Slip on your Louboutins and grab your Birkin — Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week is taking over New York once again. Celebrities, media gurus, and fashionistas from all over the world will head to the tents at Lincoln Center to watch big-name designers unveil their latest collections on the catwalk. Love the decadent hustle and bustle of New York Fashion Week, but weren’t lucky enough to land a ticket to a show? Here’s the scoop on what will be going on inside the tents, as well as tips on who to look out for.

By Brooke Sager

The Runway Rundown

103901583 10 Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Returns To New York City: All You Need To Know

Vera Wang (credit: Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images)

The week kicked off strong with the BCBG Max Azria show—always an annual crowd pleaser. Italian design label, Luca Luca debuted their line on September 9th, along with the winner of last season’s Project Runway, and the design students of Academy of Art University.

Other big names  rocking the runway mid-week: classically luxurious Diane Von Furstenberg, funky-glamorous Betsey Johnson, ultra-femme Vera Wang and look-but-can’t-afford Herve Lerger. The glamorous week will wrap up with Michael Kors and Nanette Lepore on September 14th, and close with Ralph Lauren (off-site show on 275 Hudson Street) and the Calvin Klein collection on September 15th.

The Stars

109182296 8 Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Returns To New York City: All You Need To Know

Anjelica Huston, Bette Midler, Debra Messing and Emma Roberts attend the Michael Kors Fall 2011 fashion show. (credit: Mike Coppola/Getty Images For IMG)

Looking to do a little stargazing? Fashion Week is the perfect time—troll the Lincoln Center tents and you’ll be sure to spot A-listers dressed to the nines, sipping on wine and sitting front row.

Celebs can be found at any show, but the bigger the designer, the better your chance of star-spotting. Last season, Debra Messing and seasoned actress Bette Midler made cameos at the Michael Kors show. Kellie Pickler, Kelly Osbourne and Rumer Willis made the front row at Badgley Mischka look like the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Socialites like Olivia Palermo and the Kardashian clan are sure to make another appearance this year. And of course, we can’t forget about New York’s resident Housewives; Ramona Singer is known to sit front and center with her daughter, Avery.

Be sure to keep your eyes peeled outside the tents, too. It is not unheard of for Kanye West to jump into an Aston Martin post-show and speed down 63d Street.

And ladies—the best place for celebrity man-gazing is definitely the Calvin Klein show. (Who wouldn’t want to see Kellan Lutz or Zac Efron in a suit?)

How To Get In

The Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week tent complex is seen at Lincoln Center - New York, NY - Feb 10, 2011 - Photo: Andrew H. Walker/Getty Images for IMG

The Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week tent complex is seen at Lincoln Center (credit: Andrew H. Walker/Getty Images for IMG)

If only scoring a ticket to a Fashion Week show was as easy as logging onto Unfortunately, it doesn’t work that way. Getting a runway-side invite means that you’re one of four things: a designer, a credentialed media veteran, an A-list celebrity or a civilian who knows someone in the fashion industry. But even then, that’s not all there is to it. Sure, getting an invite to the DVF show automatically dubs you “important.” But once you’re in the Theater, a whole other level of fashionista hierarchy comes into play. Read: Row 1 in the center of the runway makes you a much bigger deal than the person sitting Row 4 near where the models first walk out. And while a “standing” assignment may seem like a golden ticket to your average lover-of-style, let me just say this—Anna Wintour will never be caught standing during a show in her Blahniks.

So, aspiring Fashion Week attendees: What’s your best bet in regards to getting your hands on a show invite? Call up that friend of yours who somehow already has her foot in the fashion world door, and who possibly has an extra ticket to the Tory Burch show. Then dress to impress, and buy her dinner.

Stay Connected

109029796 Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Returns To New York City: All You Need To Know

(credit: Andrew H. Walker/Getty Images for IMG)

And if you’re a fashionista admiring from afar, here are the key players to follow on Twitter to stay in the loop:

Women’s Wear Daily: @womensweardaily

NYFW Tweets (Chosen By Twitter): @nyfw

ELLE Magazine: @Ellemagazine

Retweets from Conde Naste editors: @CNFashion

For the latest on New York Fashion Week, follow the Best of New York on Twitter!

Brooke Sager is a New York City-based fashion and beauty publishing professional.


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