NEW YORK -- It was freebie day at the tents, with Maybelline makeup, Tresemme hair products, chocolates and more offered up by vendors hoping for a media mention. The highlight for me was the Chambord-sponsored fondue table and open bar. French martinis make the lines much more bearable. A definite treat for the men? A photo op with Daniella Sarahyba, Dominique Piek, Esti Ginzburg, Genevieve Morton, Hilary Rhoda, Irina Shayk and Jessica Gomes - all models featured in the soon-to-be-released Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue -- just outside the tents. Talk about stopping traffic ...
The shows: Georges Chakra, Adam by Adam Lippes, Academy of Art University, Twinkle by Wenlan, Vivienne Tam, Arise Magazine African Collective (Black Coffee, Loin Cloth & Ashes and Deola Sagoe).
The scene: Maybe I expect too much from the in-fashion crowd, but it's time for the wannabes to start creating their own identities. The sheer amount of Lady Gaga imitators is startling. At least the "I'm so excited for the new ‘Alice in Wonderland' movie" set is a bit more imaginative with their colorful makeup and Madd Hatter top hats.
The celebrities: It was a light day for celebrities at the shows (unless you count the Real Housewives of Whatever, which I do not). Model Veronica Webb, stylist to the stars Philip Bloch and America's Next Top model judge Miss Jay, as well as various "Project Runway" and "Launch My Line" reality stars, did make appearances throughout the day. But it was the QVC after-party that brought in the most star power, including waifish stylist Rachel Zoe, stunning "30 Rock" actress Katrina Bowden, "Gossip Girl" mom Kelly Rutherford and celeb-fav hair guru Christo, who's PR rep went crazy over my vintage Christian LaCroix necklace from Lake Hill House.
The trends: Young, hip and new. The Georges Chakra collection kicked off the morning and is still my favorite collection of the past three days. Black lace, texture, statement coats, strategic piping, exposed backs and elbow-grazing gloves: If this is Fall 2010 fashion, let's skip spring and summer and head straight into autumn. The show-stopper? A red chiffon gown with a beaded cummerbund and beaded tulle bodice ... At Adam, the luxury continued, but with more attention paid to separates, including full-volume skirts, boucle and cable-knit sweaters, knit shrugs and show-stopping coats ... Twinkle featured bold collars, cocoon scarves, strategic cutouts, textured skinny pants and more, but it was the chunky colored stone necklaces that really stole the show ... The Vivienne Tam presentation in her Soho store was alive with sequins, animal prints, hand-painted dresses and bright red knits. The looks, inspired by the Chinese Zodiac year of the tiger, were decadent yet sophisticated. One truly pleasant surprise of the day was designer Deola Sagoe, one of the three designers in the Arise Magazine African Collective show, that capped off the night at the tents. Her dresses - embellished with beads, epaulettes and fraying - drew so much praise from the crowd that the spontaneous clapping, hooting and hollering caused one model to break out laughing on the runway.
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