One Last Time, Fashion Under a Tent

Fashion & Style: Since 1993, the big tent in Bryant Park has changed the world’s perception of American fashion.
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Published: February 10, 2010

GEOGRAPHY has always been a convenient form of branding in Manhattan, where Madison Avenue, Broadway and Wall Street are shorthand for career tracks as much as they are addresses.

As the home of New York Fashion Week, Bryant Park is, to much of the world, synonymous with fashion. That is a fitting distinction since its wide-open lawn is also commonly referred to on Seventh Avenue, where famous designers like Donna Karan, Oscar de la Renta and Carolina Herrera have their offices, as the backyard of the garment district. So when the New York catwalks were centralized under a big tent there in 1993, it made a poignant narrative to show the clothes just a couple of blocks from where they were being created.

Sure, there were plenty of people then, as there are now, who thought it was perfectly appalling that a bunch of fashion designers should be allowed to take over just about the only patch of open green space in Midtown for their invitation-only affair. It may not have been obvious why fashion mattered to the thousands of tourists and commuters who walked by each day, irritated by the traffic, excited by the celebrities, bemused by the outfits.

But now, after a prolonged dispute between the designers and the park management, the Fashion Week that begins in Bryant Park today will be the last, before the event moves to Lincoln Center in the fall.
Read the full article today at FASHION & STYLES


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