IMG's Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week kicks off today with a press conference at Lincoln Center hosted by Mayor Michael Bloomberg and the first show in the new tents scheduled for 9 a.m. tomorrow. Now offering a place for static presentations, the structure at Damrosch Park will house more than 80 shows, including up-and-coming designers and established names.
In fact, a number of well-known fashion houses are holding court in the tents, including veterans Isaac Mizrahi, Carolina Herrera, and Lacoste, and a few, like Cynthia Rowley and Betsey Johnson, are returning after several seasons of off-site shows. The upgraded aesthetics and technology for producers provide added flexibility, but most are staying mum on how they might use the blank slates to highlight ideas and themes in their spring/summer 2011 collections.
Damrosch Park will not be the only spot on Lincoln Center's grounds to host Fashion Week events: the David H. Koch Theater, David Rubenstein Atrium, and Avery Fisher Hall will see a fair share of shows, including those from Malandrino, Jill Stuart, and Christian Cota. Avery Fisher Hall will also host Harper's Bazaar and the Council of Fashion Designers of America's accessories exhibit on September 14 and 15.
Beyond Lincoln Center, Fashion Week's spread primarily runs down the west side of Manhattan, with notable names and newcomers taking over raw spaces like Exit Art, Eyebeam, and Skylight West. Back for a third installment is the M.A.C. Cosmetics and Milk Studios partnership, which will bring more than 40 shows—Vena Cava, Peter Som, Erin Fetherston, and Temperley London among them—to the West 15th Street property. Designers who typically draw the largest crowds are staying put at tried-and-true sites: Marc Jacobs will show at the 69th Regiment Armory, Oscar de la Renta is back at 583 Park Avenue, Ralph Lauren will take over Skylight, and Y-3 will stage its show at the Park Avenue Armory.
There are some, however, making a move this season. Next Tuesday, Pamella Roland will create four vignettes in the lobby of the Whitney Museum of American Art, and Dutch denim brand G-Star Raw will head to Pier 94 with spokesmodels actress Liv Tyler and 19-year-old chess Grandmaster Marcus Carlsen. Diesel Black Gold will also hit the Hudson riverfront complex, taking over Pier 92 on Monday afternoon. And Mulberry, which has recently displayed collections in the Soho House library, will shift its presentation to the meatpacking district club's roof.
As for events, the most anticipated is the reopening of Chanel's store in SoHo on Thursday. Karl Lagerfeld is rumored to be hosting the party and will make an appearance at the Couture Council of the Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology's luncheon the following afternoon, an event at which he is being honored. On Saturday, John Varvatos will mark the 10th anniversary of his eponymous company at his store on the Bowery. And on Sunday, Tommy Hilfiger will follow the 8 p.m. showing of his collection at the tents with a 25th anniversary celebration at an undisclosed location.