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Outside The Tents At Fashion Week: Day 1

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Though the shows (and festivities) began yesterday, today is the first official day of Fashion Week. We're sitting outside the entrance to the tents at Bryant Park, checking out the scene. Lord & Taylor has set up big ads on the sidewalk along the park and we've already received a free issue of T Style magazine and Forbes. There are a few people standing by the steps with signs that read "Save the Garment District." Some initial observations: quite a lot of women are going with super-high patent black heels this year, there aren't as many photographers outside by the steps as we expected, and overall the vibe is pretty low-key. Of course, we are outside the tents—it could be a complete shit show inside.

REVIEWS:

· A tempered but good report from the Patrik Rzepski show: "I toddled out to Patrik Rezepski's show tonight and I am glad I made the effort. The collection felt much more focused than his fall effort. The turnout was quite good which is always pleasing for an indie designer showing off site and off calender." [Almost Girl]

· A rave for Josh Goot: "Australian designer Josh Goot is wise enough to know that you don’t try to tinker with a good thing. His spring collection, unveiled today at Chelsea’s Borotolami Gallery, showcased many of the signature styles we’ve come to expect from the young designer; body-skimming silhouettes, fluid jersey, and a palette of matte metallics and sweet pastels. While many pieces pay homage to the key trends and shapes American designers pioneered in the ‘90s, Goot’s styles are free of the sporty severity that complicated many of his predecessor’s creations. Perfecting a blend of streamlined femininity and athletic sex appeal, Goot offers up pieces for the modern-minded wearer who appreciates, but is not entirely seduced by the sartorial past." [GlamChic]

· A positive response to the always-interesting Grey Ant and Rachel Comey: "Grey Ant was a breathe of fresh air. With ethereal music and a lightweight collection, the look was deconstructed tailoring and those wide-legged pants we all know and love...at Rachel Comey, we were transported to a 1950s high school where the librarian was a stylish vixen and the band was a surfer tune cover band. The librarians were buttoned up, but not too so, with their retro prints of florals and art, lightweight knits, high-waisted pedal pushers, and cutout dresses topped off with thick-rimmed specs and crimped side dos." [Tell All]

· Over-the-top sexiness at Mara Hoffman: "Here is a Spring collection that delivered some punch. Never one to shy away from bold prints, sexy cuts and flowing hemlines, you could tell Mara had fun with this one. Inspired by Birds of Paradise, in a forbidden garden to boot, the prints conjure up images of peacocks, art nouveau and simply - the tropics! Not for the shy, with necklines down to there, and hemlines up to here, these dramatic dresses and separates aim to please the hot weather jet-setter." [FabSugar]

· More love for Grey Ant: "The first show of the season was Grey Ant, the L.A.-based label known for its high-waisted, wide-legged denim. But those trademark jeans weren't the only seventies-inspired look on the Grey Ant runway: my eyes were glued to the massive curly afros flopping around the models as they walked. They were pretty awe-inspiring!" [Tell All]

· The expected traditionalism at Ellen Tracy: "A trendmonger the Ellen Tracy woman is not. But after two seasons of straitlaced classics, she could use a little flair. To that end, creative director George Sharp jazzed up the house's wardrobe staples with "couture" details — beading, smocking, pintucks, sequins — on safe-yet-stylish silhouettes. The strongest looks drew on a glamorous safari theme — an ikat sheath dress and wide palazzo pants shown with piled-on accessories — while ombré A-line jackets and maxi dresses looked fresh." [WWD, subscription req.]

· And dissapointment at FORM: "We were kind of looking forward to seeing FORM, a design collective led by Jerry Tam, since we had missed their Resort show on a Rockefeller Center rooftop. Perhaps our expectations were unreasonably inflated, or maybe we just made the mistake of walking in through the exit, where we found a crowded outdoor bar with dramatically lit mannequins decked in a series of inventively draped dresses, some more successful than others, which were hard to see through the crowd. We almost left before we realized that half the show was up the steps inside the hotel." [The Shophound]