Check in daily for news from the runways, trend reports, street style and all other happenings around Lincoln Center from The Washington Post’s Style reporters.

Lady Gaga performance art helps close Fashion Week

Lady Gaga receiving a tattoo inside a life-size bottle designed to resemble her “Fame” fragrance Thursday night was something akin to hiring a fat lady to sing in the middle of Lincoln Center. Sensory-overload had been reached. It is time for fashion weekers to either go home or move on to London.

But first, a look at Gaga before feigning sleep and receiving some new ink behind the glass at the Guggenheim Museum in advance of the launch of her debut perfume.


Lady Gaga arrives at a “Lady Gaga Fame” fragrance launch event. (Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)

(Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)

(Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)

We’re signing off from New York, but be sure to look to look out for trend reports and photos from London coming soon.

Backstage Zac Posen: How to get the beauty look

Backstage Alexander Wang: How to get the beauty look

Fashion Week: On being noticed

The scene at New York Fashion Week

Mixed messages at Ralph Lauren

Jessica Alba and Olivia Wilde were sitting across from NYT editor-in-chief Jill Abramson, Cathy Horyn, Times fashion critic, and Suzy Menkes of IHT at today’s  show for spring/summer 2013. Although Mr. Lauren’s collection didn’t have the cohesiveness of  his fall show, a paean to Downton Abbey, there were some high notes, including a stamped leather strapless sheath and impeccably tailored black jackets with matching cropped pants for a spring take on a tuxedo. What didn’t work as well for my eye was mixing berets with heavily fringed handbags and serape tops.

(Emmanuel Dunand/Getty Images)

(Emmanuel Dunand/Getty Images)

(Emmanuel Dunand/Getty Images)

Picture perfect: Photography at the end of the runway

The photography section at the end of the runway at each fashion show is as tightly configured as the seating. Photographers on risers are limited to a tiny, taped-off spot, with the premium publications getting the most unobstructed view. Women’s Wear Daily and Vogue, naturally, are at the top of that hierarchy, while wire services like Getty and AP, and national news outlets like CNN are occasionally second row.

at Lela Rose

Maura Judkis/FTWP

Ryan Lochte at Ralph Lauren

Geometry lessons at Michael Kors

As he says in his program notes, Michael Kors created a spring collection big on geometric glamour. He color coordinated striped outfits in crisp navy and crimson red. He gave new life to spring coats in white and aqua blue with wide buckles and trim shapes. Big, modernist watches accessorized wrists, while oversized goggles protected the eyes. Favorite outfit:  a citrus yellow sweater and matching skirt that reminded those old enough to remember of the great designs of Courreges.

Proenza Schouler hits a homer

In what Curbed NY refers to as a decaying urban treasure soon to be developed into a hotel, 5 Beekman Street is where Proenza Schouler designers Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez presented their 2013 spring collection to a mixed crowd of uptown suits, retail divas, fashion editors and downtown girls with pink hair. The un-air-conditioned space brought out a few improvised paper fans while the audience waited the habitual half-hour or so for the show to begin. By this time in the week, perforated leather didn’t look very original, so the first few outfits didn’t elicit any hosannas. Things picked up with the fire-engine red crocheted leather jacket and matching skirt and a patchwork leather sheath, but the real stunners were the lapis tweed jacquard jacket and satin skirt and the blue, orange, yellow and pink satin dresses with painterly swirls of color and photographic prints. Putting a different twist on embellishment, instead of sequins and crystals, tiny disks that looked like candy buttons adorned each dress in respective colors. A friend of mine asked me today if I had seen any clothes that looked like art. No, I said, until tonight.

Red leather skirt and top at Proenza Shouler. (Peter Michael Dills/Getty Images)

Dress at Proenza Shouler. (Peter Michael Dills/Getty Images)


Detail on a skirt at the Proenza Schouler Spring 2013 show. (Stephen Chernin/AP)

U.S. ambassador to Libya John Christopher Stevens, 3 other Americans killed in Benghazi

U.S. Ambassador to Libya John Christopher Stevens and three other Americans were killed Tuesday in an assault on the American consulate in the eastern city of Benghazi, Libya.

See full story here.

