Week 7: My Designer Life (At NYFW), With Gretchen Jones of Project Runway

What is it about a presentation that makes my heart race?
Why is it that I don’t bleed red but thread?

Stumbling into my first New York Fashion Week experience, still in awe of where I now stand, I am realizing my dreams faster than I can acknowledge what it is I’m achieving. My focus this season is in observation and research, adoration and, at times, ecstasy. I aim to get my feet wet, set my eye on the next prize and walk away motivated by the creativity surrounding me enough to take flight towards my own fall presentation.

It’s time to get dressed again (perhaps the first time in a while my outfits don’t stick out), lace up my platform wedges and get my pen and paper ready.

This girl means business.

Richie Rich, fall 11′

I’ve knocked the first few days of NYFW out with a random array of shows.

Last night, Richie Rich’s show was all about trashy chic: Wild hair, bigger make-up, MEGA ‘tude’ and a ridiculous amount of spectacle, but that’s what Rich is known for and we got every bit what we wanted from it.

My good friend and sustainable jewelry designer, Andy Lifschutz, adorned all the models and I have to say his jewelry definitely kicked the looks up a notch and was where my attention stayed.

Richie Rich, fall 11′

John Patrick Organic was a study in  restrained English riding with a hint of tomboy chic. Textures ranged from sheer, hand dyed silks and vegetable tanned leathers to rich hand knit wool.  Slightly youthful, yet ever sophisticated, the collection left me with a longing to read Jane Eyre.

John Patrick Organic, fall 11′

Cropped sweaters, beaded belts, layering pieces in a way I wish all women would, the collection softly whispered in my ear to take it home and wear it right away. I walked away feeling as if sustainable limitations are a thing of the past and a girl like me can make whatever it is she wants thanks to all the options out there. The extra effort to obtain it seems to always be worth it in the end.

John Patrick Organic, fall 11′

Mara Hoffman has been on my covet list for years now with all her hand-dyed silks and inspiration from nature. I sat in line for an hour just to get my 15 minutes of merriment at her presentation, finding myself surrounded in a sea of black clad fashion folk – but this just reminded me how fun it is to stand out dressed all in neutrals. Hoffman’s rich colors, enchanting textiles and braided appliqué were something to behold and I can’t wait for fall when they make it into stores.

As swiftly as they came in, the models were then escorted out.  My moment with the rich red and khaki kaftans and body-con kaleidoscope dresses was over. My pocket book will soon be as empty.

Mara Hoffman, fall 11′

I tried (I swear I did), to run across town to one of my favorite shoe designers ever, Rachel Comey, but high heels, dead phones and taxi lines out the wazoo turned my window of opportunity into nothing more than an empty seat.

By far the show I anticipated most was the Ecco Domani Fashion Foundation’s winning presentation of The Lake & Stars.

Those girls have topped my girl crush/style crush pile since teddies came back into my vocabulary. Always a little tongue in cheek, always super chic, Maayan Zilberman and Nikki Decker turned it up and out. Ice blue velvet, sheer nude mesh, Kelly Green and black and white?  Somewhere between form vs. flow and play vs. business, they got the job done. I wanted every piece on the models. Dancing between Italian Neo-Classicism and famed architecture group Superstudio, the collection felt nostalgic and modern all at once. I aim to hang with this tag team and I’ll even let a little campy S&M into my panty drawer if they tell me to.

As my feet ache, brain overloads and personal deadlines weave in between my fashion schedule, I find myself asking why I waited so long to immerse myself in live fashion – and when can I do it again?