Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Jason Wu fashion show + after party

On route: Elizabeth, Barbara and Jordan

A bit of my dress which, by coincidence, matches the Jason Wu
fashion show invitation that we each received that morning.

Jordan and myself: no cabs for us!

{Brizo Day Three: cont.}

From day one of our Brizo adventure, we bloggers traveled in style. Black SUVs picked us up at the airport and our drivers delivered us with care to the front door of each destination. On the day of the Jason Wu fashion show, with a blizzard bearing down on most of New England, New York was experiencing a sympathy mix of slanted rain and slushy snow. Even so, we felt insulated within the city landscape and our Brizo bubble. Our drivers arrived at the Eventi with extra-large umbrellas and kindly extended an arm to steady us on our heels as we braved the elements. The show, as they say, must go on ...

At the Park Avenue location of the Jason Wu Fall RTW 2013 fashion show
Bloggers: Laura, Katrina // Brizo: Kristen, Laura

Vice President of Delta Faucet Jon Dartt with wife, Annette

While most of our seats weren’t on the runway floor,
we did have a fantastic bird’s eye view ...

An enormous crystal chandelier sparkles above large scale black and white floor tiles.
Pre-show press lines the runway. Celebs and VIPs claim their front row seats.

Backstage there is a small army styling Jason’s models.
photo credit: Jayme Thornton

Chandi close-up for my lighting geek friends (you know who you are!)

After we were allowed to take our assigned seats, we bloggers spent the next half hour or so crowd-watching, tweeting pics, and instagramming photos (#brizofw). When the stage and auditorium lights went completely dark, the entire audience hushed. Within seconds, the lights came back up at superbowl-strength-voltage and the show began. Fierce-sexy models appeared to glide onto the runway, strutting their stuff to Adele, Annie Lenox, and other killer vocals to parlay the collection’s theme of “strong femininity. Models were styled with their manes parted at the center, secured with silver barrettes at nape of neck. Electric amethyst eyeshadow in strong upward strokes. Nude lip. Cheekbones!! FYI: Jason is now offering an exclusive runway inspired collection via Lancome Paris.

Front row: Anna Wintour, editor of Vogue, stands out in the 
Pantone color of the year Emerald Green. Love it with black.

Confident stripes mixed with lace overlay patterns.
photo credit: Jayme Thornton

Crowd is interested and interesting.  photo credit: Jayme Thornton

This red and black number got Anna’s eye.

Yes, please!  photo credit: Jayme Thornton

Stunning! #tailored #elegant #movement  photo credit: Jayme Thornton

Love the criss-cross patterns paired with flowing fabrics.
photo credit: Jayme Thornton

A wearable collection that is buttoned-up sexy.

Black, white, leather, fur, SHOES!  photo credit: Jayme Thornton

Back row: Shelly, Marilyn, Laura, Ellen, Elizabeth, Donna, Yvonne, Adele, Greg
Front row: Kelly, Susan, Faith, Barbara  //  Missing: Todd, Lisa, Cristi, Katrina

After the crowd cleared, we all got a
chance to bask in the limelight.

The money shot: Laura, Gizem, Jai and Kristen
(who looks a little bit like Hillary Swank, doesn’t she?)

After the show, we returned to the Eventi to change yet AGAIN (3rd outfit since our 8:30am Brizo meeting that morning) into cocktail attire for the Jason Wu reception party. Outside the hotel lobby, a caravan of SUVs awaited us. It never got old.

{Cocktail party for Jason Wu}

Jason Wu gowns plus my vintage velvet bag with owl clasp

When we arrived at the penthouse suite on West 45th Street just after 5pm, we bloggers were beyond giddy. After receiving the royal Brizo treatment for the past three days, I think most of us were actually starting to feel comfortable in our very posh NY surroundings. We casually ordered our champagne cocktails, photographed each other with runway gowns, and struck poses in front of step-and-repeat backdrops, as we anticipated the arrival of the designer du jour, Jason Wu. 

With a row of gowns from the Jason Wu collection

Elizabeth and Marilyn

Katrina and Shelly with Jason Wu show on the screen behind them

Zigs and zags with Kelly Ottinger and Adele Young
 photo credit: Jayme Thornton

Marilyn, Laura, Donna

with Donna and Judd

Sitting pretty: Laura, Katrina, Shelly, Susan

Laura, Katie, Paula, Sarah

Advertising creatives Trevor and Nick with Jayme, our Brizo photographer

Meeting stylist Cannon, who introduced Jason Wu to Brizo
photo credit: Laura Brooks

Cannon making an appearance in our “creative-types” photo
photo credit: Jayme Thornton

Discovering Jason Wu collection for Brizo in the powder room.
Taking one too many pics actually made me late for this group shot ...

This season’s Brizo fashion week #Blogger19 group (minus a few)
photo credit: Jayme Thornton

And the fabulous Brizo team // photo credit: Jayme Thornton

In the same frame as Jason Wu!  photo credit: Jayme Thornton

When Jason arrives near the end of the evening (it has been a long day for this design star!) he shares the inspiration behind his runway collection and discusses his continued collaboration with Brizo. We take more photos.

Congratulations, Jason, on an amazing collection and absolutely stunning show! I feel so fortunate to have experienced this event with my new #blogger19 #brizofw family! Thank you, Brizo!