Asher Levine’s science fiction

Asher Levine was not on the official Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week schedule, nor the see-and-be-seen Milk Studios roster, which was to fashion week as off-Broadway is to theater. So, like many other designers, he held his own offsite show on Sunday. Though the 24-year-old menswear designer has dressed Lady Gaga and the Black Eyed Peas, he is still an up-and-comer — and, like his guests, outsider status suits him. A collection of perhaps the best street style subjects of the entire weekend boarded a yacht docked at Pier 81 for a pre-show cocktail party, but there were fewer bloggers here — both because of the show’s off-offsite location, and its decidedly more edgy vibe.

Rico the Zombie — a 27-year-old Canadian man with a full-body tattoo of the human skeletal system, famous for his role in the Lady Gaga “Born This Way” video — was one of the stars of the cocktail hour, where he sucked on a lollipop. Patrick McDonald, who has cultivated a persona as “The Dandy” of the New York fashion scene for his colorful top hats, was another. On the pier, where everyone got a front-row seat to the long runway, rappers Le1f and Don Jones performed a song with utterly unprintable lyrics for this family newspaper as male models walked the pier in dramatic outfits fit for a supervillain.

Courtesy of Janaro Photography


Courtesy of Janaro Photography

Courtesy of Janaro Photography

Oversized “Revenge of the Sith”-esque trench coats and dramatic, pointy-kneed pants were soon overshadowed by a caped model that walked the runway in a mask that looked like a football player’s protective padding had sprouted a face that resembled the alien from “Predator.” For five minutes, Le1f and Don Jones scored the models’ walks with the lyrics “Imma make you choke” and retching noises. When the models did their final walk, the Predator mask did another turn around the runway — and was removed to reveal Levine, the designer.

Photo by Char Alfonzo.

In the crowd: Jared Leto

Gold and lace at Vera Wang

Vera Wang notes that she was inspired by the romantic sensuality of India for her Spring 2013 collection. Azure blue tailored jackets with Nehru collars coupled with long bermudas and a navy lace jacquard vest sported jeweled epaulettes. Wang used lots of gold as well, to best effect in a gold embroidered lace deep v-neck gown.

Tory Burch collection: ‘A stylish magpie’

The show notes for Tory Burch this morning referred to “a stylish magpie who picks up special pieces while traveling” and then mixes it with classic sportswear. The standouts among the collection included a wax-printed hand-dyed dress with a coral leafy pattern and sequins that made me long to have such an easy-to-wear summer frock in my wardrobe. A fringed crochet top and skirt, also in coral, offer a suit alternative in a ladylike fashion. Beads were in abundance, trimming silk crepe dresses and shorts.


Fabulous fishtail braid at Tory Burch

My colleague, Janet Bennet Kelly, snapped this closeup at Tory Burch’s Tuesday show. If the fashion week runways are any indication, braids are going to be big this spring. So start brushing up on your fishtail skills now, and thank us later.

Stacy Keibler sits from row at Vera Wang

(Carlo Allegri/Reuters)

(Instagram from Janet Bennett Kelly)

More black-rimmed glasses and layers at J. Crew

Photos by Janet Bennett Kelly, @janetbenn28

Chris Benz to lower price point

The designer announced that he will be lowering his price point to reach a wider audience at his spring/summer presentation. The designer explained that he hopes to “bring everything we love and stand for as a brand” to as much of his fan base as possible, reports

Benz also introduced a denim capsule, as well as a collaboration with Cambridge Satchel Company. Good news for fans of the designer’s whimsical style and layered looks.

Designer Chris Benz with Jillian Hervy and Vanessa Williams at his presentation at Avery Fisher Hall. (Craig Barritt/Getty Images)

Marc Jacobs in black and white

Criticized for his habitual lateness in the past, Marc Jacobs is now noted for runway shows that begin precisely on time as did his spring 2012 show, which clocked in at a whole seven minutes. A kaleidoscope of mostly black and white with some shades of tan and gray thrown in, well-tailored suits, figure-skimming dresses and coats with matching patent leather bags and Mary Jane flats paraded down the runway. The black and white jackets and skirts and dresses called to mind “My Fair Lady” with a modern twist. Long sequin dresses with graceful pleats were a scene stealer.


A sea of Monique Lhuillier at the Grammys?

A Turkish vacation provided the back story for Monique Lhuillier’s watery spring collection, which featured flowing gowns in blues and turquoise.

