Not Martha

Project Runway finale runway show weekend wrap up

Has it really been over two weeks since I got back from my trip to Fashion Week in New York where I got to see the taping of the Project Runway finale? Darlings I owe you details! Please forgive me, I’m afraid I’ve been distracted by the many, many tradespeople coming and going from our house (which will survive! And it looks like we’ll be getting new floors! Oh boy!) Most of these pictures appeared in my previous entries, sorry about that. Before I get to wrapped up in remembering: Huge thanks to HP for such a great experience!

When I got to the hotel HP was in the lobby waiting with champagne. This was fabulous and I hope that you too get to be greeted this way some day. My fellow bloggers, Jaime (Design Milk), Ez (Creature Comforts), Kelly (Design Crush) and Susan (Freshly Picked) were already lounging in preparation for heading out to see some Fashion’s Night Out spectacle. I got to meet Susy Jack, she’s as super nice in person as you’d think. Sadly I didn’t have time to get to the Missoni for Target pop-up shop that was set up in Central Park that evening. Do you know how much I regret that? A lot. Even though everybody is so over the Missoni thing already it would have been fun a week and a half ago, I promise.

The next morning early (very early West Coast time!) was the runway show at Lincoln Center. One of the details of the weekend that was downright decadent was that the hotel they put us up in, The Empire, was half a block from Lincoln Center. Some of the girls had views of the big fountain. It could not have been better. Also? That morning I headed out for coffee and some left behind essentials (I will never get the hang of packing) and a Starbucks and Duane Reade were just around the corner on the same block. It took me like seven minutes to get back to my hotel room. God I miss New York.

We filed into the tent that held the runway show. Know what? It looks exactly like it looks on television. Except during the actual runway shows there are giant tv cameras on huge robot arms swooping out over the audience.

I took pictures of our feet standing on the white runway, which is at floor level.

Heidi wore sparkly pants.

The runway shows were fabulous! And over far too quickly! Just like on the show! And in case you were wondering, we don’t know who are the final three. We watched ten (eleven? twelve?) runway shows, one for each of the contestants that was on the show at the time of the taping. So even if I wanted to I could not tell you who was in the finale episode. Project Runway is crafty like that.

Nina, Michael and Heidi? Look just like they do on television. From where we sat we had a great view of them and I found myself watching them as much as the models strutting past.

I was also keeping an eye out for Tom and Lorenzo because I’d found out the night before that I could bring a plus one to the HP Designer Reunion Party the next day and everybody in town that I knew was already going to be there. I had been talking about I hoped to meet Tom and Lorenzo while I was there and Susan (brilliantly!) suggested I invite them to be my plus one. We didn’t spot them but I did end up asking a tall guy in a suit who looked like he might be the guy in the sketch Tom and Lorenzo use. He had been sitting in the front row one seat away from Heidi and I had completely convinced myself he was Tom. So I marched up and asked. He was, ha ha ha, not Tom. I may have humiliated myself in front of a network executive but you know what? Tom and Lorenzo were totally worth that risk.

Milling around afterward we got, thanks to the charming and straightforward ways of Susan, to talk to Josh C, Mondo and Peach. Eeeeee!!!!

We got our picture taken at the booth for Unicef. I think I should start wearing glasses again, what do you think?

Before I left the tent at Lincoln Center I tracked down Mai ( whom I met at Broad Summit a few years earlier and who I knew was in town. We got our picture taken jumping, which is one of her awesome things.

We walked to Magnolia Bakery doing that quick-chat thing that people who don’t know each other well but should do, and we saw Chris Rock jaywalking. I got a pistachio cupcake, it was really good.

Since we missed stalking Tom and Lorenzo in person I sent them a message on Twitter asked them if they would join me for the party and they said yes! I might have done a little hopping up and down.

After that HP had us to Lincoln (a restaurant in Lincoln Center) for a very, very good lunch. This little treat was part of the dessert nibbles that came to our table and they reminded me of the Itty Bitty Cupcakes I made a few years ago.

That evening I joined Mai at the Mod Cloth swap party. It was really awesome, and Mai picked out a flattering and comfortable red dress for me. I took the subway back and at one point our crowded train sat with the doors open at a stop so long that a whole bunch of people bailed and sprinted into a different train across the platform. I was feeling adventurous so I followed them (also it was so hot in that train car, escaping seemed like a good idea). Turns out? Ha ha ha! I forgot that the trains that run in the center tracks are express. So I watched as my we blew past my stop, and the next one, and then I had to do that thing where I got up, went up the stairs, did a u-turn and went down the other stairs and found a local that was headed south.

But know what? I got to do some intense people watching so I regret nothing. True story, I was hanging out near a pillar to get this shot and while I was focusing another girl with a big DSLR came around the pillar, she was totally hoping to for the same vantage point. Mai was telling me that she thinks a lot of fashion bloggers hung out in the courtyard of Lincoln Center just getting photos of people as they came and went. If you can’t get into the show you still get to see cool stuff, right?

