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Fashion Week: Meltdown at the tents

Diane von Furstenberg is just one of the

Diane von Furstenberg is just one of the many major designers opting to host their shows beyond the tent. Credit: AP

It’s a season of big, athletic events — yesterday the Super Bowl, later this week, the Olympics. Then, there’s New York Fashion Week, which runs (and we mean runs) from Feb. 6-13.
This season, it too will require stamina, strength and timing.
A slew of major designers have opted out of the centralized location of the Mercedes-Benz tents at Lincoln Center after complaints that the environment there was circuslike.
Longtime anchors Michael Kors and Diane von Furstenburg have defected to Spring Studios on Varick Street, where the Holland Tunnel is in view. Vera Wang, Jenny Packham and Tracy Reese are heading to downtown spaces as well, and in the boldest move of all, fashion darling Alexander Wang has abandoned Manhattan altogether, and is showing at the Brooklyn Navy Yards.
While Wang told Women’s Wear Daily that the borough move “corres- ponds very well to this season’s creative concept,” getting there will not be half the fun. “It’s like the wild, wild west again, like before we even had the tents at Bryant Park,” says Adam Glassman, creative director of O, the Oprah Magazine.
“It’s going to be an interesting season,” adds Fern Mallis, who created a consolidated New York Fashion Week when she was executive director of the Council of Fashion Designers of America. “Fair to say it’s a meltdown of the tents? “It certainly seems that way,” says Mallis. “I think the whole industry is in flux.”
About 60 shows remain at Lincoln Center, among them Carolina Herrera, Zac Posen, Badgley Mischka, Anna Sui and J. Mendel. And there’s a new affiliated satellite space called “The Hub” debuting at the Hudson Hotel a few blocks away. Among exhibitors there comes first-time Fashion Week participant Jay Godfrey, along with others such as Trina Turk.
Though some believe the luster of the whole event has dulled, flashy fashion celebrations still abound. The always-fabulous Heart Truth Red Dress extravaganza is on at the tents and will feature celebrity cat walkers such as Lindsey Vonn, NeNe Leakes and Ireland Baldwin to promote heart health. Donna Karan is marking her 30th anniversary with an evening show on Wall Street, and Target is holding a launch celebration for its Peter Pilotto designer collaboration. The colorful, pricey brand has been worn by luminaries such as Michelle Obama, Rihanna and Kerry Washington, though the lion’s share of the Target collection will run under $60 — something to celebrate, indeed.


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