DALLAS, Sep 5, 2009 / FW/ — With Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week as the flagship plus three alternative venues, the New York Spring 2010 fashion season has become fashion’s equivalent of the Mandelbrot set.
The iconic tents at Bryant Park continues to be the home of Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week, (albeit it will move to the Lincoln Center this time next year), while the Milk Studios, the Altman Building and the Metropolitan Pavilion have become more prominent as designers who usually show at the tents move there.
Perhaps it is because of the economy; or even the newfound modesty in luxury shopping to the point that it has become a covert indulgence. Whatever the reasons are, there is a different mindset in New York.
Many designers including high profile ones are opting for smaller more intimate venues. Zac Posen who traditionally shows at Bryant Park’s biggest venue is now showing at the Altman Building where only 400 guests will be invited, which is about 1/3 of the usual number of invitees.
In a statement, Zac Posen explained his decision by saying, “For this collection, an intimacy between model, clothing and audience could only be achieved in a smaller space….I really enjoyed the experience of a more intimate show after pre-fall 2009, followed by our successful resort 2010, which was held at my downtown atelier.”
Zac Posen is not alone; in fact, Zac Posen is following the steps of other well-known New York designers that include Zang Toi, Carmen Marc Valvo and Betsey Johnson who for the past two seasons have opted for more “intimate settings.”
“I have always known that a one-on-one visit with your clientele is the best way to connect to them,” said Zang Toi. “My decision to hold a presentation one season out of the year is based on that premise. Meeting my clients, the press and buyers in a one-on-one setting is the best approach for me right now, not because of the economy but because of my relationship with them.”
Putting his money where his mouth is, Zang Toi who is celebrating his 20th anniversary this year is holding a presentation on September 11, 2009 in his atelier instead of a high profile runway show, which by the way was the original plan.
“I had that on my lucky 13th year,” said Zang Toi. “It was the right thing to do during that time. For my 20th, I want to spend quality time with my clients and my friends in the business,” he added with a smile.
On the other side of town, Milk Studio is hosting both emerging and high profile designers on its debut as an alternative venue sponsored by M.A.C. Cosmetics and Milk Studios itself. Adam Lippes, Alexander Wang, Altuzarra, Band of Outsiders, Barbara Tfank, Costello Tagliapietra, Erin Fetherston, Pamela Love, Peter Som, Preen, Proenza Schouler, Temperley London and threeASFOUR have all decided to show here.
Meanwhile, the Metropolitan Pavilion is hosting Style 360 which for the past 6 years has always explored the relationship between fashion and contemporary culture. With Tide and Elle as major sponsors, Style 360 will be hosting Malan Breton, Kristin Davis (of the Sex & the City fame) and Avril Lavigne’s Abbey Dawn among others during New York Fashion Week.
And of course, among these “organized” venues, there are also the Armory, the Hammerstein Ballroom and Gotham Hall which have been perennial favorites by designers.
Compared to London, Milan and Paris, New York Fashion Week, with the official title Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week together with the non-related smaller venues, is an organized chaos, hence the first statement in this article: “the New York Spring 2010 fashion season has become fashion’s equivalent of the Mandelbrot set.”