New York City, in terms of history, is a young fashion capitol. While we may lack a lengthy narrative and renowned houses with centuries of archives, we certainly have cast a world-wide influence that, on a good season, rivals even the storied labels of Europe. But things were not always like this...not by a long shot. And it wasn't even that long ago that household names like Calvin Klein and Donna Karan were showing their collections to international fashion editors in deserted warehouses and crumbling lofts in the garment district. It was only in 1991 that the influential British fashion critic Suzy Menkes was seated at Michael Kors's show in a run-down building when a piece of the ceiling fell on her head. We had serious talent, but not the resources to highlight them properly -- and things had to change.
While cities like London, Milan and Paris have no centralized space where their fashion shows are held -- one has to traverse the city multiple times a day to attend the shows held in various rococo spaces typical of Old World Europe -- in 1994 the New York fashion community converged, at the urging of publicist Eleanor Lambert, to present their collections during the span of one week in Bryant Park. Thus, New York Fashion Week was born.
But enough with the mundane historical details. The point is that this weekend, should you be looking for a chilly movie theater to hang out in and check out an interesting film about the magical world of fashion, James Belzer's documentary The Tents is being screened at the SVA Theater as part of NewFest 2011 tomorrow, July 23rd at 6pm. Check out the trailer below -- it features a slew of industry heavyweights weighing in on the glamour and the drama that comes together twice a year for the annual spring and fall shows.