Although I lived in Manhattan for ten years, there are few things I really miss about New York – nail places and delis on every corner, and all the fabric stores top the list. But one thing that I miss, every February and September, is New York Fashion Week.
I moved to New York in 1999 to be a dresser on Broadway, which I did for many years. But my one dream had been to dress fashion shows, so how excited was I when a friend put me in touch with someone who staffed the dressers for individual designer’s shows twice a year! I did as many shows as I could fit into my schedule, which was much easier on a Broadway show schedule than when I finished grad school and started an office job.
Working fashion shows is crazy, frustrating, sometimes boring if you are waiting for the collection to arrive, exhilarating, and always full of star-spotting. I can name drop, too – I dressed Harry Belafonte when he starred in a Kenneth Cole show one season, Giselle Bundchen at a Victoria’s Secrets show, Karolina Kurkova, Naomi Campbell (I carried her shoes around so there was no risk of having them thrown at me!), and so on. But it was more fun to dress the “non-name” models who wanted to chat, than being run down by the paparazzi trying to get at Paris Hilton.
I can name drop on fashion labels too, but that’s a bit less exciting. My schedule rarely seemed to work out so that I could dress really big names. But I dressed John Varvatos, Kenneth Cole, Vera Wang, Calvin Klein, Vivienne Tam, Cynthia Steffe (one of my favorites because she was always organized and calm), Carmen Marc Valvo, Marc Jacobs, Anna Sui, Monique Lhuillier, and even some specialty shows like one for H&M in Central Park. Others were names less common, like Venexiana, Terexov, Angel Sanchez, Atil Kutoglu, Everett Hall, and Ron Chereskin.
Now I’m forced to watch the shows from afar, clicking through slideshows on websites in lieu of being backstage in the swarm of design assistants, models, dressers, jewelers, seamstresses, production crew, stage managers yelling for models in their next looks before they come off the runway, and after the show, the celebrities and paparazzi, and of course, Anna Wintour. She never wore the same outfit through the entire day.
Now of course I’m studying all the clothes to things that are bike-friendly: “Could I wear that on my bike?” “How can I make that and incorporate some reflective trim?” Fashion Week isn’t over yet, but I’ve found some ideas already.
These are just a few ideas from this week’s Fall 2013 Ready to Wear Collections. Yes, we are not even into spring 2013 but designers are rolling out the fall collections. It’s giving me some ideas of what to work on for fall. I’m considering making a few pieces to sell, maybe in time for Christmas. I’ll let you know how that goes, and I hope you’ll have some feedback for me later this summer, when I preview some ideas.
In the meantime, I am getting started on a new project! Some of you may remember this fabric from last summer, when I decided against it for my reflective dress. This pattern should be easy, and it will be great for warm weather. So, Punxsutawney Phil, I hope you are right, and we have an early spring!