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Fashion Week Hits the Big Apple

Originally Posted: February 20, 2006

Satin softness at the Atil Kutoglu show.

Fashion Week comes to New York City but twice a year, and when it does, its safe to say that Bryant Park will be packed to the rafters with designers showing off their work and people lining up to applaud them. We got the chance to preview the looks we can expect to see this fall.

Fur in everything from coats to accents to full suits as well as earth tones and delicate touches of silk were a big theme, fitting considering the colder turn in the weather this otherwise abnormally warm winter. Braving the drizzle on Saturday, we hustled through the chaos of hairspray and frocks backstage to secure a prime viewing spot for the Atil Kutoglu show.

Of course being 'on time' for a show is a misnomer, considering most shows start at least 25 minutes behind schedule. This at least gave us time to dry off, take in the crowd, and peruse our program for information on the other shows and sponsors.

The effervescent Jay McCarroll at Bryant Park.

Atil Kutoglu put on a good show, warming us up (literally) with his earthy daywear. Looks that could easily be taken from the office to dinner or after, touches of fur and leather glamming everything up. As the show continued, the looks softened. Fur making way to satin and silk, and a whimsical paisley print, before concluding with some geometric yet elegant dresses in gorgeous shades of teal and pink.

After the show, guests migrated back to the reception tent where the open candy bar in the WE Television booth had them lining up. Sadly, it seemed a little late in the day for the mimosas we heard Delta had been serving, but too early yet for the Moet. Aquafina helped fill the gap with plentiful bottles of water. Other goodies up for grab included York peppermints, the 'official mint' of fashion week, and tea samples from Celestial Seasonings.

We spotted the ever-cheery Jay McCarroll from Bravo's Project Runway Season 1, as well as one of the red dresses from the Heart Truth show the night before. Sadly, it was on a mannequin instead of Lindsay Lohan, who we hear made a big splash the night before.

Outerwear fro the DENIMAXX collection.

Leaving the bustle of the tents at the park, we headed across town to International Couture Fashion Week. Smaller in scale, but just as big in fashion, Lourdes Libman, Denimaxx, and Lily Samii were hot on the fur and earth tones bandwagon.

Libman's frilled yet elegant dresses, bookended by her adorable daughter, had us wishing for a summer and fall full of balls and benefits to wear them. Denimaxx mixed functionality with fur, giving us everything from cute cropped coats to full-length reversible suede trenches. After intermission, Lily Samii took inspiration from The Heart Truth's red dress show, featuring their own line punctuated with several dresses in a deep red. For those that can't pull off the vibrant color, teal and other earthy colors rounded out the collection.

Away from the runway, guests had the chance to peruse tables set up to introduce everything from Villa Manga's upscale town homes, to Soloman Brothers' fine jewelry, whimsical hats from Nina K, handbags from Jones & Company, and being equal opportunity with men's wear and tailoring from RJA.

our host Andres Aquino with the models during the break.

Artists Lynn Engstrom, Brenda Kravitz, and Mitchell Flaum added atmosphere and interest to the room. Engstrom's 'found money' works had us up close to discover the little touches that made up the colorful palates, and Brenda Kravitz' oversized flowers helped frame the runway. The oddly timed intermission interrupted the flow of the show, though we're sure it gave the models a much needed break between designer lines as the networking and shopping at the sponsor tables continued.

After the show, the music was turned up to give a 'party' atmosphere, as guests were able to meet the models, and try out their own walk on the runway. The cozy setting presented the fashion in a more 'attainable' setting. I wouldn't be surprised to see at least a few of these looks out east later this year. Three encore shows can be caught this month in Florida.

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