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New York Fashion Week schedule bursting at seams

Donatella Versace's Versus Versace collection, Gwen Stefani's L.A.M.B.

Donatella Versace's Versus Versace collection, Gwen Stefani's L.A.M.B. collection and the CFDA's Barbie's VIP event are just a few stand-outs in a jam-packed New York Fashion Week schedule. Credit: Getty Images, Mattel

Blonde-spotting may well become an official sport when New York Fashion Week gets going on Thursday.

Fashion-followers all over town are hoping to catch a glimpse of Donatella Versace, who will show her Versus Versace collection -- new to the show roster -- on Sunday night. Gwen Stefani is back to present her L.A.M.B. collection followed by cocktails early Saturday evening. And while we're on the subject -- of both blondes and cocktails -- later that night perhaps the best-known blonde of all, Barbie, will team up with the CFDA for a VIP event at the Fashion Lounge in the Meatpacking district.

Legendary tennis champ Serena Williams will relaunch her Signature Statement Collection by HSN Sept. 9 -- she's a busy gal, the U.S. Open ends the day before. Fashion Rocks returns with a Sept. 9 concert at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, hosted by Ryan Seacrest and featuring biggies such as Jennifer Lopez, Miranda Lambert and Pitbull. And the fashion flock is #thankful that Alexander Wang is back in town at Pier 94 after fleeing the city last season to show in Brooklyn.

Sadly, the fancy frocksters at Marchesa have opted out of the schedule completely this season to show, instead, in London. Ralph Lauren has divvied up his shows -- the high-end collection will appear as always on the last day of Fashion Week, while his less expensive Polo line will be presented on Sept. 8 in Central Park.

Some are getting into the act early: The Little Black Dress Wines and Fatigues to Fabulous show this Wednesday at Lincoln Center honors both military servicewomen and veterans who will model little black designer dresses to raise awareness of our female soldiers as they transition back to civilian life. Athleta -- the activewear brand -- is also doing a presentation the same day, with a heart-pumping display at its "Crush of Adrenaline" show melding a traditional runway presentation with a high-impact performance.

And even though the shows are dispersed throughout New York, there's still a mob of designers at the Lincoln Center tents. Some are newcomers like Aussie sister act Nicky and Simone Zimmermann. But many are regulars, such as Carolina Herrera, Anna Sui, BCBGMaxAzria and Carmen Marc Valvo, who will introduce a menswear collection along with his swanky women's line. And he's celebrating his 25th anniversary in the biz on Saturday night with a splashy gig at the Players Club -- the invite calls for "formal festive attire." Oh dear, what will we wear?

Starting on Thursday, Sept. 4, head to for live coverage from the runway and backstage.

You can also follow @anniebrat, @alisonbernicker and @joe_amodio on Twitter for more updates.

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