NYFW Highlights: The Chic And The Crazy For Fall/Winter 2018!

New York Fashion Week is always something to look forward to even though in the last few years there has not been one central location for all the shows. The closest thing that comes to a central location is Spring Studios at 50 Varick Street which is thankfully super-close to the C train at Canal and Varick. Close to half the shows took place there and thankfully there were a couple of lounges in the lobby sponsored by Papyrus and Tresemme where you could get a coffee, a blowout or just lounge around between shows. Below you will find my “best of” moments just because they brought on a little of the unexpected and a lot of style.

No show brings on the glamour like the Red Dress Heart Truth Show which is sponsored by Macy’s and brings to light the seriousness of women’s heart health and encourages people to donate to The American Heart Association. There is always onscreen footage of real heart disease survivors (as well as hundreds of them formally dressed in red gowns sitting out in the audience). This is always my favorite show–I won’t mince words. It features A List celebrities on the runway each getting to wear a red dress by one of their favorite designers. A great thing is that many of these dresses are available at Macy’s and within the financial grasp of us “regular folks.” The show mixes music goddesses with famous actresses and other notable figures. There is always an A List musical performance and this year he lovely ladies of En Vogue did a medley of their greatest hits. The guests were dancing in the aisles. You get a different show every year and some of the celebrity models ham it up on the runway. My favorite model was Marion Ross from the classic 1980s retro sitcom Happy Days who was sporting a dressy pants and blazer ensemble and boogied her way down the long runway. This was probably my seventh Red Dress Show and honestly, it pulls at the heartstrings as much as it shows off the latest and the greatest in evening wear. It is probably the only time in New York when a fashion audience is not dressed all in black, LOL!

The Blue Jacket Show is in its third year at Pier 59 in Chelsea and it is always a super well-attended benefit for the Prostate Cancer Research Foundation. I was new to this show and I was glad that I went just to see the most diversified assembly of male celebrities from football players to daytime hosts in one place. Judy Gold was the host and she had fun announcing each celebrity model, and many of the designers were “classics” in the male clothing field including Ralph Lauren and Tom Ford. Dr. Oz led the pack in plaid and did some funny geeky-jerky moves at the end of the runway when he reached the photographers’ riser. Also mixing classy suits with runway hijinx were Mario Cantone and Bill Nye The Science Guy.

The most outrageous of all shows that I took in was The Blonds. This is the show that every fashionista in town for NYFW consider to be “always great fun”! While these clothes are not for those into comfort or understatement, you will remember the looks long after Fashion Week ends. This year many of The Blonds’ looks were embellished with stunning Preciosa crystals and it was actually their publicist at Red PR who invited me backstage where I could see crystals being hand sewn onto bodysuits and accessories last minute, plus check out the models getting hair, makeup and nails. The CND Nails crew showed journalists how their interesting rainbow nail looks were created for the show. I adored the unusual golden lip colors provided by the Mac Professional Team. Models’ hair was teased big and gave The Ronettes a run for their money, socialite Daphne Guinness was the flashy guest model and there was even a bit of live music provided by The Misshapes at the beginning of the runway. The work that goes into this show is incredible–there appeared to be about four dozen hair and makeup people doing their thing backstage during the two hour prep period before the show!

The Bibhu Mohapatra show was full of unabashed modern elegance. There was evening wear for all body types and each look was truly unique. Mohapatra is not afraid to mix and match odd fabric choices and patterns which makes each ensemble a joy to peruse. Well, one characteristic was noticeable in a lot of his looks for Fall 2018–the Indian designer likes extra long, flowing evening skirts and dresses and there were even long trains on a few of them. Mohapatra is quickly becoming the modern day Oscar De La Renta and he deserves every ounce of his success. I was very excited to go backstage and seeing my favorite manicure maven Miss Pop Of Miss Pop nails working on the models with her ace team–she created a frosty burgundy and white French manicure look for the models using the wildly heralded Zoya line. Hair was done with a wonderful assortment of FHI Heat products including their Stylus Stay Finished Firm Hold Dry Hair Spray and Unbrush which is an ace tool for untangling and unknotting.

The Pet Fashion Show is a very special and unique show that take place every February at the Hotel Pennsylvania penthouse. The pets really walk the runway and it is a very social event where pet lovers check out their pooches’ different outfits and also plenty of tables with cutting edge pet products. I am not only always impressed with the creativity of the dogs’ costumes but how well they are behaved! Did I forget to add that the owners of the participating pets are often dressed to complement their runway looks? This year there were plenty of pets dressed like brides and Southern belles (especially terriers and pugs) but Andy the little chi in the above photo caught my eye. He and his human traveled all the way up from Memphis and Andy was carrying a mini acoustic guitar and sporting a faux black leather jacket with the Rolling Stones’ famous tongue logo on the back. If you’d like to get your pet into the show for next year, go to www.newyorkpetfashionshow.com.

I would say that the lounges are my very favorite part of Fashion Week and one that I attend every season without fail is Techstyle. Beauty expert Val Starr and the talented team from the Caravan Stylists Studio in the Gregory Hotel were on hand for hairstyling (including incredible updos using Cuvee Beauty hair products). Sponsors of this year’s Techstyle besides Caravan included Beau Brummell men’s grooming products, Deep Eddy Vodka, Kind Bars and Bai energy drinks. The event was held in a space where sewing classes are taught in the Garment District, so it was great to check out some of their sewing equipment but I was dazzled by the Epson machines on hand which actually enmesh intricate designs into fabric. I got a little tipsy from the fresh ‘n fruity Deep Eddy drinks and thought it was adorable that they created lip balms to match the vodka flavors. I was happy to take a couple of those home with me! Speaking of Caravan Stylist Studio, they did their own event as usual at The Gregory Hotel where they have their permanent location on the mezzanine level. I was lucky enough to have an ace hair restyling by Val (whom you see above weaving her magic on a blogger at the Techstyle event). Guests to Caravan during NYFW included great lipcolor from Sheree Cosmetics and “super stay put” mascara from Mustaev! I love going to Caravan every season–it is cozy, private and comfortable and Val excels at hair, makeup and nails! For more info, go to www.caravanstyliststudio.com.

