By Jim Shi Posted February 21, 2012, 9:50 AM EST
Much like the shows this season, the after-parties and promotions at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week seemed to represent healthier budgets, with inventive, production-heavy affairs dotting the landscape throughout the week. Most noticeable was the wide variety of brands—from apparel and cosmetics companies to beverage brands and toy-makers—taking advantage of the editors, buyers, and other important guests in town for the eight-day expo.
To increase its visibility in the fashion community, Diet Pepsi tapped interior designer Jonathan Adler to design the “Diet Pepsi Refresh Studio” in the lobby of the Lincoln Center tents. “I wanted to capture the twinkly glamour of Fashion Week, so I chose dramatic chandeliers and sparkly Lucite flooring,” Adler said. “I wanted to use the Diet Pepsi cans in an unexpected way, so I put them under sheets of Lucite for added sparkle and to let the iconic Pepsi logo shine through.” In addition to providing daily “refreshing moments” and a view of designer looks curated by Barneys New York creative ambassador-at-large Simon Doonan—Adler's husband—the studio featured looks from a special Christian Cota for Diet Pepsi capsule collection. The series of initiatives commenced with a fashion show at the Box venue in the tents, where 14,000 Diet Pepsi cans were used to create a custom runway and bench seating for guests.
As a tongue-in-cheek play on the three-year-old shopping initiative Fashion's Night Out, Fashion Week title sponsor Mercedes-Benz had a “Fashion's Night In” party to kick-off the shows. Hosted by the automaker's head of conceptual design team color and trim Nicola Ehrenberg-Uhlig, Erica Domesek of blog P.S. I Made This, and accessories designer Paige Novick, the reception invited guests to make pouches, collars, and bracelets and to take home their creations in specially branded denim bags.
Others like Miu Miu and M.A.C. also hosted fetes during the week, but the most innovative was the February 9 launch of the “Dream Closet” for Barbie at the David Rubenstein Atrium. Armed with a concept driven by the Mattel-owned brand’s “See What Happens When You Play With Barbie” global campaign, Extra! Extra! set about celebrating an experience through the symbolic portal of Barbie's perfect closet.
“Everything about the Dream Closet we created for Barbie is big and fun,” said the event production firm's senior creative director of experiential marketing, Nicky Balestrieri. “From her favorite three textures—glossy plastic, matte pink, and sparkle—to the Hollywood Regency interior design style and actual clothes and pieces from the Barbie girl’s collection, the whole space speaks to the Barbie fashion ethos.” Guests entered 24-foot-tall bejeweled doors and into a site packed with live models, a DJ, three dressing rooms outfitted with augmented reality, and a three-story shoe rack housing 360 pairs of pumps.