'Fashion's Night Out' scores with a fashion show
Short and sweet. "Fashion's Night Out — The Show," the largest public fashion show in New York City history, had all the excitement of a hit music video.
Produced by Vogue magazine and Spec Entertainment on Tuesday, the event drew 1,500 ticketed guests to the plaza at Lincoln Center. The world's top models (Gisele! Karolina! Chanel! Naomi!) were all out, 150 strong, some descending from a double-decker bus on Columbus Avenue and others mounting the steps from the sidewalk to the strains of "Empire State of Mind."
They hit the runway fast, a blur of full skirts, fur purses, bias-cut gowns and painted finger-wave hairstyles. In just 15 minutes they walked the crowd through the fall season's top trends — including '50s flair, go global and jazz age cool — represented by mix 'n’ match looks from designers A to Z: Ann Taylor and Celine to Yves Saint Laurent and Zac Posen. Some people looked like they didn't know what had hit them. Then the dance party started, with Pharrell Williams taking center stage and getting the crowd to its feet.
The usual runway show hierarchy was largely absent. For starters, the ring-shaped runway made all of the seats either first or second row. (This was about being accessible after all, bringing fashion to the people and jump-starting retail sales with in-season styles that are in stores now.) Still, there were a lot of familiar faces — fashion designers, including Diane von Furstenberg, Tory Burch, Thakoon Panichgul, Phillip Lim, Tommy Hilfiger and Donna Karan, and celebrities revealing a generous cross-section of New York notables.
They included: pro basketball player Amar’e Stoudemire, who turned out to his first-ever fashion show in head-to-toe Tom Ford, "Gossip Girl’s" Leighton Meester (in Christopher Kane for Versus) and a dressed-down “Saturday Night Live” Seth Meyers (in a Woolrich John Rich & Bros. button-front shirt and dark wash denim) who told us he was invited to the event because of his recent appearance in the September issue of Vogue. “No really,” he insisted. “I’m in the table of contents. They tell me that’s the best place to be.” Asked if he was excited to see a 150-model runway show, Meyers continued to crack wise. “I usually don’t get excited until it’s 180 or 190 models,” he answered.
But the real people were there, too, and happy to be. Nicole Gale, a 15-year-old from Manasquan, N.J., likened her luck at seeing the show to scoring concert tickets. For her, the models and celebrities were as exciting as the clothes.
Stacie Deguvman, a fashion student who had traveled from Richmond, Va. for the day was so excited, she posed like a model in front of the center fountain after the show.
There were a few small gripes. "Please tell me why there isn't a bar," said Julie Fnido, who lives in Manhattan.
But others were more forgiving. "No matter what seat you had, it was a great view," said Michelle Vilar, a banker. "It was a New York moment."
The show is scheduled to air on CBS on Sept. 14.
-- Booth Moore and Adam Tschorn, reporting from New York City
Photos, from top: Models Naomi Campbell, Alessandra Ambrosio, Karlie Klosspose, Chanel Iman, Sasha Privovarova, Caroline Trentini, Jourdan Dunn, Lara Stone, Lily Donaldson, Coco Rocha, Karolina Kurkova, Adriana Lima, Gisele Bundchen and Angela Lindvall pose on a bus during "Fashion's Night Out: The Show." Credit: Jemal Countess / Getty Images for Conde Nast
Models walk the runway during the show. Credit: Jemal Countess / Getty Images for Conde Nast
Model Gisele Bundchen poses during "Fashion's Night Out." Credit:Jemal Countess / Getty Images for Conde Nast
A general view of the atmosphere as models walk the runway. Credit: Spencer Platt / Getty Images for Conde Nast.