New York Fashion Week kicks off in style

Jason Wu, Charlotte Ronson and Barbie (yes, really) kick start New York Fashion Week

New York Fashion Week kicked off this weekend, jumpstarting a month of back-to-back catwalk shows and celebrity parties. Well, almost back-to-back. Despite its Champagne-laced image, the fashion industry isn’t immune to a recession and you’d have to reside on the moon to have escaped the numerous headlines about designers scaling back the festivities this season.

Household names like Vera Wang are swapping the all-singing, all-dancing splendour of the tents in Bryant Park, where most of the shows are held, for more intimate presentations elsewhere in the city. Marc Jacobs has cut the guest list for his show, putting more than one fashion directors’ perfectly snubbed nose out of joint, and the likes of Zac Posen are cancelling their after-show parties.

Cash in the flights and put the Louboutins back into storage? Hell, no, there’s still plenty to keep us occupied Stateside this week, starting last Friday with catwalk shows from designer-to-the-first-lady Jason Wu (aka the brains behind that inauguration dress) and Charlotte Ronson (most famously known in the UK as the sister of Lindsay Lohan‘s girlfriend, Samantha, but soon to become something of a name to drop in her own right when her collection goes on sale in Harrods later this spring).

On Saturday, it was the turn of Lacoste, Karen Walker and, um, Barbie. Yep, Miss Plastic Fantastic was given the run of the Bryant Park tents for her very own show, to celebrate turning 50, with outfits designed by Calvin Klein, Donna Karan, Tommy Hilfiger, Diane Von Furstenberg and even Sex and the City stylist Patricia Field. Surreal? Just a little.

Bookmark marieclaire.co.uk today and check back every morning to see all the shows, watch exclusive catwalk videos and read our up-to-the-minute gossip from the front row and backstage.

CLICK HERE for the Diane Von Furstenberg A/W 2009 show

CLICK HERE for the Jason Wu A/W show

Report from Carla Bevan in New York

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