NYC Fashion Week

Tue. October 4, 2011 12:00 AM
by Terrence Chappell

When I came to New York it was the first time I'd ever taken a plane, the first time I'd ever gotten a taxi-cab, the first time for everything. And I came here with 35 dollars in my pocket. It was the bravest thing I'd ever done.

Okay, so I totally stole that story from Madonna, and although my experiences in New York City may have not been as dramatic as the pop diva's, but that doesn't mean I didn't have as much fun experiencing the best NYC has to offer during fashion week. My awesome new job as EFFEN Vodka's Community Manager sent me to cover events that the upscale Vodka brand was sponsoring around fashion week. From checking out the latest cutting-edge fashion designers' runway collections to partying with NYC's finest, fashion week whisked me away in style and in good company.

I kicked off NYC Fashion Week with a private interactive fashion presentation of menswear fashion label Bespoken at Pier 59 Studios of Chelsea Piers. To the backdrop of the industrial lofty space of Pier 59, guests were welcomed to an inside preview of Bespoken's spring collection. Bespoken takes a sophisticated edge to fine fabrics and tailoring to produce a casual chic look that doesn't try too hard to be cool. Described as "classic looks with a little bit of a twist of an edge and rock n' roll inspired" by one of Bespoken's founders Sammy; the fashion label is the collaborative effort and passion of two sets of brothers whose travels and love of music led them to create Bespoken. Also present at the fashion presentation was Chicago natives Chris Free of Project Captured and fashion buyer and boutique owner Rafik of Shrine Haberdashers at 47 E. Oak Street.

Guests also enjoyed specialty made EFFEN cocktails. Mixing up a refreshing take on the typical Bloody Mary, EFFEN designed its version of the Bloody Mary with its newest brand EFFEN Cucumber. Guests could opt for an EFFEN Cucumber Blonde Bloody Mary, which infuses Tabasco with blonde beer.

Soho is definitely one of my absolute fave neighborhoods in NYC, so I was absolutely elated to attend the Frank Tell fashion presentation at the Soho Grand Hotel. As a luxury boutique hotel, Soho Grand elicits a warm and inviting rustic ambience that was an idea match for Tell's presentation. Tell's presentation included a few signature evening gowns in addition to more casual pieces that still retained an alternative spin to elegance. Of course EFFEN served up some custom-made cocktails modeled after Frank Tell. Guests were treated to EFFEN Barcelona Nights and the EFFEN Cucumber Masterpiece. Though both were delish, my personal favorite would hands down have to be the EFFEN Cucumber Masterpiece for its smooth and slick after taste.

I ended my NYC trip the same way I started it – with an EFFEN cocktail in hand to toast NYC fashion week - this time at the BCBG Max Azria Runway After-party at 1 Oak. NYC's jet set, scenesters, and tastemakers rocked their best BCBG to the live DJ sets of DJ Rashida of MTV's America's Best Dance Crew while spring's 2012 runway looks were streamed on screens throughout the club. Celebrity guests included Ashlee Simpson, Russell Simmons, and Vincent Piazza. Joan As Police Woman treated guests to a live set as bartenders served up some no-fuss EFFEN cocktails to party goers. BCBG's Max Azria mingled with guests and made his way through the crowd to shake hands with BCBG revelers. Also present was Chicago native Ricardo Sebastian of Luxury Management and Mini Bar. So, it was great to hang out with a fellow Chicago native. The after-party attracted a very down-to-earth and stylish crowd that just honestly were there to have fun and celebrate fashion – so I was in good company!

If I had to wrap up my trip in a Facebook post, it'd go a little something like this: NYC Fashion Week – EPIC. Rubbing elbows and interviewing emerging and established fashion designers – chance of a lifetime. NYC night life – undeniably fun. However, scoring last-minute grooming products from my hotel room – PRICELESS! (Oh, you all know you're guilty of it!)