Goodbye to Bryant Park – Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week

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 Yet the biggest trend of the week was the return to easy and modest American sportswear, encapsulated by its classic form, clean lines, and sexy confidence.

Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week concluded on Feb. 18, 2010 after presenting a flurry of Fall Ready-to-Wear collections to live audiences in the Bryant Park tents. And while fashion was the main news of the week, one of the supporting stories that earned almost as many headlines was the role of social media at the presentations. Live streaming shows, front-row bloggers, and constant tweets made the designers and their Fall lines more accessible than ever before to those spending the week outside of New York’s fashion frenzy.

It was indeed a revolutionary communicative experience, bringing fashion from the New York runways straight to the consumer. And though celebrities have long been a staple for fashion week gawkers, some designers, like Marc Jacobs, banned them from their shows altogether this year so that the focus could return to the clothes. That said, there was still plenty of eye candy from actresses Naomi Watts, Kirsten Dunst, Susan Sarandon, Demi Moore, Kerry Washington, Jessica Biel, Brooke Shields, Zoë Saldana, and a bevy of celebrity stylists and fashion editors.

Certainly, the death of designer Alexander McQueen cast a shadow over the proceedings, but there existed a sense of cautious optimism that was displayed throughout many of the week’s collections in everything from glamorous gala gowns to sportswear lines. There appeared to be a rebuff of trends, with designers forgoing previous notions of postmodern style and instead returning to subdued elegance and sophistication, with several nods to 80s flair. Muted shades consisting mainly of gray, taupe, and cream dominated the Fall color palette, along with an obsessive exploration of black in various textures.

Trends included layering, heavy knitwear, and military- and menswear-inspired suits. This was also a season of strong outerwear collections, revealing a spectacular abundance of fur and glamour. Yet the biggest trend of the week was the return to easy and modest American sportswear, encapsulated by its classic form, clean lines, and sexy confidence.

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