“I wanted to have all the elements that had to do with the sea and so the evening gowns are very fluid and they look like mermaids that just submerged out of water, they even have their hair a little wet,” the designer told the Associated Press.

Lhuillier also mentioned an upcoming event, suggesting we may be seeing a few of these gowns again soon.

“The Emmys are coming up and some of the looks have been selected so they’re on hold.”

Coming up…

Style reporter Janet Bennett Kelly has arrived in New York, and has a packed schedule of shows for the rest of the week. Here’s a preview of what’s to come.

Backstage at Zac Posen

Zac Posen presented a glamorous collection on the terrace of Avery Fisher Hall at Lincoln Center on Sunday night. Naomi Campbell made a dramatic opening to the show, and super models Karolina Kurkova and Coco Rocha added even more excitement, particularly Rocca in a magnificent wedding gown.

Kelly Osbourne, Martha Stewart, Andre Leon Talley were among several to dot the front row of the celebrity-packed show.





Strong textures at Derek Lam

Tailored leather and rock-candy-like embellishments stole the show at Derek Lam on Sunday. The designer’s spring collection was full of smart separates–boxy sweaters, geometric print skirts and midriff-revealing cropped tops. Is it springtime yet?



Smoking slippers and blazers at Michael Bastian

Aside from a few speedos, many of the looks from the Michael Bastian show could have easily translated to a women’s wear presentation. The crowd seemed to know that, with the few women in attendance dressed in menswear inspired pieces. The smoking slippers — in tangerine and purple hues and zebra print — would easily work for a busy woman on the go as well as her male counterpart.

Light wash chinos were naturally speckled throughout the show, but the summer blazers were the standout. A chambray suit looked perfect for a dressed yet casual summer work day, and the closing white tuxedo jacket with black bow tie was an appropriately strong ending.

Lela Rose: Artsy and ladylike



Lela Rose’s spring collection was influenced by the art world: She paid homage to the work of artist Jim Hodges in her ladylike, floral sheaths and gowns. Hodges’ work is a natural fit for the fashion world, and you could see the nod towards his floral installations in Rose’s floral voile line-drawnstresses in blue and black, as well as her lace silhouette sheaths and suits.

The entire collection was painterly in its palette and prints. Skirts featured an abstract landscape paired with a bright coral matelasse top, and camoflague dresses in cheery sherbet tones came right out of Andy Warhol’s catalogue. The final look was a stunning silver stamped organza cuffed gown with a train.

As for the models’ styling: Stila eyeshadow in bright yellow accented the inner corners of the models’ eyes. And those shoes? They’re no splurge: they’re from Payless.

In the crowd: Lauren Conrad, Mandy Moore


Victoria Beckham shows soft, refined collection

Black, equestrian-style hats immediately drew the eye upward at the start of Victoria Beckham’s show in Astor Hall of the New York Public Library. Then a sheer billowy blouse and deep red skirt captured the spotlight, and the collection continued to deliver all the way to the ending dresses, elegant pieces with small scale lattice-style fabric that connected the triangle tops.

Skirts were seamlessly layered in panels of differing fabric, including a few inches of pleats at the hem which gave a youthful kick.

And in a sexy, yet refined twist, a a triangle top was placed strategically under a constructed blazer, making one powerfully skin-barring look.

Crowd in the lobby of the library before the start of VB.

David Beckham sits front and center at VB show

Shimmer and chains at Venexiana

Designer Kati Stern brought plenty of high drama at her 9 p.m. Lincoln Center show on Saturday with formal wear that was part rock-and-roll, part Hollywood glamour. The collection of gowns–ranging from sequins and crystal chains to sea foam plisse–proved themselves worthy of any red carpet, maybe even a state dinner?

Anna Wintour, Kate Bosworth take in the details at Joseph Altuzarra

The Joseph Altuzarra show at Industria downtown was all about embellishment. Thick, wrap-around scarf dresses were lined with clusters of beads arranged into gleaming patterns. Delicate gold tassels swung from skirts like rich fringe. Over-the-knee gladiator sandals shimmered and sparkled with each camera’s flash.

As a whole, the collection seemed fantastical, as if Altuzarra had taken inspiration from a fairy tale or vivid dream and meticulously brought it to life.

