Friday, February 22, 2013

Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Fall 2013, Part 2: Don't Stop the Party!

By: Anne M. Raso and Finance Foodie

[Continued from Part 1: The Shows]

The most fun part of Mercedes Benz Fashion Week--at least for me--are the fabulous lounges and other parties associated with this crazy time of fashion, beauty and foodie guilt after looking at thin models all week!
Party Ready Look from Noon by Noor

One of my favorite lounges was given by Spanx in the Empire Hotel, which has turned out to be a regular lounge at Fashion Week in the past three years. There was a do-it-yourself candy bar, a lot of Valentine's decorations and about a hundred styles of Spanx foundation garments, hose, outerwear and swimsuits on display. A best-kept secret is that their swimsuits not only hold you in where you need it, but actually create strong curves even on the most up-and-down figure types because the firmness is graduated in many pieces (and yes, even the bikinis and tankinis have strong support)!
The #socialchats lounge was actually a very small but special space set aside for several days of Fashion Week on the mezzanine of the Empire Hotel, where designs for a Fashion Week coloring book by Donna Karan and her team of designers were framed and on display, and there were hair and makeup makeovers done courtesy of GK and Tibolli hair products. The exciting thing is that the fashion week coloring book with the DK designs will be on sale soon with all proceeds going to St. Jude's Children's Hospital.
Stylists at #socialchats
Daily Sessions is one of the all-time and possibly longest ongoing Fashion Week lounges. Held in the Stone Roses Lounge of the Time Warner Center, guests were treated to drinks that celebrated Fashion Week as well as chair massages - it was THE place to hang out between shows. I sampled some of the new Yoplait Greek yogurt flavors as well as took a little weight off my feet by trying on Fitflops--possibly the hippest comfort footwear out there. I also treated myself to Hungershield Appetite Control Drink Mix --already pre-made at this sponsor's stand to get my appetite under control -- I'd have to say that it did kick in pretty fast. It tastes like natural lemonade and I was thrilled to find out that it's low carb with high fiber and a whole lot of Vitamin A!
Finance Foodie Enjoying a Massage
The Cover Girl Lounge featured plenty of networking among journos and Fashion Week bigwigs as well as makeovers and manis with their latest products. It was only a couple doors down from the Dell Lounge, making the 10th floor of the Empire Hotel the hottest place to be for a couple of days last week. Guests floated back and forth between the two lounges and it was great to have experts in one lounge giving you the best beauty tips and getting the best techie tips in the other. I loved being able to get a sneak peek at the newest tablet and laptops from Dell.
Dell Computer 
The Bella Linea presentation and party, held in the Carlyle Hotel, featured classic designs inspired by Audrey Hepburn and Jackie O--with a little Chanel and Diane Von Furstenberg thrown in for good measure. What made the presentation unique? All of Bella Linea's designs feature built in shapewear and make the wearer look up to 20 pounds thinner. I am surprised no one thought of this sooner. Another plus to these designs is that they do not look like knitwear or stretchy fabric, and yet they do indeed stretch so they can move up and down with your waistline. Best of all, you do not have to put control top pantyhose underneath, LOL!
Bella Linea
The Birchbox Lounge was held in the posh library of the Soho House in the Meatpacking District. Fabulous teas and tea time snacks were served while journalists got Lancome makeovers, Color Club manicures with their latest colors and blowout/styling courtesy of Ojon hair products. Guests were given lists of the products that worked best for them and even got a sneak preview of the next Birchbox being shipped. (If you are not familiar with this company, for a nominal fee of $110 per year, subscribers get deluxe size samples--for more info, go to And yes, there are Birchbox boxes for guys!)
Jackie Gomez's Face The Beauty party at the Rogue Space Chelsea featured this legendary celebrity makeup artist's top beauty products on display. Yes, she is the one who gives Beyonce and her sister Solange those cutting edge makeup looks, so naturally beauty journos flock to her like flies for beauty article quotes and personal beauty advice. While journos got to test out Jackie's fave products, they got to interview Jackie, meet her makeup biz friends and even have drinks named in honor of the event. So just what are Jackie's must haves? They include Beautyblender Sponges, St. Tropez Self-Tanner and L'Oreal Voluminous Million Lashes Mascara. I got Jackie to confess that Beyonce's big-eyed look mainly comes from using Mac #35 false lashes.
Jackie Gomez
The Refresh Lounge held in the Kaufman Music Center was given by my friend Courtney Henley-Anderson of My personal favorite moments were sampling the luscious lemon cupcakes by Gretel-Ann of TLC's The Next Great Baker (they were decorated with romance and spring themes created out of fondant and then hand-painted) and then getting my eyebrows shaped by Lora Condon, author of the hysterical tell-all tome Spa Wars: The Ugly Truth About The Beauty Industry and a National Spa Week Award winner. I should not have gone back for the second cupcake with the maple icing, but I did. (Well, they were small and I always could restart my New Year's Diet after Fashion Week...)
Gretel-Ann of TLC's Next Great Baker 
Jackie Collins has popped up the past several fashion weeks to promote her latest books, and she always gives a party that pulls out the stops. Guests get the opportunity to chat with Jackie and there is always a cocktail named after her latest book (in this case, The Power Trip) and at her most recently party held at the Yotel, guests got to play pop trivia against the legendary author for cash and gift cards from department stores and spas. I won the gift card for Bloomingdale's, so I am not complaining! I got to dish with Jackie about her two upcoming books but I found her especially endearing for slipping her daughter's book to members of the press (of course, without telling her daughter)! Jackie's daughter Rory Samantha Green is not cashing in on her family name and her "chick lit" novel is called Playing Along.
Jackie Collins
The Hard Rock Cafe held a cocktail party to introduce two new lines of rock memorabilia, Gone Too Soon and Music Gives Back (two completely unseen new collections). I was as excited by the Sweet Potato Make-Your-Own "Sundae" stand as the awesome rock star accouterments on display, including Buddy Holly's beige pullover sweater, Jim Morrison's fur trimmed black leather bomber jacket, Janis Joplin's embroidered velvet and beaded poncho and Steven Tyler's black and white striped stretchy two-piece stage outfit that only he could get away with wearing. Also in these two collections that will be traveling to Hard Rocks worldwide soon are pieces from Kurt Cobain, Bruce Springsteen, John Lennon, Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston, Amy Winehouse and more!
Keith Moon's Suit at Hard Rock Cafe
Crier PR's Fashion Week Beauty & Health Suite held at the MPE Penthouse featured more than 15 fabulous brands represented by the agency and I made a B Line for Jan Marini's booth simply because their eyelash conditioners worked so well and I wanted to check out their anti-aging line, including the highly touted Vitamin C & DMA Complex which helps reduce the appearance of wrinkles. I also love getting to chat with the Sprayology reps. I am a huge Sprayology fan, and if you are not familiar with the line, they make a mouth spray for anything that ails you. Journos flocked to the booth to test out their highly acclaimed Diet Power and Bone Builder--and quite a few runway show veterans who looked as tired as could be made a bee line for Sprayology's Rejuvenation Plus formula.
Jan Marini
I felt pretty revived when I left the Penthouse and it was my last event of Fashion Week (my last show was B Michael right afterwards)--so I went out with a real bang as they say. Nothing mixes like cutting edge beauty and fashion!

Photos: Anne M Raso / Finance Foodie

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