NYFW Day 1: From Self Portrait to Alexander Wang (and some serious seafood!)

By Ally Dean

Fashion and beauty editor Ally Dean is making the rounds at New York Fashion Week, spotting celebrities at every turn and going backstage for the secrets behind some of the week's most impactful collections! Here, her diary from day 1.

NYFW Diary, Saturday Sept. 12

11 AM: SELF PORTRAIT
Jessica Biel, Rachel McAdams, Emily Blunt and Kristen Stewart are just a few of the celebrities enamoured with new label Self Portrait. Designer Han Chong made his New York Fashion Week debut and his line of nouveau lace, sheer panels and ladylike silhouettes presented on a pile of white-washed furniture. We predict this label will be a red-carpet staple come next spring.

CLICK THE IMAGE FOR MORE DIARY PHOTOS: A model struts the runway at Herve Leger by Max Azria.

1 PM: HERVE LEGER BY MAX AZRIA
Fashion’s favourite bondage dress was remade this season with bodysuits and bellbottoms walking down the runway. The show, which was held at the Arc Moynihan in midtown drew models like Petra Nemcova, who took in the party-ready collection from the front row. Bell sleeves and intricate embroidery make this collection an ideal wardrobe choice for Beyoncé, who frequently wears the label on stage.

4 PM: BANANA REPUBLIC
I was inspired by Grace Kelly,” Sarah Lucero, Stila makeup artist, tells me when we caught up with her backstage at Banana Republic. “It’s a bright pop of coral on the cheek –but it’s a sheer base, so more of a watercolour coral – and perfect luminous skin.”

Sarah Lucero poised and ready to touch us up.

Trust a makeup artist to give you a touch-up before leaving the backstage area. “Every editor can use a touch of blush to wake up their complexion during fashion week!” Here, Sarah poses with her beloved beauty blender after giving me a much-needed blush-boost.

7 PM: ALEXANDER WANG
Walking into the spacious yet drafty Pier 52 for Alexander Wang’s tenth anniversary show set the stage for his aggressively cool collection. The theme? The idea of pressing the reset button, projected on a screen at the entrance way:

CLICK THE PHOTO FOR MY COMPLETE DAY 1 DIARY: The theme of Alexander Wang's show.

“It’s a very raw natural beauty, so all we did was apply cream to the models’ skin, just to make sure they are hydrated. And that’s it.” These were the words Diane Kendall told all beauty editors who stood momentarily dumbfounded by the simplicity. Consider this the easiest makeup look to achieve at home, like, ever.

Across the dimly lit expansive backstage area a cloud of mist seemed to grow and swirl like a funnel. “Just keep adding texture and working with the hair,” yelled hairstylist Guido Palau to his team from the centre of the product cloud.

The easiest beauty look of all time!

The final look? An androgynous urban girl with unlimited swagger. A vibe that resonated with front-row fixtures like Kanye West and Lady Gaga.

9 PM: CATCH RESTAURANT
This trendy, bi-level eatery is found in the heart of SoHo and features "Top Chef" winner Hung Huynh's specialty seafood menu. Must-have include the black cod lettuce wraps, scallop gnocchi and spicy margaritas.

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