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Inside The Bryant Park Tents: Muscle Milk and McCafe

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As evidenced from the crowds of gawkers who line the entrance to the Bryant Park tents daily during Fashion Week, people are curious as to what happens underneath the magical structures that take over the park and pump loud bass at random times. Since it's something like our home away from home during this period, and we always try to make it as though you're experiencing the shows along with us through liveblogs, we thought we'd do a complete look inside the tent.

It's not as glamorous as you might imagine, especially once you enter the McCafe for a free small iced mocha and get a whiff of the porta-potty vapors scenting the place. Or perhaps you're reaching for a refreshing boxed water or Coke and realize that instead, you've grabbed a Muscle Milk.

Just about the highlight of your day, other than the shows themselves of course, might be using the same porta-potty as French Vogue editor Carine Roitfeld (not at the same time, obviously).

Perhaps the least surprising lesson learned in the tents is that people go batshit over free stuff. Apparently one can never eat enough Lu chocolate biscuits, or drink too many Diet Cokes. When the Sharpie booth showed up, they were mobbed with people grabbing Sharpies for two days straight. And we won't even start on the Tresemme hairspray situation.

On the other hand, those attending shows in the tent this season should be happy there are freebies at all. Although there was all this hubbub about shows not greeting guests with swag on their chairs because of the recession, there has been little mention of the fact that swag has disappeared this season. Case in point: last year at BCBGMaxAzria, we received a tin of generic mints. This year? Nada. If there are gifts on offer, such as at Christian Siriano and Yigal Azrouel, they are only for the front two rows.

Of course backstage it's a whole different show, with VIP mini-lounges sponsored by the likes of W Hotels and Mercedes Benz. Each has their own menu of free goodies (like Pop Burgers in the W) and gift bags for the few welcomed through their temporary doorways.

And now back to the tents...
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