Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Spring / Summer 2013: The Parties, The Products, The Players!

By: Anne M. Raso and Finance Foodie 

Of course, attendees of Mercedes Benz Fashion Week made the effort to wade through the crowds in the tents at Lincoln Center last week to see the Spring / Summer 2013 designs, but many of the press and VIPs enjoyed the parties and private lounges just as much, if not more. They give attendees the chance to kick off the Louboutins, get a backrub, have a glass of champagne and peruse the cool new products in no-pressure environment.
Victoria's Secret Party
Our favorite party was the Victoria's Secret takeover of the Empire Hotel rooftop – it seemed to have the largest parade of celebs coming through (Kelly Osbourne was coming in as we were leaving). Attendees were treated to the hotel's best finger food, custom mini VS logo cupcakes and blowouts.
Getting Skin Scan at the Artistry Lounge
We also visited an assortment of sponsor lounges, which seemed to be in aggressive abundance this season. The standout in this group by a mile was the Artistry suite -- the staff treated their attendees like gold--everyone received an in-depth skincare analysis with a special machine that looks quite like what an ophthalmologist uses to do eye exams these days. Afterwards, we got chemical peels, paraffin hand treatments and a makeover. Everyone left with a carefully prescribed list of products, plus a cool copper Michael Kors change purse with one of the famous Artistry Light Up Lip Glosses in it.
Boho Chic by Nicole Ritchie
Other just as cool spots included Macy's first-ever fashion week lounge that featured a room of assorted designer's shoes and a room full of Boho Chic fashions by Nicole Ritchie; the Clarins Beauty Flash suite that featured makeup artists who demonstrated the many uses for the megapopular Clarins Flash Balm (including under eye circle camouflage and foundation primer); and the Spanx by Sara Blakely Spring 2013 Preview which featured their usual gorgeous displays of new products (this year the men's line was not shown, though, and filled in with new selections the more reasonably priced Assets line).
Chilling at the Birchbox Suite
The award for best first time showing goes to Birchbox, who set up a suite "off campus" across from Milk Studios, where a lot of shows were held, so attendees could come over for lunch, pick up a box of beauty samples at the "Sample Stop" and treat themselves to hair and makeup touchups. And of course, there were jars of candy to make your own little baggies of sweet pick me up treats on the way out.
Chanel Showcase
As for most luxe, the eDrop-Off.com Vintage Chanel Showcase gave attendees the opportunity to see a bevy or vintage and recent Chanel items currently up for auction on EBayl. Fashion Week attendees could actually view the items and then bid on them on EBAY--many starting at only $49.99! For more info on how to sell your items through this savvy consignment program, go to shopedropoff.com.
Blanc De Chine
You are probably wondering if we actually ever made it to the shows. Yes! Anne's vote for favorite exoitc show is Blanc De Chine, who held their show in their beautiful two level Fifth Avenue store. These Chinese influenced styles are not only timeless, but the wonderful laser cut silks are not easily forgotten. Many of the pieces are free form, making them ideal for those of us who tend to have weight fluctuations. The updated Chairman Mao style jackets for men were a super-sophisticated look, especially paired with the loose fitting tuxedo pants (and even shorts) that this one-of-a-kind fashion house creates. The store is always packed for the show and only one show will keep you coming back every fashion week!
Jorge Vega Umana
The best formal wear show goes to Jorge Vega Umana who concocted wonderful formal wear which was shown "presentation style" at the Alvin Ailey Ballet Company. Everything was chic, understated and timeless and the Princess Kate-inspired wedding dress knocked us off our Manolos. Chef Angelo Sosa made the h'ors d'ouervres and one thing more yummy after the other came out of the kitchen. Look for Jorge to reach the heights of high fashion!
Wendy Williams, Host of Strut
Anne's favorite show all around, Strut (Fashionable Moms), was as great per usual. This year's host was the talkative and affable Wendy Williams who spoke to the capacity crowd in the biggest Fashion Week space in Lincoln Center saying that she admired how the show features real women in all shapes and sizes- though the famously svlete Lisa Rinna was thrown in to model some fancier frocks donated by beyondtherack.com.
Nicholas K
Finance Foodie's favorite show was Nicholas K - ironically also the first official show to kickoff Fashion Week in Lincoln Center. We got up real early to catch this 9am show- and were treated to desert hues slouchy pants and drapey jackets inspired by the '70s Charleton Heston movie Soylent Green. We thought the doo rags sported by the male models were especially festive.
Whitney Eve
The most reality TV star studded show we attended was (not too surprisingly) Whitney Eve - who got her own start as a cast member of MTV "The Hills" and "The City". Among the crowd was Nicole Trufino (Make Me a Supermodel), Mya (perhaps the only non reality star in the bunch), Kelly Bensimon (Real Housewives), Julia Allison (Miss Advised) and more…who all came out to be promote themselves see the convertible floral printed party dresses and charming pastel hued menswear-inspired pieces.
Fergie at the Wet 'N Wild Party
We concluded Fashion Week with Fergie's launch of her Fergalicious makeup line with Wet 'N Wild at Beaumarchais. There was a large red velvet cake baked in the lines honor, and the lady of honor fielded answers from reporters who seemed as curious about when she is starting a family as about the cosmetics themselves. "The Duchess" took it all in stride, however. Attendees got a first try with the new line, which includes nail polishes that create special effects beyond the "crackle" look that was such a big trend earlier this year.

Needless to say, Fashion Week is exhausting as one flits from show to party and back again, but what fashionista would want it any other way?!?

All photos by Anne Raso, Finance Foodie and Simone Press (for Finance Foodie Media Productions)

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