Tennis Turns To Fashion Week

OTC’s trip to New York City, with the plan of covering back stage access to the US Open Women’s Final hit its first bump before the plane even left.

We sat on the runway for more than two and a half hours because of “weather issues” at LaGuardia.  Typically, these assertions can mean anything – or, to often, nothing.  But this time, I had an inside line to LGA.  My seat-mate, a youngish looking ex-military guy, had a friend in the tower who kept him abreast of the actual weather problem: tornadoes.

When we finally did make it to New York, I was whisked into the city and deposited at my hotel.  After freshening up, it was off to lunch at The Smith Midtown and meeting up with my fellow bloggers.  Then, we learned that the women’s final match had been postponed until late Sunday afternoon.  So, what to do?

Without missing a beat, our host had a new itinerary lined up in a flash: American Express’ private New York Fashion Week sky box.  So, off to Lincoln Center and through the back door into the tents.  We passed by the Mercedes Benz pavilion and turned down an unremarkable corridor, stopped at an unmarked door and, after appeasing security, passed through and entered the land of Amex.

Luckily, the outfit I had pulled together for the US Open also worked for Fashion Week (I had a little Fred Castleberry going on with the shirt).

Shirt:    J. Crew Washed Adler Tattersall
Pants:   Alpha Khakis by Dockers in navy blue
Belt:      Kiel James Patrick Hortock’s Compass Rose
Socks:  Dahlgren Metro Argyle
Shoes:  Remastered Converse Jack Purcell, by J. Crew
Bag:     Frank Clegg Signature Tote

After champagne and Tod English-catered appetizers (this is Fashion Week after all) we started with VLUV’s menswear show, not quite my or OTC’s taste, but exciting to see nonetheless. Then, we took a break to chat with Mimi Lombardo, style and fashion editor for Travel+Leisure magazine.

After that came the major show of the evening – Monique Lhuillier.  Anyone who has ever watched TLC’s “Say Yes to the Dress” should recognize this name.  Obviously not my forte, but the experience was pure New York glitz and glamor and a whole lot of fun for my female counterparts.

One thing I could not help but notice was the audience, above which we were perched, ensconced in luxury, and served by waiters (how many times in life will I get to say that?).  The women were for the most part decked out to the nines; elegant and trendy, no detail left to chance.  Even the more pedestrian attired ladies had a functional, classic feel to their ensembles.

The men, hover, seemed to embrace a “sloppy is cool” approach to their wardrobe with few exceptions.  Tees and jeans with fancy shoes seemed to be the rule.  Some were dressed quite smartly, but for the most part it was surprisingly schlocky for such an elegant affair.

That said, I did see a number of younger hipster dudes with the chunky Clark Kent glasses.  Their just-so college professor-inspired outfits were too often precious and overly scripted.  Cool, in a way, but forced; like they would go home and slip into some D&G black duds to loosen up.

Within the Amex Sky Box, it was a fun mix of people both enjoying the sights and sounds of Fashion Week and, for us at least, missing the US Open a little less.  Tomorrow – brunch with the charming and fascinating Richard Press, former CEO of the iconic J. Press.

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