Nicole Miller & Erin Fetherston at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week

So, for those of you who don’t know already, I’ve teamed up with My It Things & Inside The Tents to do a whole lot of coverage of Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week! Inside The Tents is totally the site to watch for up-to-date coverage of the shows — there’s a live Twitter feed from the contributors, anything tagged #nyfw by us gets published on the site, so it’s super-quick & live live live! (It’s like evil, evil crack for fashionistas. You’re welcome!)

Friday was my first day in the tents & it was a pretty eye-opening experience. Fashion week in New Zealand & Australia have nothing on New York! The entrance to the tents is staffed by burly men wearing earpieces, & as you walk up the steps, cameras flash all around you. People on either side of the barricades stare at you, smile at you, talk to each other about what they can see. Inside, the tent is ringed by promotional booths where they happily hand out swag. (The queue for a pair of Havianas snakes around on itself.) The entrances to the shows are manned by brusque & (dare I say it) slightly self-important men in suits, who don’t look at you when they talk & expect the swarms of girls in stilettos to follow their arbitrary rules. “Did Julia write a number on your invitation? No? THEN I’M NOT LETTING YOU IN!” & the final nail in the coffin, in terms of the obvious differences between fashion week here & fashion week in the antipodes? The backstage entrances are guarded by police. Plenty of them.

I attended two shows on Friday — Nicole Miller & Erin Fetherston.

The Nicole Miller show had a bangin’ soundtrack which had most of us dancing in our seats (or grooving on our feet — the show was so popular that it was well past the point of standing room only). The collection was fresh & youthful, with lots of hats, elegant twisted draping & printed sun-dresses. A pair of tailored harem pants also made a huge impression (& were sent down the runway at least 3 times). Most of the models wore long necklaces ending with a bead & a feather. One of the things I liked most was a trenchcoat worn open & belted over a sweet summer dress.

Afterwards, I met with Yuli & after some judicious flashing of various passes, we ascended the stairs to the American Express Sky Box Lounge. The Amex Lounge is an amazing space situated above two of the tents, with covered glass on either side. As the shows begin, the shutters are opened, & you can see right down onto the catwalk. The view is absolutely incredible, & even better, while all this is going on, they offer you canapes & thrust alcohol at you.

It was sitting there that I did my first video experiment, completely off-the-cuff & unprepared, in case you couldn’t tell! Here I am introducing the Erin Fetherston show! (Please excuse the terrifying still!)

I filmed this with my teeny little camera, so the quality isn’t exceptional, but it does give you an idea of what happened at the show!

Erin Fetherston.

Erin’s show was amazing — I sat in absolute rapture as I watched it. Remember when we talked about dressing like a cupcake should feel? For anyone hankering after that aesthetic, Erin is totally your girl. She showed plenty of white & gold brocade, iridescent sequins (shiny!), baby pink accents, & lots of frills. Bjork’s infamous swan dress would have fit right in. Some of the dresses looked like what you might wear to bed in the 1960s, but it all added to the drama & there were some absolutely incredible pieces. I adored about 80% of it. Swoon! Lust!

Today I’m heading back into the fray — Betsey Johnson is showing this afternoon, & I’m really excited to see what happens (& to eyeball what the attendees are wearing)! Stay tuned for more madness!