Bryant Park Girl
by- Ola Lawal
In New York City you have to walk, talk and think fast. This being my first time ever attending New York Fashion Week, I didn’t know what to expect… nervously ascending the staircase to Bryant Park, I checked my hair/make-up/& outfit, doubled checked with STYLE 101’s publisher Avon Dorsey, and presented myself appropriately at the heavily guarded entrance- breezing past security, and arriving finally inside the miraculous fashion palace.
The tents for Fashion Week (sponsored by Mercedes Benz), are huge and reminiscent of a permanent building with plastic walls. The outside is gated-off to the onlookers with no invitations, and the stairway was clearly used for the fabulous to enter the arena without being bombarded by unfashionable peons. Above the three sets of double doors, the tents were graphically covered with 2008 election-esque ‘voter’s pin’ motifs, some of which read: “Elect style, Spring ‘09”, “Electorate Couture”, “Wear your vote”, and “Hope.Change.Shoes.”
Ahhh, the proverbial fashion-conscious… I love it!
Inside, it’s like heaven. Since I was a child I have been watching this event on television and seeing the action in the magazines, and now I’m here in the flesh- watching it all unfold before my very own eyes. On the first day of events, I was so nervous that I didn’t even realize I was holding on to my wrist so tight that it turned red. As I walked in, there was a huge floral arrangement in the center of the tent (taking the place of where the looming water fountain would be in regular Bryant Park season). The ‘tent’ itself was about 20 feet high and the floral arrangement was about half that size. Displayed around the centerpiece were various, customized red shoes in glass cases, commemorating the 70th Anniversary of ‘The Wizard of Oz.’ Moreover, the lines to gain access to the fashion shows were literally wrapped around the shoe display.
The new 2009 Mercedes Benz Coupes were strongly on display, with many other Fashion Week sponsors tending to their site locations (bars and lounges) around the foyer… As a reminder to all that were there, who –in a sense- had ‘arrived’, free food and drinks were bountiful!
This experience was the most wonderful one that a freedom-fighting fashionista could ever ask for, I thank God for my opportunities… I can’t wait to do it all over again in February!!!