Nostalgic For The Tents? A Last Look At NYFW's Lounges

by HANNAH LAWRENCE · February 23, 2010

Fashion Week just ended, and even though we're all fashioned out, we're missing the tents more than we care to admit, so we're taking one last look at some of the lounges that made last week so great. We'll never see that white, billowy, fabric in Bryant Park EVER AGAIN, and we're having issues thinking how Fashion Week is going to get some plastic surgery next year. But remembering what went on inside The Mercedes-Benz Lounge and The American Express SkyBox makes our mourning period a little less severe.

Gregory Littley spent significant time in both venues, and here are some of his findings:

W LOUNGE

Text invites are my favorite type of invites. So when I received one a few days ago from Tinsley Mortimer inviting me to her Samantha Thavasa Party at Bryant Park's W Hotels "Arrivals Lounge", I made sure to literally put it on my NYFW Fall 2010 calender. This years WLOUNGE, (located backstage at the Bryant Park tents) was a departure from NYFW's of the past. Inside the 'VIP-only' (small) space you're treated to an assortment of plexi-glass enclosed accessories, multiple flat screen TVs streaming that day's shows, and a full service bar stocked with Veuve Clicquot as well as Crumb cupcakes. All of this is shrunk down to fit into 350 square space.

For Tinsley's Samantha Thavasa event, neon pink and black "Scrawled" mini bags (think Stephen Sprouse) were strewn on every open surface in the lounge, creating a trippy envoirnemt for guests like Designer Richie Rich, Model Caridee English, and electro-pop trio Semi Precious Weapons. As always- Music MAKES a party- and the music in the W Lounge did not disappoint. A forty-ish women, with her daughter in tow, approached Ms Mortimer to lay a heavy 'fan moment' on the Tinz. " i read everything on the internt about you. We both love you", the mother gushed. The mother's daughter made a photo request and I earned the task of taking the snap shot of the three. Jokingly I commented that she should be prepared for reactions like that x 10, with the start of Tinsley's show "High Society" (CW, March 10th) .Shortly after, the crowd thinned out and Samantha Thavasa's main girl, Tinsley, exited to a show.

The Mercedes Benz Lounge

For the last season at Bryant Park, the Mercedes-Benz Lounge went dark and small. Dean + Deluca supplied the (few) snacks and there was never a shortage of the ever "tents" present, O.N.E. Cocconut Water. You could, at any given time, find a CW star floating around the draped intimate space. Matthew Settle (yes, Mr. Humphrey) was extremely flirty with almost every young woman in the Lounge, adding creditability to the recent reports of him and his wife (Naama Nativ) splitting. Filled with more industry types than any other lounge at fashion week, the Mercedes-Benz Lounge was the spot to mingle with editors and writers of 'serious' publications and outlets...think Bloomberg's Jason Harper, Hodinkee.com's Benjamin Clymer, and Maxim's William Buckley.

The American Express SkyBox

At the risk of sounding like "The Daily," the Amex Lounge definitely captured the title for 'chicest' VIP experience at the Tents. Conceptualized as a way for exclusive Amex card members to 'purchase' the much coveted NYFW experience, the Amex lounge has turned into a full fledged enjoyable destination for even the most jaded industry insider. In addition to being the only lounge that always you to actually view live runway shows (like 3.1 Phillip Lim) via huge windows that look out onto the "The Salon" + "The Tent", The Amex Lounge allows you to spread out and take a breath. Guests Like Tim Gunn (is "Project Runway" still on?) and designer Cynthia Rowley were invited to engage in personal 'meet and greets' with the Lounge's guests. It's by far the largest lounge at the tents, complete with its own step and repeat for their higher profile guest to be photographed in front of. The catering was provided by Wich'craft, making this particular backstage destination all that much harder to leave....

Tinsley Mortimer