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Milwaukee's Daily Magazine for Tuesday, Sept. 2, 2014

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Bow belts, headbands and  gloves added to the prep school appeal at the Milly show.
Bow belts, headbands and gloves added to the prep school appeal at the Milly show.

NYC Fashion Week: Day 7

NEW YORK -- Things are settling down to a quiet hum at the tents as the final day of Fashion Week approaches. Every year it's bittersweet. While I love being one of the select few (hundred) who is privileged to see first what will be popular for a season six months ahead of time, the lines, walking, cab-catching, pushy wannabes, long days and late nights are starting to catch up with me. And I am, in a word, exhausted. But, never too tired to take in three more shows!

The shows: Douglas Hannant, Milly, Malan Breton.

The scene: While yesterday's heavy snow brought out New Yorkers and their umbrellas in full force (I was perplexed by the snow-umbrella phenomenon at first but after walking 10 blocks in the snow and arriving to a show dripping wet, I saw the light), today's early morning sunny skies were a welcome change. What wasn't a welcome change? Sleeping through my alarm for the Douglas Hannant show, catching a cab at the last minute, sitting through gridlocked traffic, having the cab break down in the middle of Park Avenue and running four icy blocks in high-heeled boots ... uphill. I made it just before the doors were closed. Thankfully, nothing -- and I mean nothing -- starts on time during Fashion Week.

The celebrities: Constantine and Tinsley, of course (it's no doubt they've been at almost every show as he will be "playing" the part of her boyfriend in her upcoming reality show "High Society" on the CW); Julia Stiles, Elizabeth Hasselbeck, The Wonder Girls (who. I was informed by two 20-somethings. are the female version of The Jonas Brothers).

The trends: Douglas Hannant, primarily known for his well-tailored and elegant designs favored by the Upper East Side elite, alienated his clientele with this latest collection. Set in a quaint theater on the Upper East side, the room was filled with enough Botox and silicone to keep Joan Rivers young for another 20 years. The stage set of graffiti-laden panels was indeed the perfect setting for…

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Designer Eli Tahari poses with models backstage at the Elie Tahari Fall 2010 Fashion Show.
Designer Eli Tahari poses with models backstage at the Elie Tahari Fall 2010 Fashion Show.

NYC Fashion Week: Day 6

NEW YORK -- The tents were alive in the morning hours with chatter regarding the possibility of Madonna (finally!) starting her own clothing line for Macy's.

In true blue Madge fashion, the clothing line would be called Material Girl, and the lingerie line Truth or Dare. Only time will tell if the collection comes to fruition, but it seems about time for a woman who has been an international trendsetter for 25 years to capitalize on her creative fashion sense. Fingers crossed!

The shows: Elie Tahari, Badgley Mischka, Pamella Roland, Thuy, Tibi, Boudoir D'huitres, Toni Francesc.

The scene: Who wouldn't want to go to Berlin Fashion Week? While tent-goers had a chance this morning to win a trip to the coveted shows via Lufthansa airlines' Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week sweepstakes, you can enter as well. Log onto lufthansa-usa.com/fashion to enter.

The prize is worth the minute of typing time: Two round-trip tickets to Berlin, three nights at the Hilton Berlin, a three-day Mercedes-Benz S-Class car rental and access to runway shows and the hospitality lounge.

The celebrities: Joan Rivers, Alfre Woodard, Shiri Appleby, Mena Suvari, Brooke Shields, Nigel Barker, Olivia Palermo, as well as every reality star on TV today.

The trends: Elie Tahari showed wearable and well-constructed pieces in two collections: one for women and one for men. The men's line boasted tailored separates (no baggy this fall, guys), a color palette of black, gray and blue, matching wool ties and shirts, barely-there plaids and deflated puffer vests. The women's line also had a menswear feel, with wide leg black trousers and leather, but was peppered with ladylike touches such as collar detailing, wool capes, ruffled vests and fur handbags ... The Badgley Mischka show was the day's standout, thanks to the pair trademark Oscar-worthy gowns that flowed, shimmered and shined with every step. The second half of the show, however, featured some edgier pieces. But it was the s…

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Jill Stuart's collection was wartime chic.
Jill Stuart's collection was wartime chic.

