Computer issues and being on the go kept me away from blogging this weekend. But now I’m back (and still in NYC for the moment) to recap my last few days of Mercedes-Benz New York Fashion Week. On to day 2!
I had heard horror stories about picking up credentials at the Bryant Park tents, legends of hour long lines of annoyed fashionistas standing in the rain in their Louboutins. I didn’t encounter anything like that on Friday. I was in and out within 30 seconds, shiny Fashion Week credentials lanyard in hand. Maybe it was because the gift bags were gone? or because it was such a bleak, cold, rainy day? Either way, yay!
After picking up my credentials I decided to check out the lush lounge at the Bryant Park Hotel, sponsored by the wonderful people at Hautelook. An entire floor was transformed into a respite for bloggers and writers, stocked with brand new Sony Vaio computers, makeup and beauty brands, and all afternoon long bloggers I’d been dying to meet trickled in and out of the luxe space. I was psyched to meet many of my online friends, including the beauties behind Palacinka, Luxetips, Glambr of Beauty Blogging Junkie, and my sista over at Black Voices, Zandile Blay! That’s us, soaking up the Hautelook luxury. Loved it!
The lounge was such a great respite from the rain, I didn’t want to leave! But I had to — I was expected backstage at Jason Wu, to cover manicure trends for CND. I managed to finally flag down a cab after 20 minutes in the ceaseless rain, and made it over to the uber luxe St. Regis Hotel in time for 1 p.m. (the time I thought I was scheduled to arrive). No dice! This was the Devil Wears Prada moment that I feared.
I was denied entry by an extremely unfriendly…lady in a floral dress, but managed to find a secluded spot near a piano where I was able to observe the flow of undoubtedly wealthy patrons eager to witness the fashions of Michelle Obama’s inaugural dress designer. Lynn Yeager, Anna Wintour and an endless parade of blonde, fancy coated, spike heel booted socialites were whisked to their seats while self important guards and stylists barked orders at anyone not deemed worthy of entry. I was in good company, though — several members of Japanese media and the folks from Extra were booted out as well!
After that indignity, I hightailed it back to the Hautelook lounge where I enjoyed delicious cocktails and the company of Luxetips. After a luscious dinner at Koi, we headed over to the tents in time for the Arise African Promise Collective show. I had standing room only admission, and it was my first time IN the tents. It was an amazing experience. Here’s what I learned by just waiting.
1 — you might have credentials to get in, honey… but gaining access to the show is a different animal. People were shoving, cutting in line, and name dropping for all they were worth to get a precious pass to gain access to the show. You’d imagine there’d be an organized system to make sure everyone gets in. Wrong.
2 — the scene backstage is hilarious! I now totally get where Zoolander came from. It made me want to see the movie again!
3 — for many, fashion is about trying as hard as possible to be cool. I don’t fit into that category. And I pity those deluded souls. I saw women teetering on heels and wincing in pain. And for what? I don’t get it and I doubt I ever will.
The atmosphere in the tent when the show started was electric. Pulsating. Exciting. I was THRILLED to be there, and very enthusiastic about what I saw. The clothes were ornate and yet wearable. Some of the dresses made by Jewel by Lisa and Eric Raisina would make any bella look gorgeous. Tyson Beckford made an appearance, still fine as wine. The music was hot, and the fashion was inspiring. THIS was what I came to see!
After the show, I texted with my homegirl Andrea of one of my favorite blogs, Fly. And she came to meet me with ANOTHER of my favorite bloggers, Jamala of LeCoil! It was GREAT to meet those girls. So sweet and so chic.
My magical evening felt like it just couldn’t get any better…but it did. When I left, I wanted to hail a cab and go home. Then I remembered a friend of mine, who used to have the same job I did, now works in New York as a pedicab driver! His name is JC, and he is CRAZY FUN. If you live in NYC and ever ever ever need a pedicab, e mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org and tell him you’re friends with Afrobella!
A ride with JC isn’t a ride in your average pedicab. He’s a licensed tour guide, and a performance artist. Sporting a home made “vest of breasts,” he pedaled me from Bryant Park to the Village.
Then we stopped for a drink at Marie’s Crisis, a bar that is truly unique. Step downstairs and find a space to stand — the place is jam packed with patrons gathered around a piano, belting out showtunes at the top of their lungs. Even if you don’t know the words to anything, it’s FUN as all get out.
Friday in New York for Fashion Week was utterly amazing. But lucky me — there was even more fun in store! Stay tuned tomorrow for days 3 and 4 — and better photos when I can load up all the goodies from my camera!