{Fashion show end note}

I have taken the liberty of selecting some Wu designs that I would love to have in my closet (while these aren’t exactly off the runway, they do have the same tailored elegance to them). What would you choose if you could wave a magic wand?

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Bonding with Brizo Part 2

At our prep station: Cristi Holcombe, Laura Bielecki, myself, Donna Hall
photo credit: Jayme Thornton

The evening before we are supposed to look Park Avenue fashion show crowd worthy, we Brizo bloggers are forced to prepare our own dinner. And it is predominantly carbs. Paired with many glasses of wine. And it is delicious. Chef Joel of Sur La Table cooking school, brought out the culinary genius in each of us, serving up professional instructions on how to make fresh pasta and flavorful risotto. And even when our dough wasn’t sticking together despite multiple passes through the pasta machine, he still complimented us for our efforts, stating our pasta was “beautiful.” 

“Fresh pasta is sexy.”
– Chef Joel Gamoran, Sur La Table

Bloggers and Team Brizo about to break bread at Sur La Table
photo credit: Jayme Thornton

A few key ingredients: fresh herbs, pine nuts, garlic

Induction cook tops were at every station. As was wine.
photo credit: Jayme Thornton

Faith, Susan, and Barbara talk shop between risotto prepping and pasta making.

This is Chef Joel’s idea of a “pinch of salt.
photo credit: Jayme Thornton

It is beautiful, isn’t it? Laura, Cristi, Donna, and “Dubai

Trevor Williams, Marilyn Russell, Ellen Cheever, Gizem Imer, Jai Massela

Voila! Fresh fettuccine with roasted winter squash, arugula, and pine nuts.

Brizo’s Paula Warner, Katie Feltz and Sarah Sinetean looking as if they
didn't lift a finger, but everyone pitched in. That was half the fun!

The other half was sitting down to enjoy a meal that we all took part in making.
photo credit: Jayme Thornton

{After dinner drinks}

Top of the Standard aka the Boom Boom Room at The Standard Hotel

After our meal, a group of us headed to The Standard for drinks. When we walked out of the elevator into this uber-hip and extremely sparkly roof-top bar (the carpet actually had glitter fibers in it) I was reminded of a DIFFA Dining by Design table I had seen the last time I went to New York with friends to attend the Architectural Digest Home Design Show. I felt like I had just stepped into one of my own blog posts! The in-real-life bar offers a 360-degree view of Manhattan and the lounge is pretty swanky with its luxurious ’70s inspired glam.

DIFFA Dining by Design at the Architectural Digest Home Show 2012

Saying goodbye to Cristi who had to leave early to attend a wedding.
Cristi, Laura, Judd, Laura

By this point, we knew that the Brizo trip was going to be cut short for a few of the bloggers since an impending blizzard was bearing down on New England. As a result, three of them had to be re-scheduled to fly out first thing the next morning in order to make it home for other commitments. Unfortunately they would not be able to attend the Jason Wu fashion show and cocktail after party, but we made the best of it by staying out as late as a bunch of people who just ate multiple plates of pasta could keep their eyes open for.

Some of us are staying for the duration ... Nick, Donna, Adele, Trevor

Surrounded by designers: Todd (on the left), Judd (on the right) 
Todd also had to leave in order to make it home to the Bahamas.
At least he was heading home to sunny skies and warm weather!

{Day Three}

At 8:30am the next morning, at the end of this long hallway, we reconvened to look at a number of top secret Brizo prototypes. I’m not sure how we all made it there on time, although they did encourage us by serving a champagne breakfast! While in the meeting rooms, we weren’t allowed to take photos and we were sworn to secrecy regarding what they showed us. I am able to say, however, that I saw one proposed model in particular that I would’ve taken home that day if I could, and another that will surely stand out for its inventive design. Hopefully they will both make it through their rigorous rounds of Brizo testing and product development schedules. Each one of these focus group sessions helps the Brizo team to adjust their new models based on what the professionals who specify their products suggest. I know I am speaking for the #blogger19 group when I say we are really looking forward to seeing what’s next in the Brizo line up!

As a thank you (as if being a New York fashion week guest, staying at a boutique hotel, etc. wasn’t enough) we each received a signed lithograph from Jason Wu, a sweet key chain with his owl emblem on it, and as I hinted at before, our choice of a Brizo kitchen faucet (which is something I really needed!) We were also invited to attend the first Brizo Blogger19 Reunion which will be held in Memphis, Tennessee this summer. While there, among other sure to be fun activities, past bloggers will tour St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital which is Brizo’s charity of choice. As the first national sponsor back in 2010, Brizo has dedicated annual support to the St. Jude Dream Home Giveaway, providing faucets and accessories for each brand new, fully designed home that gets raffled off to one lucky winner. The money raised via raffle purchases and ticket sales to view the Dream Home is used to fund research and childhood cancer treatment efforts at St. Jude. The Brizo people hold this partnership very dear to their hearts. We were told to plan on packing extra tissues for this field trip.

After leaving our last official Brizo “meeting we grabbed some lunch at the Eventi before heading to our rooms to change for the Jason Wu fashion show on Park Avenue. Next up in the queue will be pics from the runway and after party (I had a feeling I couldn’t edit this story into just a couple of posts!)

Brizo bloggers – and their bags – gather in the
lobby of the Eventi before heading to the show.