Washington Life Magazine
Washington Life Magazine

New York's Fashion Week: So Many Shows, So Little Timeby

Judi Ecochard
Photos by Jean-Louis Ecochard

The tenth anniversary of New York's 7th On Sixth runway shows in Bryant Park highlighting spring's 2004 collections, captivated the international fashion press and style watchers alike during the week of September 12-19. Featured in the Mercedes Benz-sponsored tents were over 67 designers ranging from the high-end looks of Michael Kors, Carolina Herrera, Oscar de la Renta, Badgley Mischka, Tuleh, Zang Toi, Bill Blass and Chado Ralph Rucci to the more accessible offerings of Perry Ellis, Anna Sui, BCBG, Tracy Reese, Blue Khaki, Chaiken, and Tommy Hilfi ger. Dazzling new looks were also displayed by As Four and Jennifer Nicholson (Jack's daughter) while the Hip-Hop-fl avored garb from Fusha, (Wyclef Jean's wife) Marie Claudinette's line and Baby Phat, (Russell Simmons' wife) Kimora Lee Simmons' line attracted a music-heavy crowd.

Fashion week also included many runway shows at offsite venues, private galleries, and showrooms including the Gen Art show at the Manhattan Center on West 34th Street featuring new designers. (Society fave Zac Posen debuted there.) In total, there were over 100 fashion shows with the requisite after parties, and numerous product and store launches leaving one very little time to sleep. Whew!

How to describe it? Let's just say that the following are some of the highlights.

Fastest Grab of merchandise in a New York minute: stacks and stacks of cotton-covered Lacoste pillow-cases, complete with alligator logo, in spring colors, that were given to attendees of the Lacoste show.

Best Goody Bag: a tie between a round-trip ticket on the Delta offshoot, and fashion week sponsor, Song Airlines, which was given to fashion editors at Kate and Jack Spade's 8am. breakfast that debuted the airlines new uniforms, or a Coach tote bag for registered press. The bag was especially designed for the show and was loaded with products, weighing over 15 pounds.

Most Curious Combination of Product Samples: at the As Four show packs of Legal cigarettes were offered with Caudalie's moisturizer, presumably to get rid of the wrinkles obtained by smoking the former.

Most Chaotic Scene: the Bryant Park fashion tents during the Saturday night presentations which began with Rosa Cha's sexy Brazilian swimwear, modeled by favorites Carmen Kass and Naomi Campbell, and followed by the aforementioned Fusha and Baby Phat shows. Many fashion editors and press got elbowed out of their seats to make room for musicians and celebrities, including Beyonce Knowles, singer T-Boz, Hip-Hop moguls Jay-Z and Russell Simmons, Pharrel Williams, Nars, Anthony Kiedis of the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Cuba Gooding Jr., Cris Judd (a J-Lo ex), actress Erika Christensen, and tennis great Venus Williams.

Biggest Celebrity Surprises: Robert Redford at the Kenneth Cole show, Liza Minnelli at the Heatherette show, designed by former N.Y. club legends, Richie Rich and Treavor Rains.

Other celebrity sightings: Sarah Wynter, Salma Hayek, Lorraine Bracco, Kelly Ripa, Julianna Margulies, Gretchen Mol, Brooke Shields, Stephanie Seymour, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Susan Sarandon, Marisa Berenson, Scarlett Johansson (who can be seen in Sofia Coppola's new film, "Lost in Translation") and Sissy Spacek, as well as pop stars, Seal, Britney Spears, and Jessica Simpson.

Most Elegant Dinner: Saks Fifth Avenue's Key To The Cure Dinner at the Four Seasons Restaurant featuring Demi Moore, who was without Ashton but she was well protected by barely-clad pool boys in where else but the restaurant's fabulous Pool Room.

Clothes most appropriate for Congresswomen: Newcomer to the fashion scene, Multi by Barbara Bree Harris whose elegant and classic looks are appropriate for the career woman who needs a day to night look without looking silly.

Curiously absent: elected officials, particularly because fashion is such Big Business for the city.

) Perry Ellis Spring 2004 Collection
3) Jai Rodriguez of "Queer Eye for the Straight Guy" at Gen Art Show
4) A look from Blue Khaki
5) A look from Multi by Barbara Bree Harris Show
6) Frederique Van Der Wal outside the Gen Art Show
7) Chloe Sevigny, Tara Subkoff and China Chow celebrating Erickson Beamon
8) Peter Reckell

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