The Fashion Diaspora: Designer Shows Spread Out
New York Fashion Week Descends On Lincoln Center and More of New York City
Driver, thank God you’re here. Take me to ... where again?
New York Fashion Week descends upon the city Thursday, and with it, the vexing promise of a weekend of snow and slush. That should make the question of location even more pressing to every editor, retailer, model and hanger-on in town. Gone are the days when most fashion shows huddled together under tents at Bryant Park, a nearly one-stop shop for every Tommy Hilfiger, Michael Kors and Carolina Herrera.
(Gone, too, are the days when Fashion Week was an actual week. “It’s really like there’s no traffic cop anymore,” said Michael Bastian, who moved his show to Tuesday, Feb. 4, two full days before the “official” start of Fashion Week.)
Lincoln Center plays the part that Bryant Park once did. But this main site now faces competition from an insurgent downtown hub, and independent shows held everywhere from Chelsea to Wall Street to (cue gasps) Brooklyn.
Things fall apart. The Lincoln Center cannot hold.
The complex has weathered complaints about overcrowding and too much commercialization, but it remains the largest single artery for Fashion Week. This season, 69 shows and nonrunway presentations will take place there, among them Mrs. Herrera’s, Anna Sui’s and J. Crew’s. Jarrad Clark, vice president and global creative director of IMG Fashion, which owns and produces the event, said that certain spaces had been reconceived, the capacity for some reduced and interiors refurbished to address criticisms. An additional 10 presentations will be held at what organizers are calling the Hub at the Hudson Hotel about five blocks away.
Alexander Wang favors Brooklyn
But the field is widening. The organizers of MADE Fashion Week, which caters primarily to up-and-coming designers, have created their own satellite constellation in the meatpacking district, split between Milk Studios on 15th Street and the Standard Hotel. Then there are designers who choose to select still other locations. Several of them, including Joseph Altuzarra, Olivier Theyskens of Theory and high-profile Lincoln Center defectors like Michael Kors and Diane von Furstenberg, have moved to Spring Studios, a new space in TriBeCa christened last season by Calvin Klein.
“Even I feel like four, five years ago, showing that far downtown was not that much of an option,” Mr. Altuzarra said. “The breadth of where shows are now occurring is sort of interesting.”
He has reason to be interested. Mr. Altuzarra is participating in a one-season-only swap of time slots with his friend Alexander Wang to help ease scheduling tension caused by Mr. Wang’s out-of-the-way choice of location: the Duggal Greenhouse in the Brooklyn Navy Yard. He professed no irritation: “I think going across the river and showing in Brooklyn is an interesting experiment and one that I think probably will happen more and more.”
(Would he ever choose Brooklyn? “I think the Altuzarra woman is a very Manhattan person,” he said.)...