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Thursday, September 26, 2013

Inside look at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week

Laurie and I had the lovely pleasure of studying alongside Bethany Mullinix during our college career.  Bethany has followed her love for fashion all the way to San Fransisco for graduate school and has been able to use to write for various outlets about this ever-changing world. She was recently able to attend Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in New York City. We talked Bethany in to sharing a little of her experience and a few sights of this year's Fashion Week. While Spring fashion was all the rage, Bethany also notices a few Fall trends worn by those attending the events. 

-Alison & Laurie

Bethany's Inside Look:

Earlier this month, I had the wonderful opportunity to travel to New York City for Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week and cover a slew of shows throughout the week both at the Lincoln Center and down in Chelsea at smaller event spaces – this is becoming a new trend and breathe of fresh air from all the commotion involved with the Mercedes-Benz sponsored shows.

This hubbub of shows, celebrities, wanna-be bloggers and fashion stars decked out in their most Bill Cunningham worthy outfits is what every fashionista dreams of when they picture fashion week. Being on the inside can be all the more glamorous but many fail to understand the hours of hard work and dedication it takes to survive in the vicious sea of sharks known as the fashion industry.

I spent the week in and out of coffee shops, pounding out articles between shows and swapping my comfy flats for 5-inch stilettos lest I be caught dead anywhere near the Lincoln Center without heels on. My nights were sleepless. My mornings were early. The New York heat suffocated my sensitive San Francisco lungs.

But despite all of this, all I can say is that it was TOTALLY worth it!

I hung out with fashion celebrities and top designers:

Left: LeeAnne Marshall (Project Runway Season 6 Winner)
Right: Norman Ambrose
 I perused the inside of the Lincoln Center collecting free swag from vendors, witnessed street photography in action and got up-close and personal with a stunning Mercedes-Benz:

I captured the quietness and anticipation before the opening of the theatre doors:

I witnessed the urgency, nervousness, and excitement backstage as models were transformed into clones of each other and the designers showed off their collections to the press:

Top Right: Academy of Art University designer Nika Tang
Bottom Left: Academy of Art University designer Vicken Derderian 

Of course, fashion week is all about discovering trends for next season. For Spring 2014 expect sheerness to the max (Jason Wu rag & bone), bold colors mixed with soft pastels, South-Pacific reminiscent floral patterns (Michael Kohs, Marc Jacobs), cleaner cut lines and fitted silhouettes, and to the horror of anyone over the age of 16, crop tops are here to stay for yet another season (Calla, Vera Wang). Here are some of my favorites, showcasing a few of these trends that I observed first hand:

1: By LeeAnne Marshall
2: By Ennyluap
3: By Carlos Alberto
4: By LeeAnne Marshall

What trends stood out among the crowd? 
The high-waisted trend definitely stood out especially with skirts - both fitted skirts and circle skirts. I would see these with a skinny belt and either a crop top or a tucked in blouse for a more professional look. This was on the runway and in the street styles. 

What's your favorite Spring color that you found on the runway? 
I LOVE that pastels are making a comeback. Its been all bold jewel tones for a while but time to change it up! Although it is a hard color to pull off my favorite spring color is definitely yellow. 

Yellow AND crop top :)

Can you tell us a little more about Norman Ambrose? 
Norman Ambrose is absolutely one of my favorite designers. His designs are very old Hollywood, beautifully tailored with over the top embellishments. He is actually a graduate of the Academy of Art University where I went to school. Although he was there before my time, I had the chance to profile him a couple years ago when he gave his first solo show at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Spring 2012. Very talented, humble, classy man. You can read more about him here if you'd like, or here 

Your favorite trend you saw worth trying?  
Ties! This trend was even more prominent at London Fashion Week. I used to go to the thrift store in 9th grade and buy the weirdest ugliest ties I could find. Time to start scouring Goodwill again. Ralph Lauren and Marissa Webb's collections portrays this trend really well. 

The most outrageous trend not worth trying? :-) 
I talked about all the sheerness this year but some times its just a little too much. We don't want to see any boobies, haha. Keep it classy ladies. Also overalls. I'm all for most of the '90s trends coming back but not a fan of this one. 

sheerness (jason wu & rag and bone)

crop tops Michael Kohrs - i like this one cause its subtle and wearable

floral (michael kohrsjudith + james)

Bethany is a publicist at SutherlandGold Group is San Francisco where she has had the privilege of working with a wide range of consumer tech and enterprise startups such as Apartment List,, Comcast Ventures, CardSpring, and Solar Universe. However, her true love is fashion.

As a child, Bethany would painstakingly design garments for her Barbies, as her father watched in wonderment, questioning his eight-year-old's taste for micro-mini skirts! Today Bethany channels this love of fashion and design into her writing, taking inspiration for the best and avoiding vapid fashion magazines too easily bent by advertising.
Her main goal as a journalist is to make people understand fashion the way she does - as much more than playing dress-up. Above all, fashion makes her feel good and through her writing she hopes to share this feeling with others.

Bethany currently writes for variety of fashion and lifestyle outlets including Fashion School Daily, ModeConnect and The World According To. She also manages her own online magazine, MOXIE, which she began as part of her M.F.A. Fashion Journalism thesis while at the Academy of Art University. In addition to an MFA, Bethany holds a B.A. in Journalism/PR from Union University in Jackson, Tenn.

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