Forget the slush and cold currently making its home in New York, and turn your thoughts to autumn leaves and riding boots: It’s Fall Fashion Week in the city. (It’s officially knows as Mercedes Benz Fashion week). For you fashion followers, this event marks the last time that the shows will be held in the tents at Bryant Park: They move to Lincoln Center in the fall. (A dispute between the designers and the park management led to the move.)
The shows, which kick off tonight, run through Feb. 18 and feature top-name designers showing their wares for next autumn. Today’s shows include menswear designer Duckie Brown and upscale lingerie designer La Perla, as well as “The Heart Truth Red Dress Fashion Show.” The latter focuses on heart disease in woman; actresses and models from Heidi Klum to Felicity Huffman and Valerie Harper will walk the catwalk in red to bring awareness to the number-one killer of woman. Designers such as Carolina Herrera, Donna Karan and Rachel Roy are represented.
Another fashion extra is model Naomi Campbell’s “Fashion for Relief” (Feb. 12), an all-star spectacular designed to raise money in aid of CARE; it’s to raise funds to help rebuild the healthcare system for mothers and children in Haiti.
Other designers showing this week include 3.1 Phillip Lim, Isaac Mizrahi, and Tommy Hilfiger.
And don’t fret if you can’t actually be there, placing orders and rubbing shoulders with gossip girls and catwalk strutters for a first look: eventually, whatever is shown now will work its way down to the rest of us.
No, you haven’t missed Thanksgiving, and yes, part of New York’s Fifth Avenue is already decorated for Christmas, so it shouldn’t come as a shock that the holiday shops at Bryant Park are open as well. The shops, which opened last week and will remain open through January 3, feature more than 100 little shops, designers, craftspeople and food merchants from around the world. (If the thought of rushing headlong into your holiday shopping at a huge department store terrifies you, this is a nice way to ease into it gently.) You can call 212 661-6640 for more information; the shops are located at Bryant Park; 42nd Street and Sixth Avenue. They include Annie’s Dog Bakery and Boutique; Ireland in Prints; Max Brenner-Chocolates by the Bald Man; and Santa’s Workshop. (No, we can’t vouch that it’s the original, one and only Santa.)
Plus, if that isn’t enough enticement, the city’s only free ice skating rink—The Pond at Bryant Park–opened there for the season last Friday as well.
And yes, you read that correctly–free. Skates can be rented (for a fee; you can’t have everything), and the 170’ x 100’ rink also features occasional skating shows, events and activities.
Because it’s free, of course, you can expect longish lines and largish crowds, but hey, it’s all part of the holiday sprit.
Pull out the Prada, ante up the Alexander McQueen, bring on the Badgley Mischka: It’s Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in New York. Designers showing their spring collections in the Bryant Park tents include cool insiders like 3.1 Phillip Lim and Carlos Miele, and more well-known names like Calvin Klein and BCBGMaxAzria.
If you’re not on a first-name basis with Gisele (the model) or Anna Wintour (the editor of Vogue), you’re probably not sitting in a first-row seat, but you can still enjoy the fun and spectacle vicariously—or even up close with Fashion’s Night Out.
Taking place tomorrow evening (September 10) Fashion’s Night Out offers designer devotees a chance to shop, shop, and shop some more. Running (mostly) from 6-11 PM, the event includes more than 700 designers and retailers, from trendy department stores like Barney’s to smaller chic boutiques like Jeffrey and Intermix. Celebrities and models will be on hand; shopping deals are to be had.
Big question: Will this kind of event fly in the midst of an economic downtown? Promoters say it will stimulate the economy by getting people into the stores, and help restore consumer confidence. (Fashion is the second largest sector of industry in New York, second only to finance.) We say, how many people have the money for a Judith Ripka jeweled handbag?
In any event, there is, as they say, nothing wrong with looking.
Check out fashionsnightout.com for more information.
Summer is for movies. But it’s also for being outside. Big dilemma!
No, wait…go to New York City’s HBO Bryant Park Summer Film festival, and you can do both!
Now in its 17th year, the free (no tickets needed) Time Warner Cable-sponsored festival shows movies every Monday night approximately at sunset (usually between 8:00 and 9:00 pm) from mid-June through August 17.
The festival kicked off with “The Sting” and will end with “Close Encounters of the Third Kind.” In between, viewers are treated to such classics as the cult favorite “Harold and Maude” (with Bud Cort and Ruth Gordon; July 20); “The Defiant Ones” (Sidney Poitier and Tony Curtis; July 27); and “Kramer vs. Kramer” (Dustin Hoffman; Meryl Streep; August 3). For a complete schedule, call 212 512-5700, or go to http://blog.when/hbofilmfest. AOL keyword: Bryant Park Film festival.
The movies are shown on a huge (22” x 43.5”) screen in the park, located between 40th and 42nd Streets and Fifth and Sixth Avenues. The lawn opens to viewers at 5:00 pm; you can bring a blanket and picnic on the lawn, or try to grab one of the 4,000 park chairs on the sidelines.
Tom Colicchio’s ‘wichcraft sandwich spots have kiosks set up where you can purchase sandwiches and ice cream, or you can bring your own food.
Either way, it’s the perfect melding of indoor-outdoor fun.
Bryant Park, located just a block east of New York’s Times Square, is once again a hosting a fantastic lunch hour treat for Broadway lovers. On Thursdays, from July 12 – August 9 (plus an extra date on Friday, Aug. 10), the casts of such Broadway and Off-Broadway shows as Mamma Mia, Spelling Bee, Spamalot, Phantom, Stomp, The Drowsy Chaperone, Avenue Q, Rent, Xanadu, Curtains, and Chicago (and many others) will be performing for free in the park. Approximately four different musicals will be featured each afternoon, from 12:30 to 1:30pm. For a listing of which ones are performing on which days, see Bryant Park’s website.