Snobbery is out. Democracy is in at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in New York, where fashion's fans from around the world will get a "front row" seat through the live streaming of every runway show at Lincoln Center. About 90 designers will present their Fall 2013/Winter 2014 collections during MBFW. The shows will run from Thursday (February 7) through Valentine's Day (February 14) at Lincoln Center.
An invitation is still a "must" to attend a designer's runway show inside the Lincoln Center tents or at other venues around New York City. But the consumer interest in fashion has become so strong that fashion week in New York has become much more than a business.
Jarrad Clark, global production director at IMG Fashion, talked with Reuters Television about how Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week has evolved from an industry affair for "insiders only" to a social event.
"Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in New York is very important to the fashion industry," Clark said. "It's the beginning of the season. You know, this is when the editors and when the buyers are coming to have a look at what they're going to be putting in their stores and their magazines. And at the end of the day, what they're going to be reporting to us is what we should be wearing. And this is just kicking off what is the next six months of this season."
Metallic fabrics and finishes will be among the hot trends for Fall 2013/Winter 2014, continuing a trend from seasons past. But the big news this time will be metallic fabric made from cotton. Mesh textures will also come into play - and cotton will often be the surprising ingredient.
For fall and winter, many designers will color it green.
"There is a big color story, especially with the importance of print and pattern. With Pantone declaring emerald green as the color for this year, of course, green is in the forefront as a theme for color," Crumbley told Reuters Television. "And we see that not only in emerald green, but also really in a wide variety of green tones being used - from dusty moss greens to vibrant teal to even softer pastel tones."
Watch for coats with volume, some drama at the neckline to complement shorter hair, and skirts ranging from long to short, Crumbley said.
"In regards to, for short haircuts, is also interest placed around the neckline," Crumbley told Reuters Television. "We're seeing a lot of funnel necks, even turtlenecks coming back. And this just really shows off the face, brings a lot of attention to the face, especially with these cropped and shorter haircuts."
"Our lobby area is becoming more of a social hub, " Clark said. "You know, the business of fashion is obvious. That happens here. But now we're bringing bars, we're bringingDJs. We're just bringing a nice social environment to this area so that between shows, people can not only be doing their business, but there is also a networking opportunity going on."
In a digital world ruled by social media, the fashion industry is pulling back the curtain this season to help designers make a stronger and more immediate connection with their fans.
"Social media and digital platforms have really changed the landscape. And these events that use to be all exclusive have now become very inclusive. While you still have the golden ticket to come into the shows, you can actually see the shows out in the wider audience through Instagram, through Twitter, through Pinterest, and obviously, through live streaming. And the consumer's appetite is very, very healthy."
So fashionistas, if you didn't get that coveted invitation from Diane von Furstenberg or Michael Kors, you will have the next best thing: You can watch it on live stream fromMercedes-Benz Fashion Week in New York.