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New York Fashion Week: Day 1

Style hunting, futuristic escapism, rock 'n' roll and a little bit of celebrity dominated the first day of New York Fashion Week.

BCBG Max Azria
Considering how depressing the present is, Max Azria had the right idea by focusing his fall collection on the future. Literally, the idea emerged through gold, metallic leggings paired with dresses that featured geometric shapes and precise cuts or fluid draping. Overall, it was more chic city girl than Judy Jetson. —Kenya Hunt

Jason Wu
Sighs were heard as each one of Wu’s breathtaking looks floated down the runway. It started with lady-like separates in mix-matched prints (patterned chiffon blouses with plaid tweed jackets), then transitioning to the real works of art: elegant, ethereal and fantastical dresses. It was all fit for — forget the first family — royalty. —Tina Chadha

Vena Cava
Lisa Mayock and Sophie Buhai kicked up the wow factor from last season’s understated glamour, adding texture and embellishments to their trademark lean silhouettes. Their elegantly edgy motorcycle jackets, asymmetrical blazers, and a silver foil cardigan were pitch-perfect, while the pieces featuring metallic fringe seemed to be a creative miss. —Kenya Hunt

Elise Overland
Rock 'n' roll glam clothes set the tone for the party-like atmosphere at Overland’s presentation. The shiny metallic and sequined asymmetrical jackets, trousers, mini skirts and dresses all had a certain “What recession? I’m going clubbing!” air to it. Our favourite moments, though, were the more understated ones such as a loose printed pant paired with a dry seaweed cotton jacket. —Kenya Hunt

Yigal Azrouël

Grace Jones gives an extra dose of cool cred
Grace Jones gave New York Fashion Week a shot of fierceness, making up for a day of front rows filled with little-known singers and actresses — who no one really cares about — by walking in the African Fashion Collective runway show Friday night. The event doubled as a U.S. launch party for Arise magazine, which chronicles Africa's diverse fashion world. The diva of all divas, dressed in Xuly Bet, in turn used her closing stroll down the runway to give kudos to her longtime friend Bethann Hardison, who won an award from the AFC for her campaign to get more black models on the runway.

"Grace and I met in the early '70s when we were both models. We were in Paris together and I was very close with (the photographer and artist) Jean-Paul Goude who made her his muse," Bethann tells me, explaining their history. "Grace and I would be standing together at some chic party or another and she had this thing where she would just stand there twirling and twirling her finger around in a glass of champagne. She did it everywhere, and would just say, 'I hate these bubbles,'" Bethann said, imitating Grace's trademark accent. "I'm pretty sure she still does it to this day. She was always who she is now."

The BFFs have both been busy as of late with Grace promoting her long-awaited new album, "Hurricane," and Bethann filming her upcoming documentary, Invisible Beauty, which follows her black models effort. "It's been a labour of love," Bethann says. —Kenya Hunt

The Bowery is the new Chelsea
For the past two years, Chelsea's art galleries have served as New York Fashion Week's neighbourhood of choice for off-site shows (meaning the runway happenings outside of the Bryant Park tents, the official headquarters for the week) and parties. But so far, it looks like Manhattan's Bowery area might be the new hot spot. The Bowery Hotel, the place where I'm laying my head this week, is already playing host to Paris' most exclusive nightspot Le club le Baron for a series of parties ending tomorrow. Meanwhile, next door, the designer Iris Loeffler showed her fall collection at Eva New York last night. And then there's Vladimir Restoin-Roitfeld, son of Paris Vogue editor Carine, who will be setting up camp down here beginning Tuesday at Collective Hardware at 169 Bowery (also the venue for tonight's ThreeasFour after-party) for a photography exhibit he curated and produced in collaboration with Louis Vuitton. —Kenya Hunt

Front row: Seen on the scene

Heidi Klum showing off a new short haircut at the Barbie runway show.

Solange Knowles — pictured here with actress Kiera Chaplin, left — being grilled about her morning eating habits front row at BCBG.

Actress Sarah Jessica Parker chatting up Vogue editor Anna Wintour at Alexander Wang.

Lindsay Lohan congratulating Charlotte Ronson backstage at her show.

Metro Mannequin
Name: Sang A
Occupation: Handbag designer
What she’s wearing: Jacket by Balenciaga, Future Classics harem trousers, Balenciaga shoes and a Sang A tote.
Her favorite moment of the week so far: “I took my daughter Olivia to see the Barbie show and it was ah-mazing. She was in heaven. They began with '50s-style classics looks and then moved into the future. My favorite was the look Threeasfour created for the show.”

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