After eight long days of fashion shows, presentations and breakfast, lunch and dinner with editors, PR teams and colleagues, even I, a fashion die-hard can breathe a sigh of relief that New York Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2011 is over! Although I scaled back the number of shows I attended, I did see wonderful proposals for next season that I cannot wait to incorporate into my wardrobe. As great as the clothes were, what really deserves the focus is Lincoln Center, New York Fashion Week’s new home. Much outrage and regret was voiced as soon as the move from Bryant Park was announced, with many claiming the intimacy and desirable location could not be replicated at LC, and I am here to say that I went there, did it, and let me tell you, it kicked Bryant Park’s fashionable ass. A simple list should suffice to convince you I am right.
1. Location, Location, Location: Located at 66th and Broadway, Lincoln Center is equally as desirably located as Bryant Park, and, there are no residential neighbors to complain about the congestion and noise.
2. Accommodations: Although we all agree that eating isn’t fashionable with some members of the fashion crowd, it is a necessity for me (especially as sleep is in short supply) and Lincoln Center has a wonderful eatery that makes it unnecessary to go anywhere else- although a new Atlantic Grill just opened up one block away- thank God no more Le Pain Quotidien (Bryant Parkers will know what this means!).
Furthermore, Bryant Park was so congested that there was rarely a place to sit if you had a short wait between shows. At Lincoln Center? Common seating areas, a dedicated media lounge for editors as well as an expanded Maybelline makeup salon made hanging out in the tents, well, enjoyable!
Pair this with the Starbucks sponsored frappuccino (of course they had the low cal option), Fiji Water, Kim Crawford wines from New Zealand and free hand massages, well I was a happy girl to say the least.
3. Technological Breakthrough: The NYFW organization committee chose to fully embrace technology in the new space. Media registration at Bryant Park was always such a pain in the ass, it was never organized and was the chief culprit for shows starting late. Who is really going to start a show on time if guests are all lined up at the registration table waiting not so patiently for the PR girls to flip through their reams of paper on clipboards?! No one. This was not an issue at LC. Invitations are now digital, have bar codes and invitees can use self check in kiosks to obtain seat assignments! Bravo! Plus, no more using reams of paper to update RSVP lists- full seating charts are viewable on the 200 or so iPads floating around the tents. Thumbs up! In another welcome addition, shows and location are clearly displayed on massive screens. It almost makes me laugh thinking it was just six months ago that I was at Bryant Park looking at computer printed card stock taped to poles to find out where I needed to go!
Simply put- the superior organization, increased usable space, well thought out sponsors and the incorporation of digital media resulted in a very enjoyable and simply easier to manage NYFW. I look forward to visiting again in six short months! Come back and take a look up my ali later this week for a report on my favorite trends and looks from the shows I attended including Tory Burch, Ralph Lauren, Calvin Klein, Herve Leger and 3.1 Phillip Lim.