1. New Blood. There are more new designers showing this season that one could shake a stiletto at. Among the ones we're most excited to see? New York-based Mandy Coon with her devilishly downtown aesthetic that was born out of a bunny-eared leather purse; the pitch perfect haute hippie designs of Gregory Parkinson, who is a CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund finalist; and William Tempest - a British prodigy favored by the high fashion priestesses across the pond such as Kate Moss and Victoria Beckham.
2. Scorching Hotpots. Aside from the reopening of the (space formerly known as) The Boom Boom Room at The Standard Hotel, expect to see the well-heeled crowd angling to get into Le Baron. That little hipster joint from Paris will open in Chinatown this week. A similar, if not more rocker-y, assemblage will surely congregate at the re-opened dive bar Don Hill's where Rose Bar's Nur Khan and DJ extraordinaire Paul Sevigny (brother of Chloé) have taken over.
3. Fashion's Night Out! Where else can you have a karaoke contest judged by the Olsens? (Barneys New York.) Hang out with Jessica Alba and André Leon Talley as Janelle Monae performs? (Ralph Lauren.) Or be styled by fashion gurus such as Oscar de la Renta and Rachel Roy? (Macy's.) It's all happening on Sept. 10th! Better bring your credit cards, these design darlings aren't coming out for their health.
4. The Return of Muscle Milk. Even Marc Jacobs has admitted to indulge in this protein-packed refreshment. This time it coming to the tents in...a diet version! With a tag line like, "Get Fabuless," who could resist? Certainly not fashionistas with cinched waists!
5. Celebrity Showdowns! There are always a few starlets vying for the title of "Fashion Ubiquitor" each season. (In the past Mischa Barton and Lindsay Lohan reigned supreme...unfortunately said outings may have contributed to their stints in rehab.) The Gossip Girls - that's you, Leighton and Blake - have definitely put in their time of late. Will they continue to stand their ground? Only time will tell. Lest we forget that those L.A. sisters of swing, Kourtney, Kim, and Khloe Kardashian are attending the Bebe event on Sept. 14th.
6. The Battle of the Bags: Much like celebrities, there is also a handbag that tends to lord above the rest during fashion week. Lately we've seen plenty of peeps toting Lanvin's "Happy" bag, which means it could be over before it even started! The alternatives? Céline's Boston bag or perhaps the Fendi Peekaboo. Anyway you slice it, it's a fun distraction to play "name that bag" while you're waiting for the shows to start.
7. The (Newly Emancipated) Sheriffs of Sharp-Shooting! Billy Farrell, Neil Rasmus, and Joe Schilderhorn - a truly talented trio of photographers - recently branched out on their own to form the Billy Farrell Agency. Having spun off from Patrick McMullan, the (until now) reigning king of nightlife snaps, we're excited to see them work their magic front row, behind-the-scenes, and everywhere in between at the M.A.C./Milk Studios space, where they've been hired as the in-house photogs. (P.S. Brides, they do weddings, too!)