Fashion Week started with a pill: a giant, 500mg capsule. I am not sure what it did exactly, but seeing as the factory of Christian Louboutin created it, I can only imagine that when it hit me, the rush amped up my next two weeks. I wasn’t actually popping uppers. The “pill” was a Louboutin clutch, but the shoe designer’s 20th anniversary celebration at Bergdorf Goodman kicked off late nights and early bird mornings that would last for days. At the red-sole-themed bash, I point out to Linda Fargo that the bag cost $7,000. Fargo exclaims that it better “make every night feel like it’s the best night of your life!”
Well, not quite, but I feel fresh for Yigal Azrouël‘s Cut25 store opening, where even the glaring (read: unflattering) klieg-style lights can’t, ahem, dim the buzz from several glasses of Pinot Grigio (my drink of choice before 9 p.m. and after midnight). Yigal’s mood is as bright as the bulbs, as are his lovely co-hosts Zelda Williams, Valerie Boster, Hayley Bloomingdale and Jaime Johnson. “This boutique’s been a dream of mine for a while,“ Yigal says. “And it’s just the beginning of more sites we’re planning in 2012.“ Bloomingdale gamely attaches an iPod case created by the charity Project Paz to her phone; the proceeds of the cute cover help the non-profit dedicated to bringing peace in Ciudad Juárez, Mexico. “You’ll be seeing this a lot during NYFW,” Bloomingdale promises, meaning the Moda Operandi maven will be flashing charity from the front row.
Another evening, another store opening. This time, French brand Sandro debuts in the West Village just a quick taxi ride from Cut25. The outfitter to the Francophile fashionistas at a price less steep than, say, Céline, attracts a crop of cool girls like Dree Hemingway, Rose Byrne (who I spot more than once during NYFW at the morning rush hour at Liquiteria—nothing quite lifts a hangover like “The Killer“) and Eugenia Silva, all of whom I imagine, like me, later try to explain to the cab driver that Mosco Street is in Chinatown. The complicated navigation proves to be de rigueur on several evenings home, as in, to the latest outpost of Le Baron, where Sandro’s After-Hours Soirée officially christens the hot spot. It is the first of many sightings of Hannah Bronfman at le club. “It’s a little bit Beatrice, a little bit Avenue,“ she explains in the entryway, one of the best places to discuss all the gossip that gets lost in translation on the packed balcony.
The next day ushers in the week-long reign of Jenné Lombardo and DJ Chelsea Leyland, who co-host W Hotel’s “Fashion Next” presentation. I’m awarding them the title of hardest-working girls of Fashion Week. Lombardo, who hand-picked a clutch of up-and-coming designers to receive grants and be carried at W Hotels’ stores while concurrently helping run the show at Made, attributes her survival to pure adrenaline “I love providing people with what they don’t even know they want until they get it.“ And Leyland, like Lombardo, also credits Green Juice as her drug of choice. “If you can drink it everyday, it massively helps.“ Double dose, please.
So the next morning, I switch my “Killer” for a foul-tasting kale concoction and adjust my dopamine to Jenné levels. ‘Twas the night of the Refinery29 Fashion Week Kick Off, which I imagine I named as some sort of sick joke. Shoe god Alejandro Ingelmo, Bronfman (again), Karen Walker, Solange Knowles and SCENE’s cover girl Elettra Wiedemann serve as hosts, the first in a sheer shirt that made me rethink my diet of Ladurée macarons (caramel with salted butter, to be exact). Ingelmo’s trick to staying in shape when the Ambien container’s getting dusty? “Early morning workouts.“
Yeah, right. I don’t wake up and hit the David Barton gym. Instead I try to finish runway reporting early to get prepared for a real night out with my L.A. bestie, TV star Louise Roe. And, of course, the infamously decadent bi-annual Purple Magazine party at Le Bain—the best place to have a rager. Conveniently parked at the Belvedere table, it is the first evening I allow myself to get more than tipsy. Good thing, too. Brad Goreski, the king of unforgettable colors, tells me my bright orange sweatshirt is, um, less than fashionable. “Well,“ I reply, “It’s a Brad, Brad World.“ He nods, “Of course.“ Ignoring the urge to Tweet, I chalk it up to playful banter. I liked my pop, and when DJ doll Harley Viera-Newton put on Madonna‘s newest track, dancing seems much more important.
Roe, over BBM the next day, nails the carb on the head when she thanks God we had inhaled pasta the night before, which perhaps helps me power through Simon Spurr‘s I-want-everything show and one of my New York BFFs, Timo Weiland‘s, third season in the tents. A 9 p.m. time slot on a Sunday is zombie-land, but Timo’s “Kristian“ moto jacket helps stave off the zzz’s. Monday brings Michael Bastian, and, voilà, my wardrobe for spring is complete. It’s funny what one of Michael’s models, with a six-pack, can sell.
Valentine’s Day didn’t bring a late-night dinner at Acme (though I did nosh on duck in a jar for The Last Magazine party there the next night) with an eligible bachelor, instead I chatted up Erin Fetherston and rocker boyfriend Gabe Saporta at the Miu Miu bash. “Not celebrating V-Day?” I questioned, hopefully. “Well, we’re jetting off to Hawaii tomorrow for an extended date,“ Fetherston replies, smiling. While they gently ignore my offer to serve as tour guide, my single spirits cheer up at W magazine’s video installation at the Park Avenue Armory. The ever-fierce Coco Rocha and her husband James Conran admit they don’t celebrate Valentine’s Day. Or Fashion Week. “I feel like I’m in a bubble of fashion people right now,” Rocha confesses. “I don’t know how to explain it.“ Dazed? I ask. “I mean, why complain? Some people have 9 to 5 jobs…“ Rocha concludes. And as we all know, fashion never sleeps.