's suite of "the world's most famous department store")!
Karl at Macy's
 So until next year, 'tis time for our beauty sleep!

[Photos: Anne M. Raso / Finance Foodie]

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