NYC Fashion Week: Day 5

NEW YORK -- Celebrities were out in full force today at Mercedes Benz Fashion Week. And the media frenzy was palpable. As I sat in the ornate Grand Hall of the New York Public Library awaiting the start of the highly anticipated Jill Stuart show, I was reminded once again why most high-profile stars have been skipping the new York scene and instead choosing the European shows, like Paris and Berlin fashion weeks.

While the paparazzi are a fixture in Europe as well, nothing compares to the New York photographers who flash, scream, shout, push, shove and everything in between to get that perfect shot of a front-row celebrity.

At Jill Stuart, a bevy of young starlets had photogs hot and bothered, and it took a plethora of security personnel to clear them from the runway for the show to begin. Each year it seems to become less about the runway show and more about who's watching it.

The shows: Carlos Miele, Jill Stuart, Tracy Reese, Yeohlee, Tadashi Shoji, Ecco Domani Fashion Foundation, Perry Ellis

The scene: The Designer Footwear from Spain collection debuted today at the tents, and is showcasing the looks from five designers: Chie Mihara, Magrit, Magnanni, Pura López and Sendra Boots. Viewing the innovative collection provided a tranquil respite from the crowds between shows, and confirmed that booties will definitely be the hot shoe for fall 2010.

The celebrities: New couple "American Idol" alum Constantine Maroulis (who is starring on Broadway in "Rock of Ages") and socialite Tinsley Mortimer, Anna Lynne McCord of the "new" 90210, Mena Suvari, Menomonee Falls native Jessica Szohr, Kristen Bell, Julia Stiles, Destiny's Child singer Kelly Rowland, Star Jones, Kelly Rutherford, Molly Sims, Kate Walsh, Michelle Trachtenberg, Robert Buckley, Jessica Stroup.

The trends: Carlos Miele's collection was an ode to color with a blend of bright red, purple, teal, electric blue and champagne hitting the runway. Dresses were topped off with fur cap…

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Custo Barcelona and Vassilios Kostetsos can only be explained as "Fall on crack."
Custo Barcelona and Vassilios Kostetsos can only be explained as "Fall on crack."
Tony Cohen added his own unique twist to current trends.
Tony Cohen added his own unique twist to current trends.

NYC Fashion Week: Day 4

NEW YORK -- I sat in the front row at two shows today: Luca Luca and Tony Cohen. Luca Luca was a fluke (I just wiggled my way in when a bold-facer didn't show), but at Tony Cohen, it was a matter of international security.

As I sat patiently in the fourth row waiting for the show to start, a PR girl for Cohen grabbed my hand, pulled me out of my chair and gave me a seat in the front row. She simply said they needed "a pretty blond" in the front row.

I later learned I was given the seat meant for controversial singer Heather Schmidt's security officer, who was a bit too bulging for the seat. Although I was not familiar with Schmidt, a quick Google search explained that as well as a world-reknowned classical singer, she is the star of the reality show "The Ambassador," which attracts an audience of 200 million in China.

Oh, and she is now the subject of death threats, due to her peformance with Pakistan's former president Pervez Musharraf.

Glad to know I'm the one who would have taken the bullet. Talk about sacrificing for fashion.

The shows: Lela Rose, Luca Luca, Tony Cohen, Custo Barcelona, Vassilios Kostetsos.

The scene: It was a bright, sunny day in Manhattan, which was the perfect backdrop for three of the most colorful shows of the week: Lela Rose, Custo Barcelona and Vassilios Kostetsos. Colorful, but distinct. While Lela Rose's collection resembled the decadent tea party of my dreams, the Spaniard and the Greek, respectively, sent haute couture collections down the runway that were true art and inspiration. Costumey, yes, but isn't that what the runway is all about?

The celebrities: Former supermodel Carol Alt, "American Idol" alum Constantine Maroulis, socialite Tinsley Mortimer, "Real Housewife" turned Playboy model Kelly Bensimon, actress and Joshua Jackson squeeze Diane Kruger, and classical singer/political activist Heather Schmidt.

The trends: Lela Rose was a celebration of all things girly and sparkly, from bro…

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