September 10th marked the first day of Fashion Week and to kick it off proper, all of the fashion designers were out and about in the city promoting themselves for the aptly named event, "Fashion's Night Out." There were so many small events scattered throughout the city, it was hard to pick just one venue. My friends from the Fashion Design program were headed to Barney's to check out the party, so I joined them.
First things first, we headed to the 2nd Floor bar for free champagne and from there we set out to fully take in the surreal night. All of the designers were promoting themselves in unique ways. Pictured below, Behnaz Sarafpour was set up in front of her inspiration board, drawing illustrations for people. She has quite an impressive resume. Click on her name to check out her collection.
Alexander Wang, the master of "tough chic," was hosting a walk-off where anyone could strut like a model on the make-shift runway. His area had a great party vibe with loud beatastic music and hot clothes. He is pictured in the center in a white t-shirt.
I most wanted to catch a glimpse of the Toledos since seeing their exhibition in the Museum at FIT. I adore Ruben Toledo, he is such a character and talented illustrator. In person, he is very animated and reminds me of Ricky Ricardo from "I Love Lucy." Both of them were very gracious with their patrons.
I only caught glimpses of these famous designers that evening, but earlier that morning a small group of us lucky 1-year students got a much more intimate experience with a master of fashion. The Couture Council of the Museum at FIT honored Dries Van Noten with the 2009 Couture Council Award for Artistry of Fashion the night before and in turn he asked to speak to a group of students about his life as a fashion designer. He began his career in Belgium, which is not well known for fashion and he has been self-financed from the get-go. He has been flying under the radar for quite some time due to his refusal to advertise and using fashion shows as his only medium for communication. However, his company has continued to grow over the years. He is a fashion genius but still a modest and humble man, and for this I have the utmost respect for him. One of my favorite things he noted was that since he lives in Belgium, he is outside of the fashion circus and that gives him a unique viewpoint. He does what he wants at all times.
At Barney's, I found his collection, part of which is pictured below. He is well-known for his hues, prints and outstanding fabrics. He mentioned that he really pushes manufacturing companies to progress their weaving techniques in order to create the perfect fabric to translate his story of emotions. He is simply amazing to me.
After all of that madness, this happened on the subway. What a truly surreal life.