Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2011, Day 1

Photo credit: Tracy E. Hopkins
A funny thing happened to me on the way to my first show at Fashion Week's new location at Lincoln Center.  I discovered that my new shoes -- a cute pair of black suede flats with a slight wedge heel (okay, they're from Payless, so they're not that major) -- were too big.

I'd already made a few last minute wardrobe changes and under estimated the time it would take me to get from downtown Brooklyn to Lincoln Center.  Bryant Park was a breeze and takes about 20 minutes.  Lincoln Center is farther uptown, so that adds another 10 minutes to my commute. So I was running late for Christian Siriano's S/S 2011 runway presentation.  But adrenaline kicked in and somehow I kept my shoes on long enough to catch the train.  I arrived and scurried across the grand plaza, past the iconic fountain.  "This is different," I thought.

Thankfully one thing that hasn't changed are the burly security guards who have been working the shows long before I started attending Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week four or five seasons ago. "Christian Siriano?" I asked, hurriedly and a little out of breath.  "Right this way. You have plenty of time," one of the friendly guards reassured.

Me on the Lincoln Center Plaza.
Inside, the lobby/lounge area of the Lincoln Center tents is more spacious.  There are a couple courtyards where guests can mix, mingle, and sip delish Kim Crawford wine.  The entire exterior is more modern and polished.  Because of a partnership with Fashion GPS, attendees can do a self-service check-in similar to the airport by scanning the bar code on their email invitation or press credential to print out a seat assignment.  I scanned mine.  "Standing."  Some things never change.

Glorious fluff at Christian Siriano's show.
Well, at least I didn't have to fight my way through a sea of fashion insiders and wannabes to get to a young blonde with a clip board in order to get "S" on an index card.  To Lincoln Center's credit, there's a lot more breathing room and the lines are more orderly.   In a way, however, that dilutes Fashion Week and makes it less personal.  Another writer commented that part of the fun at Bryant Park was "standing shoulder-to-shoulder," body-odor and all with other guests.

I guess I shouldn't complain considering I got into the show, which was fabulous by the way (read more about Christian's fierce urban safari collection in my Fashion Week Examiner column), and found a comfortable, padded seat.  This was the opposite of my first attempt to see a Christian Siriano show a couple seasons ago, which resulted in the standing room line being shut down after we'd waited for more than an hour.

Thanks to a few glasses of vino and a couple bags of Pop Chips, by the end of Day 1 my shoes no longer bothered me.  And I almost didn't miss Bryant Park.  Almost.