STYLE

Notes On New York Fashion Week: Being FRow With Anna Dello Russo

17/07/2013 16:11 | Updated 22 May 2015

She's been FRow with Anna Dello Russo, snapped by Bill Cunningham and backstage at Jenny Packham. Carlene Thomas-Bailey - our girl-about-New-York - reveals all about her latest Fashion Week dash

Getting up early is not my forte but for Tory Burch's 9am show, I made the exception. Held at the beautiful Le Pierre hotel on 5th Avenue, the setting was breathtaking thanks to chandeliers, huge glass mirrors and draped curtains with gold trimmings.

En route I ran into famed NY Times fashion photographer Bill Cunningham and tried to take a sneaky photo. But he caught me (whoops!) and teased by taking one back, which was the highlight of my day, since everyone dreams of being snapped by him.

tory burch

Once inside I slipped to my seat on the front row opposite Anna Dello Russo on one side and Anna Wintour on the other (I resisted the urge to geek out and take photos- it's just not acceptable FROW behaviour).

As soon as the show started, it was clear the venue was the perfect backdrop for this collection of stunning demure dresses and separates. Sophisticated but glamorous with a modern edge, I wanted to wear everything as soon as the first model stepped out. The biggest selling point? The luxurious fabrics, from beaded chiffon to crepe de chine.

Midway through the show I recognised a cheerful grin on one of the models - it was, of course, Brit model Cara Delevingne with her signature Cheshire cat smile, strutting in the most ladylike fashion down the runway, to the Pet Shop Boys hit West End Girls.

After the show, I caught up with Anna Dello Russo for her thoughts on the collection. "I love Tory, her aesthetic and what she projects in fashion. It's elegant, chic and American in a good way'. And her favourite pieces? "The Cara Delevingne outfits from the collection," she told me.

Next up was Victoria Beckham's second show for her diffusion line Victoria, Victoria Beckham. While most editors ran straight there, I skipped it (naughty journalist) to re-fuel on fruit salad and scrambled eggs. Sometimes you have to go off-piste when the collections are back-to-back.

Next up at the Lincoln Centre tents was Jenny Packham. Heading backstage first, I got all the goss on the beauty looks. Talia Shobrook for Laura Mercier explained that this season it's all about the skin. "For the show I just wanted the skin to look is expensive, so what we did is hydrate the skin with Laura Mercier Mega-Moisturer Crème, which is like a tall glass of water. The most important thing is that the skin looks and feels hydrated."

She added: "Then we used Foundation Primer Radiance on the outer corner of the face to sculpt and lipstick to contour the cheeks." And the idea behind the look? "Make-up to match this collection which is a modern twist on an era, fresh, youthful and young."

After faces were officially on, hair was blown out straight and tied with a different colour bow for each girl. And the secret weapon for blowdrying and straightening hair? "Heat protect spray", explained stylist Jeanie Syfu. Finally the nails were all glitter thanks to Essie polish 'Set In Stones'.

With my beauty notes up to scratch, it was time to dash front of house and watch the show. As I took my seat, A-listers Katherine Heigl in a shimmering black dress and Vanessa Hudgens in a cream pantsuit appeared on the front row. Despite the weather - it's still pretty chilly - both ladies had on glam opened-toe sandals, and Vanessa snapped pics of her favourite runway looks as they passed. By the looks of things, she's got a pretty long wish list.

As the lights dimmed the show started, displaying old world glamour inspired by the mid 17th century. The Oscar worthy pieces, from floor length bold red dresses to pale embellished chiffon dresses were feminine and fabulous!

And thanks to my early rise, it was early to bed. My next show is Rachel Zoe and you better believe I'll tell you everything about it tomorrow.

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