The former site of the Casita restaurant in the West Village was the scene of the wonderful Sanctuary Of Wellness relaxation lounge put together by Cygalle Dias–and yes, she is the same Cygalle who created the legendary natural skincare line of the same name. Cygalle tells me that she will be having a pop up salon in The Hamptons this summer but her spa-like lounge for NYFW was a nice “taste” for bloggers and influencers trying to find some R&R during hectic Fashion Week. Everyone was treated to hot stone massages, manicures with the long-lasting vegan Lust V Cosmetics nail color (see photo above), LNC hair extensions and Reiki healing sessions. I was totally blown away that my Lust V mani dried super fast, never chipped and lasted a full six days before I started to see any wear around the edges. Last but not least, everyone got treated to highly accurate one on one spiritual psychic readings by Roxanne Elizabeth Usleman. She has the uncanny ability to discover surprising things from your past and tell you things about your future based on personal vibrations (she holds one of your personal items when she does your reading as well as ask you to write down a wish for the future. For more info on this gifted lady, go to www.roxanne.net. Keep up with Cygalle at www.cygallehealingspastore.com.

I am probably the world’s biggest fan of Papyrus greeting cards, so I was thrilled to be invited to a breakfast event to celebrate their collaboration with Judith Leiber at their lounge in the lobby of Spring Studios. Guests were able to pose with the new cards and the evening bag that matches them; my favorite pop art inspired card and bag are pictured above. Handsome waitstaff that looked like male models served delicious breakfast finger food and the barista bar set up at the front of the lounge created unusual coffees including a raspberry latte that knocked my socks off. They even boxed up vanilla macarons featuring the Papyrus logo as well as mini cream puffs for guests. The guest of honor was Dee Hilfiger who mixes with the 50 or so invited guests, made up mainly of influencers, bloggers and photographers. I am truly impressed with the quality of the totally crystal cover Papyrus X Judith Leiber Collection–these are very solidly made and definitely worthy of framing. It is going to be impossible for anyone ever to throw one of these cards away because they are truly objects of art and put a little glitter ‘n gleam in your day! You should see them in Papyrus stores and on their website within a few weeks. For more info, go to www.papyrus.com.

The WWD X Samsung VIP party at the Samsung store in the Meatpacking District was great fun because it allowed influencers to not only test out the great gadgets on display in the store but also gave them the ability to check out new products from multiple beauty brands including Amore Pacific, K-Beauty brands Sulwhasoo and Mamonde, Laneige and Iope. I headed straight to the booth featuring Mamonde because I have heard so many great things about their Petal Purifying Bubble Mask and I was thrilled to take a sample home. I was also thrilled to test the Laneige Lip Sleeping Mask which is the first beauty item of its kind and a favorite of many NYFW runway models and Amore Pacific’s Moisture Bound. I was thrilled to get to chat with Michael Todd of Michael Todd Beauty and check out many of his famous “skin machines”–I am presently using the Sonic Infuser on my jowls and the ladies at the MT booth (pictured above) showed me the proper way to use it at the event. They make some of the best electric skin brushes in the businesses and offer tons of fun patterns to make cleaning your face even more pleasurable. Go to www.michaeltoddbeauty.com to see the whole line as well as his skin products to use with them including the superstar product Ageless Hycoll Deep Wrinkle Formula.

There is nothing quite like world class Avocado Toast, Croque Monsieur or French Toast for breakfast, so I was thrilled when I got invited by the pr team for Cafe Bilboquet to take a NYFW breakfast break! This chic cafe at 26 East 60th Street–which is perfect to pop into after shopping at Barney’s–just started serving breakfast and everything is quick, artisanal, authentic and reasonable priced. Besides having authentic French hot breakfast items they have some of the most wonderful patisserie items including Paris Brest–a soft cruller like pastry with mocha cream inside. You can order a colossal size basket of Cafe Bilboquet’s authentic rolls and croissants for under eight bucks and trust me, it will make the eyes pop out of your head and your mouth water. Included in the breakfast pastry basket is a Madeleine shaped like a teddy bear that has quickly become a favorite of the kids attending nearby schools. They also just started serving wine and offer terrific pairings with tasty apps and entrees starting at 7 pm. I love to have their spinach salad anytime of the day–it is so flavorful as it features walnuts, sundries tomatoes, olives and goat cheese. For more info on this casual but elegant spot, go to www.cafebilboquet.com.

I fell in love with the Sweet Retreat sponsored by Mars Wrigley the minute that I walked into their pop up location inside a storefront on West 39th Street in the Garment District. On the first day, bloggers and influencers were treated to a variety of services including makeovers, pedicures, manicures and massages in service stations filled up with candy. As you can see in the photo above, even the manicure stations had assorted loose candy under their glass top. On the way out, guests got to take all the candy they wanted including all my favorite Dove Chocolate items. I took a giant tin heart of Dove chocolates since Valentine’s Day was coming up–and it did not take me long to devour all 1.5 pounds of its contents. It was one of my most fun moments in all of Fashion Week this season!

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