From the front lines: Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Spring 2011

City Paper contributor Maggie Winterfeldt reports on Day 1

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I landed in New York Friday morning without a second to spare and raced uptown to Lincoln Center — the newly minted home of New York Fashion Week — to view the first of the Spring 2011 collections. Exiting my cab, I was greeted by a pack of tourists and paparazzi anxiously milling around, hoping for an A-lister to emerge from the tents.

Inside the exclusive fashion cave (which is heavily guarded by a pack of serious men in nicely-cut black suits) an uber-trendy crowd of media, stylists, socialites, and their entourages sipped ubiquitous complimentary bottles of Starbucks Frappuccinos and Fiji Water (both major sponsors) between shows, or got to work in the AOL press lounge. An Essie nail polish booth nearby offered complimentary manicures, if you were lucky enough to get an appointment.

There are three performance spaces inside the Tents. The largest is the expansive Theater, which houses the week’s biggest shows — think DVF, Carolina Herrera, Tommy Hilfiger. Next is the large (1,000 person max occupancy) but more personal Stage, and finally the Box, an intimate standing-room-only black box-style theater which can be easily transformed to accommodate a series of presentation styles and even small runway shows. It's home to many first-time Fashion Week designers.

Celebrity Sightings: Whitney Port at TresSEMME Lounge, Jonathan Cheban and Simon Huck from E!’s The Spin Crowd exiting the Tents, Entourage actress Perrey Reeves and singer Cassie sitting front row at Nicole Miller.

Trends: Long and loose silhouettes, neutral colors, floor-skimming hemlines, and layers.

Stay posted to Seersucker & Stilettos for reports from the Tents.

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