NYFW Smackdown: Shows V. Presentations

by Cary Randolph Fuller · February 16, 2010

In the past couple of seasons many designers have eschewed major runway shows for smaller, more intimate presentations during Fashion Week. Others buck the trend and continue to park at Bryant Park. Custo Barcelona's show (top) and Fischer's presentation (above) illustrate the differences.

Go HERE to view more photos of the Custo Barcelona show by Sunny Norton. Go HERE to view more photos of the Fischer presentation by Tsunami Roberts. Tag yourself and your friends!

Both showcase beautiful collections on beautiful models for beautiful audiences, and both can cost tens of thousands of dollars to produce. When 2009's great recession hit the fashion industry, many designers pulled out of the tents, opting for more low key presentations of their wares. Now there's a light at the end of the economic tunnel, yet presentations continue to be a popular alternative to the glitz at Bryant Park that some say has become a little too commercial. Fischer took advantage of this trend on Sunday with a small event at Wild Project. Guests hung out in the cavernous space, swilling wine and Brooklyn Lager, and getting a close look at the pretty, vintage-inspired separates. The mood was casual and relaxed without any of the usual drama associated with Fashion Week.

On the other side of the fence is the designer who sticks with the tried and true glamour of the tents. Still a top destination for designers on the rise, it's the only place where the lights go down and all eyes turn at once to the collection as it appears on the runway. At Custo those lights showcased Custo's trademark prints and clingy cuts in rich velvets and bold neons. Backstage was a circus as models (including Eastern European favorite Tanya Dziahileva) mingled with reporters mingled with socialites, patrons, and stylists (including J. Alexander) mingled with the designer himself. Those present basked in the chaotic glow of the cameras, peaking around racks of clothes to view the models getting beautified for their debut.

Custo Barcelona and Fischer are perfect examples of why their industry can cater to a multitude of moods, sentiments, and trends through the atmosphere projected. One event isn't inherently better - like everything else related to Fashion Week, it's all a matter of style.