Scene offstage

Each season, the action on the catwalk is only part of the New York Fashion Week drama, and the fashion flock’s descent on Manhattan last week for the group hug formally known as the spring-summer 2010 collections was no exception. Below are some of the most memorable and talked about “off runway” moments and musings.

Fashion’s Night Out

Juan Carlos Obando gave salsa lessons, Third Eye Blind performed at Nine West, Rosie O’Donnell ragged on pricey purses (and the price of the shirt she was wearing) while reading a monologue at Giorgio Armani, Charlize Theron signed autographs and trays of bubbly flanked the entrances of swanky boutiques all around the city. So what if we didn’t see so many shopping bags? The mass manifestation of “Kumbaya couture” was chicken soup for the fashionista’s soul -- and Vogue editor Anna Wintour’s trek to the Macy’s in Flushing, Queens, humanized her -- even if it was just for a heartbeat.

The ‘80s (celebrities) are back!

Bruce Willis was front row at Erin Wasson X RVCA, Mickey Rourke and his exceedingly pointy shoes turned up at Max Azria and Madonna made it to Marc Jacobs. But Michael Douglas at Michael Kors? The only explanation is a full-on ‘80s revival. In that case, it would have been a nice gesture to leave a front-row seat empty for the recently departed Patrick Swayze, the guy who taught us that no one puts Baby in a corner.

Bloggers on board

From 13-year-old pint-sized Style Rookie Tavi Williams, who drew the kind of photographer scrum at Y-3 usually reserved for rappers and reality-TV stars, to the ubiquitous Susie Bubble and the bearded, behatted blogger Mister Mort, who recently landed a consulting gig with Dockers, Web-based solo-sailing stylephiles seem to be the new royalty of New York Fashion Week, getting into (and sitting front row at) some of the week’s best shows. And they’re organized too -- a group called Independent Fashion Bloggers managed to throw its own party during Fashion Week. (It would be only fair if a group of black-clad, headset-wearing publicists had tried to sneak into the event.)

The recession

The economic malaise hung over the week like a storm cloud. Few shopping bags, nearly nonexistent swag bags and not even a C-list celebrity poet to close the G-Star Raw runway show (past seasons have included Dennis Hopper and Benicio Del Toro).


Independent Fashion Bloggers--