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 LÃ³pez 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 caplets and cropped jackets for added warmth ... Jill Stuart's collection was wartime chic with long wool coats, camo-print dresses, lace-up boots, and grommet belts. But the wartime looks were merged with a mix of schoolgirl-inspired plaid skirts and Stuart's trademark ladylike dresses. Three distinct ideas, blended seamlessly ... Tracy Reese showed a feminine collection of cozy separates, like cable-knit cardigans, fur jackets and tuxedo pants, as well as some statement pieces like black lacquered jacquard shorts and embellished dresses. One standout was the jewelry, with velvet ribbon necklace that were decorated with rhinestone flowers, butterflies and more ... Yeohlee continued its minimalist motif with chunky knits, cocoon scarves, hand-knit cardigans and fleece skirts ... Tadashi Shoji sent out a collection of sweet confections, with layered lace in eggplant, gray-blue, poppy and sand. The models practically floated down the runway. ... The focus turned to menswear at Perry Ellis. Tube scarves, lightly patterned suits, ascots, leather peacoats, V-neck sweaters layered under blazers, belt-inspired suspenders and the "black and blue" color duo emerged as the biggest trends.
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