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Photos and text by Lisa Klein.

I was able to sleep in and grab a huge fortifying breakfast involving actual grits at Whym on Columbus. We had backstage access to two shows, Mara Hoffman, showing on Stage, and Rafael Cennamo, showing in the Box. I went to check out Mara Hoffman by myself. Lais was supposed to come with me as the photographer but we couldn’t connect (I found out later she couldn’t get backstage, which was happening at some of the shows) so I was on my own. I started to work on perfecting my “I know exactly what I am doing here” persona with limited degrees of success; I had no idea what I was doing there. Backstage at a real runway show had a totally different vibe than the night before at Katya’s backstage. It was frantic, it was busy, there were lights and cameras and real actual press; people doing filmed interviews with the designers, models everywhere; just real actual mayhem. I wasn’t scheduled for an interview so basically I was soaking up the vibe and just checking things out. It seemed like more of what you see on shows like Project Runway when everyone is going crazy trying to get the models out on time. It was fascinating but you couldn’t really get a good look at the models or the clothes or establish a good connection with the designer. It was super fun in its own way, but so very different than the night before.

With that in mind I went to Rafael Cennamo and back to the safety and comfort of a backstage box. Rafael is from Venezuela and is very nice; I was standing behind him for about 20 mins before I realized who he was. The makeup situation was contained; the models again were tall, skinny, gorgeous, calm, and super young looking. Rafael specializes in luxury evening wear (one of my personal favorites) and his gowns were gorgeous. Jen scored a great interview (recorded on my iPhone!) and we both had pics taken with him. His handlers were very nice as well; everyone actually was really nice on his team. We stayed for awhile and soaked up the scene.

Next was the Mara Hoffman runway show; our first actual runway presentation. We walked back into the main entrance and Jen got a lot of attention for her fabulous Tsyndyma ensemble of a black cutout shouldered jacket paired with asymmetrical gathered and tufted black shirt and impossibly high heel ankle boots. She looked super trendy and it was so fun to see her picture being taken by the paparazzi that were hanging outside the entrance. I was wearing a more conservative Tsyndyma short black jacket and black pencil skirt; too conservative for paparazzi! I had also decided to ditch my black high heeled boots (my feet were killing me from the night before!) so hopefully Tsyndyma won’t read this and know I as wearing my Aerosole wedges with her outfit! I’m sorry Tysndyma!!

Even though you have tickets for a show, there is no guarantee you will get in (unless you have an actual seat) and you need to wait in line until they are ready to have the standers come in. We stood in a very entertaining line for about 45 mins which included: a guy in a black top hat; a man Jen was convinced was either Milli or Vanilli; a man wearing a mink stole over a suit jacket (an idea very inspiring to NY stylist/blogger Steven, who was standing behind us); Rai from, a fashion blogger from DC; a lady breast feeding (seriously!! in line to go into a runway show at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week!); and a woman in a fabulous bright purple suit dress, black hose and silver shoes. Jen and I kept imagining what would happen if people dared to dress like this in DC. One of our personal favorites was a woman from the previous night in a huge fur ball hat; sleeveless brown sequined dress, silver metallic hose and gold metallic shoes… oh, and the guy with oversized white “ketchup with you later” sweatshirt paired with panda sneakers and black leggings.

We had stage standing tickets for Mara Hoffman so we were up above the people in the seats, which was actually fine as we could see clearly the entire runway and had great views of the models. The show was amazing!

We headed back to see the Rafael Cennamo box presentation; which was fantastic and totally different from Mara Hoffman. I think that is one of the greatest things about seeing the collections; it’s amazing what people can come up with from their distinct creative design vision. It’s like being in a soup of creativity.

Being at the box presentations is also fun in that you can somewhat interact with the models. Jen was commenting on how beautiful the shoes were on one model who then mouthed to us “They are are so uncomfortable!” Poor thing seriously; the box presentations can last up to 90 minutes.

Our next show was Vantan Tokyo and we had priority standing tickets. We met the lovely Kristy Jones, a producer from The Pentagon Channel in line, yet another DC fashion attendee! It was so bizarre; it seemed like in every line we were next to a DC person. Priority standing means you can go in first so you get a front standing space which makes it much easier to see the show and take crappy pictures with your iPhone. Vantan Tokyo is a fashion school and this was their first time showing at Fashion Week in NY – great show, high energy.

At this point we were kind of pooped and our next show was at 9 pm. Jen, Jen, and I went down to Soho (on the subway! I am easily amused but would normally take a taxi; the subway in NYC is so much faster and more efficient, not to mention cheaper, than our DC metro) for a snack at Hundred Acres and then cabbed it over to the fabulous apartment of the very entertaining Don Patron. We spent the next several hours meeting really great and fun friends of his from NYC; eating and drinking. We did in fact miss our last show of the evening.

Click here for Lisa’s Day 3 Adventures.
Click here for Lisa’s Day 1 Adventures.


Being raised in New York by an artist mother, Lisa Klein has always been fascinated by design and artistry. Her interest in the design and artistry of fashion developed into a full fledged passion during her years as a sales associated at Saks Fifth Avenue during college. Lisa is currently the owner of Total Health Physical Therapy in Washington DC, a practice specializing in comprehensive structural physical therapy. Becoming adept at treating the structure of bodies has reinforced her love of clothing, artistry, and design. Lisa is thrilled to be able to merge her interests as a fashion correspondent. In her free time, she indulges her love of fashion by collecting vintage designer pieces. Some of her favorite designers are Alexander McQueen, Christian Siriano, and Nicole Miller.

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