- Associated Press - Tuesday, September 13, 2011

NEW YORK (AP) - Season after season, it’s Anna Wintour on the front row and Marc Jacobs as the most eagerly anticipated runway show at New York Fashion Week. Enter: The newbies.

Tory Burch held her first model walk at Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall on Tuesday, the sixth day of spring previews, followed by J. Crew’s first appearance at the tents.

Red carpet favorite Marchesa held the label’s debut runway show at the luxe Plaza Hotel.

“It’s a lot more work, although I’m not sure why,” Burch said backstage, a few minutes before her first model stepped onto the catwalk. “But I love doing it.

Until now, Burch has only done presentations, where models stand still wearing clothes in venues that don’t involve a seated audience and lack the drama of a runway. J. Crew has staged other shows, but nothing with the magnitude of moving to the tents that serve as the hub of seasonal previews.

That fact didn’t hit Jenna Lyons, the J. Crew president and executive director, until she arrived at the tents Tuesday morning. “I thought we were just moving our show, but then came the hype and excitement,” she said. “I felt excited when I got here _ I felt like I was going to the prom.”

Marchesa designer Georgina Chapman had some technical problems to solve with models who actually walked. The dresses in the Marchesa collection are usually very elaborate and grand _ best complemented by skyscraper heels.

“The situation with the shoes was that they never had to be OK to walk in them,” Chapman said by phone last week. “Now we have to make them work with the dresses, and now we have to think of the length of the dresses, too, so the models can move.”

Much has remained the same at New York Fashion Week while the newbies settled in. The calendar doesn’t change all that much. Vera Wang and Narciso Rodriguez, for instance, always show on Tuesday and stuck to tradition this time around.

Jacobs will close the eight-day run of previews Thursday night. Don’t forget to turn out the lights Marc!

Fashion week moves to London on Friday, followed by Milan and Paris.

TORY BURCH

Burch did more than move to a bigger space and add bench seats.

Judging by the turnout for her first runway show, she confirmed her status as a solid player instead of an up-and-comer.

Burch’s collection was inspired by the seaside French resort of Deauville in the 1920s.

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