By Cheryl Wischhover

I write about fashion and nail polish for a living.  As an editor at, I get to run around to fashion shows and other events,  hobnobbing with editors and celebrities. People in the industry will try to tell you that it’s not all that glamorous, but they’re lying: it is. Not for me necessarily, though, since I write for an online outlet. I spend a good chunk of my time hunched over a computer swearing at my blogging platform after it erases 400 words that I just wrote.

But anyway, it’s New York Fashion Week, and twice a year the Upper West Side gets thrust into the spotlight as fashion designers show their wares at Lincoln Center. Shows take place all over the city, but the most established designers show at Lincoln Center, for Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week. You’ve most likely seen the new car dealership-esque facade for the tents in Lincoln Center.  And it’s sort of an apt comparison–you get to kick the tires a bit on the next season’s fashion.

A quick word on that. Fashion shows are generally about nine seasons ahead of whatever the actual season is. So the shows we’re seeing this week are for spring 2012. I haven’t even had a chance to try out fall’s trends (70s! Color-blocking!) and I’m looking at bathing suits and sundresses already. Anyway.

Sunday evening I attended the Zac Posen show, which was held on the second floor outdoor balcony of Avery Fisher Hall. If you don’t know about Zac, he’s a bit of a prodigal son in fashion. He was embraced by the industry really early in his career, got a bit difficult to work with, then decamped from NYC and started showing his line in Paris, to lukewarm reviews. This show marked his return to NYC. There’s quite a snarky article in the Post about Zac’s history, but take it with a grain of salt. It’s the Post, for heaven’s sake; they write headlines like, “Weiner Finally Yanks Himself.”

I was pretty excited for this show because of all the drama and also because I had a front row seat. There’s a fashion food chain when it comes to seating assignments, and it cannot be tampered with. First row is for the elite editors and buyers, like Anna Wintour (Vogue’s editor-in-chief) and the Bergdorf Goodman team. I’ve heard of lesser fashion magazines being assigned second row at buzzy shows, and they refuse to go because it looks very bad. A glossy editor can’t be second row, people. Usually I am somewhere in the middle to back, so getting a front row was a huge coup. Online journalists are finally getting some respect!

Oh. So there were only two rows. Two very long rows, which ran the length of the balcony. But still…first row! Just like Kelly Osbourne (see pic here) who I chatted with briefly, and who is making the rounds of the fashion shows this week. She didn’t really want to come home with me after the show to watch the Jets opener. Whatever.

Zac Posen’s show was gorgeous, mostly because it was a complete fantasy. Zac Posen does not create slouchy pants or tennis dresses. This was full-on Fashion Glamor. As you can see from the pictures, Zac showed a lot of ball gowns. Mark my words, the red carpets are going to be lousy with Zac Posen spring 2012 gowns. We ooh’ed and aah’ed, and then the show was over.

After a show, which typically lasts about 15 minutes, everyone scurries out, only to be attacked by street style photographers who are looking for prey. For some reason the photogs from Japanese magazines and websites like to take my picture. I’m huge in Japan. The other day I was wearing neon green pants and they went nuts. Then I walked about five blocks north on Broadway and heard a local (I’m one, too!) say, “Oh my god, did you see her pants?!” incredulously.

To them I respond: I’m huge in Japan!

All photos by Cheryl Wischhover. Cheryl is a West Side Rag columnist, an editor at Fashionista, and she blogs at Upper West Side Style.




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