- Associated Press - Friday, September 10, 2010

NEW YORK (AP) - New York Fashion Week brought its cutting-edge style uptown on Thursday, opening its spring-collection previews in a new location at Lincoln Center.

Gone are the tents at Bryant Park where hundreds of designers had launched runways since 1993. Instead, an estimated 100,000 buyers, editors, stylists and celebrities will visit the new home of Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week.

While most shows will still be in tents, located just southwest of the landmark fountain that usually welcomes opera and ballet lovers, the facilities (and the faux marble facade) have a feeling of permanence.

It was time for fashion to take its place at a New York institution of fine arts, said Stephanie Winston Wolkoff, a former Vogue employee who now is serving as Lincoln Center’s liaison to this new community.

“Fashion designers are truly creative people. It’s not just a business when it comes to these collections,” she said.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg visited the site on Wednesday, taking the newly christened No. 1 “Fashion Line” subway there. The new name is temporary, lasting only through the eight days of fashion shows from designers such as Diane von Furstenberg, Zac Posen, Tommy Hilfiger, Carolina Herrera and Vera Wang.

“Project Runway” and one of its alumni, Christian Siriano, were the marquee shows on opening day.

New York Fashion Week, which extends into other neighborhoods, “creates major excitement that ripples through the city,” Bloomberg said. He noted that fashion is responsible for 175,000 jobs in New York, and that the two fashion-show seasons have a $750 million impact on the local economy.

Bloomberg then reported that he bought his tie at Hermes, shirt at Paul Stuart and underwear at Bloomingdale’s.

CHRISTIAN SIRIANO

Christian Siriano fans know from his “Project Runway” days that he has a flair for the dramatic, but what’s winning him praise with the sometimes tough-to-please crowd at New York Fashion Week is his sense of his customer. He successfully juggled the two on Thursday.

First out on the runway was a buttery caramel-colored safari jacket with slim-fit white trousers _ an appropriately luxe, chic outfit for women of many ages and many climates _ while the finale gown was a bright-red, one-shoulder tulle gown that looked like a walking bed of roses.

Every look was paired with crazy platform shoes with cone-shaped heels that will be offered by the mass-market Payless.

Leather looks, especially a cognac wing-sleeve jacket and thick belt worn over a strapless organza pleated gown, were a highlight, and so were his modern treatments of metallic tweed, giraffe-print taffeta and snakelike embossing. A red-print cocktail dress with draped sleeves was a pretty, refreshing alternative to the usual little black dress.

Story Continues →