A Love Affair with the Runway
A Love Affair with the Runway

Twice a year, fashion designers from all over the world conglomerate in several cities around the world to preview their new collections. Over the course of a month in February and September, cities such as Milan, New York, London and Paris are descended upon by designers, models, celebrities, editors, socialites and other fabulous people who want to be in the loop about emerging trends for the season. This week is New York Fashion Week. All over Bryant Park in Manhattan, designers are showing off their Spring/Summer 2013 collections to magazine editors and other potential buyers.

Now some of you may be wondering why designers show their collections six months in advance. That’s about how long it takes to determine which items stores and magazines are interested in, to manufacture clothes and get them into stores and to put the Fall/Spring fashion issues of magazines together. Those 915 shiny pages take a lot of planning and forethought.

I’ve been a huge fan of Fashion Week since the days of Style with Elsa Klensch. I would sit in the living room glued to CNN, taking notes and marveling over all of the clothes. My sister and brother were not as enamored, often making fun of some of the clothes or begging me to change the channel (or threatening to beat me up until I did).

Alas, runway fashion is not for the masses. The clothes presented during fashion week are way too pricey for the average Jane, and a lot of them aren’t really practical for every day wear. I operate under the assumption that these shows are all about the artistry and the tailoring. As a typical American female with gobs of student loans and an average job, I know that I am not going to be running out to buy that Burberry Prorsum jacket. I also know that right now, there is no place in my closet for shoes that cost $1,000. But that isn’t why I love Fashion Week.

I watch Fashion Week for the inspiration. I like looking at the new shapes, colors and silhouettes that I can expect to see in the upcoming season. These shows allow me to consider clothes that I may not have thought of on my own. While I realize that fashion is all about individuality, it’s fun to experiment and try new things. Who would’ve thought that plaid, old-man golf pants would look so awesome paired with a simple top, a black leather jacket and some sassy high heeled booties? I never would have thought so, until I saw Gwen Stefani wearing a similar look. (Several of her L.A.M.B. collections have since featured plaid.)

Unless you are a Hollywood starlet or a socialite like Blair Waldorf, you probably aren’t planning on adding any looks straight off the runway into your closet. But you can use them to help break yourself out of a fashion rut. Looking at photos of runway shows can help you as you look in the mirror and try to figure out what to do with the hairstyle you’ve had since high school. Fashion is all about finding things that make you sparkle on the inside. What better place to get inspired than Fashion Week?


Alaina Brandenburger is a Colorado native and a pretty well rounded person. She enjoys people watching, sports, fashion and all things pop culture. A lifelong writer, Alaina likes to share her opinions with others and hopes that they are entertained. She is currently drifting through life observing, musing and enjoying the ride. You can read more of her work here, and follow her on Twitter.


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