After I got back to my room and took off my shoes Susan called to announce that they were headed to Times Square with some friends and would I like to come along? Yes! Times Square on a Friday was super duper crowded and we ended up going to the four-story (underground) Forever 21 because some of the girls needed last minute dresses for the party the next night. Know what? That store had everything they have in Seattle but it’s not crammed into hanging racks so tightly that it’s impossible to actually shop.

I found the perfect bracelet for my dress the next night. I think it might be one of those No Really I Bought It At Some Cheap Store accessories, but only in low light.

Ez and I were there with Susan’s friends Natalie and Sharon who were as sweet and welcoming as could be. We got to take the elevator up and peek into Natalie’s apartment and it made me realize how I have forgotten just how even the best (and she lives on an amazing street, think Sex and the City or every single romantic comedy ever filmed in New York City) can seem small when you are used to Midwestern megamanshion architecture. Then again we do not leave our houses and immediately find ourselves on the Upper West Side and guess who wins there?

The next day we had free until the party that evening and despite my best efforts (see: West Coast time) I slept in. By the time I managed to be up and out I was wandering south thinking maybe I’d visit a spot in Central Park that has some rocks that are memorable to me and a boyfriend I had in college and every single romantic comedy ever filmed in New York City. And I ran into Mai again! I know it was highly probable but I choose to see it as a New York moment. Then it was time to go fight with my hopeless hair and get ready for the party.

Let me just say that HP knows how to throw a party. We were on the roof deck of the Empire with a faux red carpet and flashbulb photographers, two outdoor areas, plenty of delicious nibbles circulating, and we were surrounded by Project Runway designers from many seasons. Jay Carroll! Chris March! Peach again! (Who is everlastingly sweet.) Bert!

One of the favorite attractions was this photobooth setup that HP provided. After snapping the picture you could walk over to a bank of touch screen computers, find your photo and have it printed. It was a perfect souvenir! I hope to someday learn how they managed to make the lighting/lens/settings to be so universally flattering. Meee-ow.

Betsey Johnson!

One thing I learned being on the red carpet? If somebody who is too close to you points a camera with a funny half-sphere lens at an impossibly large group of people and assures you that you’re all in frame? Stand near the middle. That lens distorts a lot. Promise. Wanna see more official pictures from the party? Here they are, and here is a shot of all the girls on the trip. Sniff, miss you guys!

And I got to meet Tom and Lorenzo! They are even more awesome and cute in person. Love! It was so very loud when at that point that nobody could hear anybody and they were still a huge amount of fun. They introduced me to Emmett McCarthy!

As I remember it the party was supposed to end about an hour and a half before the music was actually shut off. The crowds in the elevators were a delightful whos-who of PR alums. Sadly my hotel room was only two floors down from the roof deck so I didn’t get to listen to many drunk elevator conversations.

Later that night Natalie, Sharon, Susan, Ez and I to Patsy’s where I only got a shot of this cute little bun and not the actual pizza, which was amazingly good. We closed down the place, and then we got ice cream.

I got this picture of the lit up sign on the way back.

I didn’t realize how much I missed New York, and now I want to make sure I get to live there even if for a short time. Or maybe a long working vacation.

· comments [7] · 09-28-2011 · categories:misc ·

7 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Ellen // Sep 28, 2011 at 4:25 am

    Megan, I loved this story from start to finish. You brought your usual eye for interesting stuff and ability to observe and share in a way that makes me want to keep reading. But there’s also a sense of wonder and appreciation that just made me grin for you!

  • 2 Lauren // Sep 28, 2011 at 4:33 am


    Sounds breathtakingly lovely! I’m so glad you had such a fantastic time. :)

  • 3 oonaballoona // Sep 28, 2011 at 5:55 am

    i live here… and reading this made me like it!!

    (that’s a tall order, considering the drunken group smoking outside my window at 2am kept me up all night).

  • 4 kat // Sep 28, 2011 at 6:32 am

    Wow, what a great time! You are certainly one lucky girl!

  • 5 Sara L. // Sep 28, 2011 at 5:17 pm

    such a great read, thank you ! And I am so jealous that you got to meet TLo. I think I would be more excited to meet them than any of the PR alums.

  • 6 Aimee // Sep 28, 2011 at 6:07 pm

    Oh, it sounds so wonderful! I’ve only been in NYC once as an adult, and it was not a fun experience (think winter, pregnant, on much too strict a budget to do ANYTHING). You make me want to give it a go again under better conditions.

    And I’m with Sara – TLo are my faves! Would love to meet them!

  • 7 Mai // Oct 1, 2011 at 9:39 am

    Megan, you = joy. It was really great to hang out with you during NYFW. You made my SS2012 NYFW an A+ time and I want to see a picture of you in that red dress!

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