And it should be noted that there was not an ounce of gaudiness here. Even though the ornamentation was at times breathtaking (you could, quite literally, hear gasps of delight as each trimming outdid the last), the collection was sophisticated, imaginative and exceptionally beautiful.

In the crowd: Anna Wintour, Hamish Bowles, Kate Bosworth, Tyson Chandler, Nina Garcia


Leather and neon glows at Alexander Wang

Knee-high leather strapped sandals, floating sweaters and glow-in-the-dark models were a few of the unexpected twists at Alexander Wang. The designer proved his excellence in theatrics. The clothes — with backless cable knits, boxy silhouettes and leather on more leather — were unwearable. Yet as the lights dimmed and rows of blonde models, all in white, began to light up in an otherworldly green hue, the crowds simultaneously erupted in applause and admiration.

Alexander Wang

Calla brings a burst of spring to Milk Studios

Designer Calla Haynes showcased a collection that almost seemed plucked from the walls of the Musée de l’Orangerie–full of impressionist prints and ethereal textures. In fact, the Canada native (who has lived in Paris for the past 10 years) says she was inspired by sunsets from her summer retreat, an island on a lake in Ontario.


Backstage Alexander Wang

Minimalism was the word backstage before the Alexander Wang show. Light, flawless skin. Highlights around the cheekbones. No eyeshadow, a focus on the brows. NARS lead artist Diane Kendal described the look as a bit androgynous, yet luminous.

The hair was likewise sleek, pulled taught in low pony tales and slightly reinvented. A single strip of tape (which the audience would later discover glowed in the dark) ran down stark middle parts.

“New York is king of pony tales,” says Redken stylist Guido Paulo. “The reinvention this time is the strip of tape.”

“Little things can really change the idea of hair, this bit of tape has done that.”

NARS stylist Diane Kendal works on models backstage at Alexander Wang
Complete beauty look at A. Wang
Beauty cards at A. Wang

Rain dampens the mood at Fashion Week

A huge storm passing through New York right now is putting a major damper on the fashion week festivities. Though the National Weather Service has only issued a severe thunderstorm warning, there have been rumors swirling around the fashion week tents that there could be a tornado, and that show-goers would need to evacuate. For now, everyone’s staying put, but the wind is rippling the roof of the tent, and the rain sounds extra loud against it. And there’s a pretty good chance that many of the outfits we’re seeing won’t hold up too well in a storm. Hope there are plenty of cabs nearby.

From the warning:


Katharine McPhee, Man Repeller sit front row at Rebecca Taylor

Rebecca Taylor Spring-Summer 2013 at New York Fashion Week | Sept. 8, 2012

Rebecca Taylor designs for the girly girls. Her signature pieces — frilly floral blouses and bedazzled blazers in pale shades of purple, pink and blue — are happy and playful, like a little girl’s sketchbook brought to life.

Fitting, then, that Katharine McPhee, of American Idol and Smash fame, and Leandra Medine, also known as the Man Repeller by fashion blog devotees, were sitting front row for her Spring-Summer 2013 runway show this afternoon at the Highline Stages. Next to them was British fashion correspondent Louise Roe who covered the Royal Wedding and has hosted E!’s Fashion Police. All three women are known for their flirty, feminine style, and fortunately this collection had enough sparkle to go around.

The first number down the catwalk was a breezy halter dress in a lavender shade of silver with playful side cut-outs and a top that looked like it had been dipped in glitter. Then, there were bits of denim found in jackets and jumpers, polka-dotted peplum tops and loose dresses sprinkled with shimmery sequins and beads.

But the highlight had to be Taylor’s leather jackets. In pastel shades of pink and blue, they’re the cool downtown staple with a ladylike touch.

Rebecca Taylor Spring-Summer 2013 at New York Fashion Week | Sept. 8, 2012

Meanwhile in the Lacoste Lounge

In the Lacoste Lounge, all of their spring looks from this morning’s show.

Racks of clothing from this morning’s Lacoste show.

Spotted: Alicia Keys in Edun front row

Edun: Ethical and utilitarian


Edun’s ethical, African-sourced fashion was presented in a raw space at Moynihan Station transformed into a house of mirrors. Reflections of the brand’s utillitarian spring style were doubled and tripled as models passed by in a studio illuminated by natural light.

