Fashion Week New York 2011: Power To The People

Hope in pink jacket

We’re not sure what’s getting more press at Fashion Week these days, the clothes themselves or all of the fashion peacocks preening around in front of the cameras hoping to be pictured in someone’s hot streetstyle coverage. Sartorialst, Bill Cunnigham, anyone, are you out there?

Attendees are the new celebrities. With the proliferation of streetsyle blogs and columns, everyone is vying for their fashion moment. We remember the big news a couple of seasons ago when we were here and everyone was all atwitter, so to speak, when WWD ran a cover story about Bloggers getting front-row status at shows. But it’s grown to encompass so much more than Bloggers.  The doors to the democratization of fashion have swung wide open and fashion lovers are hurling through it in 5-inch heels at lightning quick speed!

Don’t get us wrong: Half the fun of the shows is in the people watching. Outrageous outfits are de rigueur at Fashion Week, and a welcome and fun splash of color in the winter gray of the city. It wouldn’t be Fashion Week without it. Out in front of the DKNY show on 26th street yesterday were dozens of photographers snapping the guests waiting in line for the show. The girl in front of us was an immediate catch for the bulbs, with her short, bleach blond hair, enveloping fur, black opague stockings and leopard-print flats. And back at Lincoln Center, we witnessed one young blogger/fashion lover/hopeful named Hope (what else?) who had obviously given great, great thought to her outfit (all vintage save for Forever 21 earrings, she said) and vertical hair style, and was courting press by simply posing dramatically at various spots inside the tents and out. (And, yes, we succumbed and snapped a photo of her, too!) Fittingly, she told us that she writes for the popular Chictopia Blog, which bills itself as the “People’s Fashion Destination.”

Although the weather had warmed up to a “balmy” 50 degrees or so, it was still quite cold and windy. But Hope had eschewed all warmth in the name of fashion and the chance to be photographed. While waiting in line for the Tory Burch show, several people in line gasped audibly when they caught sight of her actually taking off her fuschia leather jacket outside (the small amount of warmth she had) to be photographed in her camisole.

When I asked her later if she was cold, she said through slightly chattering teeth: “Very.” Men with hats at New York Fashion Week 2011

But, it’s not only the ladies. The guys get in on the action, too. They may not be vogue-ing for the cameras, per se, but they are not oblivious to the lens. Two gentlemen, each in a houdstooth cap and bow ties were the subject of many flashing bulbs. (Yup, we photographed them, too.) A little Sherlock, a touch of Guy Ritchie and a dose of Thom Browne = Instant Photo Moment.

It would seem that the formula is quite simple: Take an over-the-top getup or dramatic accessory, add a shot of attitude and — voila! —  you, too, can be the belle of the ball for a moment. It also helps if you can bring someone to photograph you and start the chain reaction. We saw a few people employ this strategy. (Note: Make sure to bring a professional-looking camera, not a pocket-sized one.) We are, of course, curious to put this to the test, and giving it a little think….

As yummy as my wool Prada capelet and Denis Colomb cashmere wrap are,  they were far too subdued yesterday to stop traffic. And my black Louboutin booties? Waaay too sensible for superstar status.

But you know what? I’ll take the heat of my coat and scarf to that of the flash any day!

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Author:Michelle Dalton Tyree

Fashion Trends Daily is the brainchild of Michelle Dalton Tyree. She is the former West Coast Retail Editor for Women’s Wear Daily, Fashion Editor for The Japan Times, and founder of former L.A. luxury boutique Iconology. Michelle is frequently quoted about fashion retail trends in major media outlets such as NPR, KPCC, The Inside Source and the New York Times. She has developed content for many luxury brands and retailers and has written for Allure, Worth Global Style Network, Footwear News and other media outlets.