This Thursday marks the beginning of another Fashion Week in New York, with the entire enterprise in a sort of flux under the threat of bad weather.
Welcome to the Glamorous World of Fashion Shows. Bring waterproof boots.
WWD's preview of the week to come includes the assessment that the upcoming show schedule is the most sprawling since New York's designers joined together to centralize their runway shows in Bryant Park over 20 years ago. The result of that effort is what has ultimately become Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week at Lincoln Center (pictured above), about which the fashion community has had heaps of complaints in recent seasons. Run by IMG, which was just acquired by William Morris Endeavor and Silver Lake, MBFW has promised major changes to make it less tacky and more pleasing to both designers and their guests, but that hasn't stopped a host of designers who had remained loyal to the tents to move their shows elsewhere this season, Stalwarts like Diane von Furstenberg, Michael Kors are showing in Tribeca. Vera Wang is trying out Chelsea. Big Tent regulars like Ralph Rucci, who has often had misgivings about the scene at MBFW, has retreated to a his showroom this season. Only Carolina Herrera among the top tier of designers, rumored to have been weighing her options, has stayed at Lincoln Center. Most prominently, Alexander Wang (who has never really been a tent regular) has moved his show all the way to the Duggal Greenhouse in Brooklyn to the delight of some and the distress of others who are concerned about getting there and back. Designers will be strewn throughout the city in venues stretching from the Upper East Side to 23 Wall Street where Donna Karan will be holding a 30th Anniversary show. "I think it will be a very frustrating week for a lot of people" says Former CFDA executive director Fern Mallis who spearheaded the original Bryant Park scheme and continued to run it when IMG acquired it until its move to Damrosch Park. "It’s clear to me that centralization is totally a concept that works when it works. It made a huge difference in this country and launched the careers of tons of designers and really put America and New York on the map."
Of course, by now, New York's Fashion Week crowd has gotten used to scooting all over Manhattan to get from show to show, but it looks very likely that by this weekend, the city will have been hit by its third snowstorm in the space of a week (including the one that is falling outside The Shophound's window right this second). With the expected accumulation of slush, we can only guess that most showgoers will be wishing that more shows would be under one big roof again this season.