A New, New York Night

Morgan Harding, Print Editor

Editor’s Note: Junior Morgan Harding attended the Erin Fetherston Spring/Summer 2013 show in New York City with sophomore Mary Boveand she submitted this reflection on her day of high fashion.

New York Fashion Week is upon us, and I had the pleasure of attending the Erin by Erin Fetherston Spring/Summer 2013 presentation at The Standard High Line in the Meat Packing District.

Every trip to New York is a new experience and this was no exception. Sophomore Mary Bove and I decided to drive into New Jersey and then take a train into Penn Station. We arrived at 32nd and 7th around 3:30, giving us plenty of time to shop our way down to the Meat Packing District.

I cannot have a trip to Manhattan without an educational aspect so before the shopping commenced we wanted to take in an historic fashion exhibit. But where could we go? The Museum at FIT, where we had the opportunity to see “Fashion A to Z: Part Two.” The exhibit included couture from the modern time to 1920 by well-known designers like Karl Lagerfeld and lesser-known boutique brands. It helps to put modern-day fashion into perspective when you see it sitting next to couture from yesteryear.

We made stops at two of my favorite discount stores because as recessionistas, we can rarely afford full ticket price. Lohmann’s was basically empty. Store management  was preparing for Fashion’s Night Out, which was happening the following day. Second Time Around was filled with designer duds at 70% MSRP.

After some light shopping our walking continued. The street numbers became lower,  turned to cobblestone, and the river came into sight.

We grabbed dinner at a newly-opened open-air shopping center called UrbanSpace. UrbanSpace houses 65 food and fashion vendors, all of which sell goods for less than almost anywhere else in NYC. We enjoyed empanadas at $3 each, bottled water for $1 and networked with several of the vendors—such as Wink And Flip, an online jewelry store venturing into its first in-person storefront, and Humble Chic New York, a clothing pop-up shop that just launched its e-commerce site.

Around 6:15 p.m. we arrived at The Standard. Surrounded by Manhattanites dressed in full-length ball gowns, we felt out of place and under-dressed. Thank goodness that within five minutes the bloggers arrived, decked out in skinny jeans, tank tops and club wear. In an instance we went from under-dressed to the happy middle in our pencil skirts and blouses.

At 6:30 p.m. on the dot we entered the elevator and the scenes of hell on walls slowly began to turn to heaven. As soon as the doors slid open, a woman with a list inquired who we were. Flipping to ‘H’ she saw that Morgan Harding-Blogger-Cashmere & Cowboy Boots +1 was legitimate and handed us each a glass of bubbly.

Fetherston’s presentation was unlike the runway show I attend last winter. Instead of hustle and bustle turning to stillness when the runway came alive, this event grew chaotic as it progressed.

Mary and I pushed our way through the troves of attendees to get an up-close look at the various pieces in the SS’13 collection. We formed a strategy early on, working our way from one end of the rooftop bar to the other. This would ensure that we would get to see all of the looks.

Our plan worked.

As Mary snapped pictures of each look, with the models pose at her command, I mingled with the other guests and analyzed the pieces.

Our little maneuver also got us next to Erin Fetherston, designer and namesake of the brand. The reporter in me was suddenly lost as I introduced myself and complimented her on the evening and finally asked for a photograph like a fan girl. Erin obliged and Mary and I were star-struck.

We  worked our way to the other side of the event space to a room filled with big white balloons, a stage, another bar and a few people networking. It was here that we inadvertently met Padma Lakshmi, host of “Top Chef” on Bravo and spoke to Odeya Rush, “The Odd Life of Timothy Green.” Rush was publicizing her new movie and enjoying the New York social scene, something uncommon for the 15 year old from New Jersey.

More people began to filter in and the concert began. Fetherston had picked a virtual unknown as her muse and entertainment for the SS’13 collection. Alexandra McDermott is a 17-year-old YouTube singing sensation from California who had never performed live before and has yet to step into a studio. She had signed to One Management only a few days before the show.

McDermott played a three-song set, consisting of covers of “Valerie” and “Big Jet Plane”.  The crowd was hooked by the chorus of the final song, and even the models who literally surrounded Mary and I were dancing along.

We boarded the elevator with these models back to the street and began our walk  to the train station where we stood in awe of the day we just had. I had never understood a fashion presentation, but after attending both a presentation and a runway show, I understand.  A runway show is great for fashionistas to be in wonderment for 15 minutes and then move on with their lives. A presentation is an experience that immersed attendees in fashion.

Few can imagine being a model on a catwalk.  But many can be the girl at the party in the great dress.