The brand, founded by Ali Hewson and Bono, promotes ethical fashion produced in Africa, and models sported armbands with charms of the continent’s silhouette. Ethereal dresses were juxtaposed with tough, zippered jackets, and black bandeau tops were paired with oversized vests. Army green and sherbet orange were the hues that informed much of the line. After the show, guests enjoyed another ethical touch: organic apple cider.


Backstage at Prabal Gurung

Ah, the life of a model.

A new trend in nail art?

One quick run-through before the show.

Rose Byrne and Kelly Bensimon front row at Jill Stuart

Jill Stuart shows a feminine silhouette

(Andrew Kelly/Reuters)

Feminine shapes were the focus of Jill Stuart’s spring collection, with blush silk and sparkle accenting her mid length dresses and skirts. One of the showpieces of the collection was a peekaboo sequin bustier, swathed in a backless silk tie-front frock. Orange and sea foam bows anchored a few of the silk dresses, while white basketweave fabric kept the structured shift dresses grounded.

(Andrew Kelly/Reuters)

Sheers and some surprises at Lacoste

(Carlo Allegri/Reuters)
(Carlo Allegri/Reuters)

Lacoste stuck largely to its trademark sportswear for spring, opening with several white looks of slouchy pants and collared shirts. A few suprises livened up the show, including an unexpected black leather dress and a geometric printed sheath in varying shades of blue.

Clear trench coats were layered over many of the last looks, including a black and white printed tube dress that was first seen without the plastic-like covering.

Charlotte Ronson party at the top of the Empire

As soon as the dust settled following Charlotte Ronson’s show Friday night, the fans and friends scurried to the top of the Empire Hotel.

Men in skirts mixed with women in ultra minis and shredded rocker tees. Wide brimmed and flat topped hats dotted the crowd, perhaps an homage to the designer’s sister, who was seated at a VIP table on the terrace.

One friend of Charlotte’s, Barry Yoko, Showed up with one of the most whimsical head toppers — a pair of Mickey Mouse ears.

Paris Hilton and berets

At the Emporio Armani party on Madison Ave. Friday night.

Rag & Bone’s sporty chic

While the fashion birds and bloggers flocked to Lincoln Center, the official headquarters for Mercedes Benz Fashion Week, another stylish set gathered in midtown at the U.S. Post Office for the Rag & Bone show.

It was hot; every pamphlet became a makeshift fan as photographers politely asked their subjects to wipe the sheen off their foreheads.

But the collection was casual cool, which is exactly expected from designers David Neville and Marcus Wainwright who are based in New York and initially launched the brand as a denim line in 2002. Chambray dresses were paired with nude trench coats and patches of leather were just about everywhere. Every few numbers included a mesh jacket or crop top, a nod to the brand’s athletic aesthetic.

But what we didn’t expect was so much solid color. Bold cerulean blue, kelly green and coral red pieces sang against ensembles of head-to-toe tan or creamy white. Wainwright and Neville have dabbled in color before — their spring-summer 2011 line offered a dash of red along with a few abstract tropical prints — but this time, they’re operating in high gear. If 2012 is the year of prints, they’ve dubbed 2013 the year of strong, sporty solids.

The final number, a hooded trench-style dress worn by model Karlie Kloss, stole the show.   It’s comfy yet chic, sporty yet feminine, signature Rag & Bone.

Fashion Week starts off light and airy

A look from the BCBG Max Azria spring/summer 2013 collection.

The first day of shows during fashion week featured light color palettes of whites and tans, blushes and understated blues. BCBG, the first large scale show of the week, balanced hard leathers with lace, often with leather harnesses directly layered over the softer fabrics.

Richard Chai Love opened with creamy blues and cropped and sheer tops paired with high-wasted skirts. Matching anoraks were also seen on along with touches of denim.

Creatures of the Wind, which helped wrap up the opening day, also sent out shades of pinks and greens, though richer and more vibrant. Hemlines stayed below the knee, and jacquard or printed pants mixed up a rotation of dresses.

“We wanted to push the feminine silhouettes toward these almost hard and aggressive volumes and proportions, but keeping them light and airy,” designer Chris Peters, who is behind Creatures along with Shane Gabier, told the Associated Press.

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