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Written by Baille Gelwicks. Photos courtesy of Baille Gelwicks.
Christian Siriano photos courtesy of Sara Kerens. More photos below.

As Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week (MBFW) FW14 nears, I look back on MBFW SS14. The minute I returned home to Washington DC, I wanted to go back to New York to be inspired again. The people, the parties and moments shared with friends were particularly memorable this year.

Day one came early with a 2am wake up call to catch the 3:30 train to Penn Station. Thank goodness for a partner in crime; traveling with my friend Heather gave me someone to share the pain with. With only one hour of sleep, Heather and I were ecstatic to have a surprise ride to the train station instead of hailing a cab. The day was off to a great start when the cab driver dropped us off about 30 blocks away from our hotel. Back on the right track, we reached the hotel, finished getting ready and headed over to Lincoln Center. Thank goodness for free illy coffees in the lobby. I grabbed three and was off and running.

Feeling lucky to have been invited to the Project Runway Season 12 Finale show this year, I was excited to see what this young group of designers were going to bring to the table. This show would also be my first time in the photography pit. Bless you photographers as I don’t know how you do it. Pushing, yelling, people making ridiculous selfish requests so that they can get “their shot”. It’s every man for himself in there. The highlight of the show was what appeared to be a dress made entirely of beads. I simply can not resist a bead of any kind. Next, we were on over to backstage at Carmen Marc Valvo, whose use of black and white wigs made his models appear as clones for an instantly tied together collection. Front row at Noon by Noor had me checking off another box on my list. Beaded embellishments on soft knits made me an immediate fan of the collection and one of my top 3 favorites of the season.

A break for lunch in Little Italy with a Molly Sims sighting left our wallets a little lighter but our stomachs and spirits a little fuller. Jealous that Heather was on her way back to the hotel for rest and relaxation I was on my way back to Lincoln Center to see fellow Fashiontographer Fashion Editor Lais for the fourth annual ELLE FASHION NEXT show. We spotted Coco Rocha, Charlotte Ronson and a slew of other celebrities. A runway show featuring the designs of students from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, we were about to view the next generation of designers. This inspiring show ended with a meet and greet on the terrace with Fashiontographer contributor and copy editor for Elle Magazine, Elyse Moody. The night was not over, however, as I was on my way back to the hotel to grab Heather for a night out on the town at Tenjune. When we finally got back to our hotel it was official, I had been awake now for 24 hours straight.

Day two began yet again with more illy coffee. Coffee in one hand and free Maybeline samples in the other, I ran into Joel from DC’s What Do I Wear and jewelry designer Sophie Blake. So good to run into friends unexpectedly. What a small fashion world. An interview backstage with Son Jung Wan was first on my to-do list that morning. After that it was out to see the runway show. A gorgeous white jumpsuit started the show off with a bang. I would love to see a bride wear this to her wedding reception.

On the road again, I hopped in a cab and made my way to Chelsea Piers to meet Lais for backstage at Christian Siriano. Always the highlight of every fashion week season for me, this year was no exception. The collection was a whole other level of lovely. After going backstage to interview with Beyonce’s Manicurist Lisa Logan, Lais and I headed over to Birchbox for free samples galore, a quick show at Milk Studios and then off to dinner before the Christian Siriano after party at the Gramercy Park Hotel. Thanks to Sara Kerens, Christian Siriano’s House Photographer, we were able to snap a photo with Christian himself. After all, we all know if it’s not on Facebook it didn’t actually happen.

Day three started off strong with Lela Rose, Tracy Reese and Diane von Furstenburg. Tracy Reese was by far the most packed show I have ever been to. After seeing Joanna Mastrioanni it was back to the hotel for me to grab a quick bite to eat and change for the last show of the evening and my final after party. On my way back to Lincoln Center that night I met a lovely gentlemen who used to be the head make-up artist for Chado Ralph Rucci and danced feet away from Baryshnikov. There truly is no place on earth like New York.

Another truly energetic show by Emerson and then I was off to Chinatown for the after party. A cab ride from hell and five walks up and down the same street later, I finally found where I needed to be. I was greeted by Fashiontographer contributor Danielle Green who introduced me to a jewelry designer whose designs have been worn by Justin Bieber. Great conversation and good people, it was nice to be at a relaxing after party.

The morning came yet again too early on day four. Mathieu Mirano and Carolina Herrera were my first two shows of the day. Both very different styles but equally as glamorous. Lais and I then headed over to the HSN suite party where we returned with a purse full of swag. We were then off to meet Fashiontographer’s Editor-in-Chief Walter Grio for lunch with Elyse Moody at the ELLE Magazine head quarters. What a perfect end to my MBFW SS14 experience.

After lunch I headed back to my hotel to pack my bags and head to the train station. An hour delay gave me time to pause and reflect on the past four days of fashion heaven… oh and the pomegranate smoothie that I would need to get when I arrived home. Time for sleep and antioxidants!

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