"Project Runway" host Heidi Klum and her band of insiders (Michael Kors, Nina Garcia, Tim Gunn, and celebrity guest judge, Jessica Simpson) started the day off with the "Project Runway" show, where celebs in attendance included Jamie-Lynn Sigler, designer Betsey Johnson, Jordin Sparks, model Tyson Beckford, and producer Harvey Weinstein.
A few hours later, Christian Siriano -- perhaps the reality program's most successful alumnus -- sent his own Spring/Summer 2011 collection down the catwalk. Other prominent collections showing on the busy first day included wunderkind Richard Chai's womenswear collection and Ruffian.
Former Heatherette designer and downtown favorite Richie Rich is scheduled to conclude the first day of shows with a 9 p.m. collection under his own name. The club-kid couturier was known for throwing the most freewheeling shows of previous Fashion Weeks, with drag queens and circus acts not only on the runway but also in the audience and, judging by the clothes, also between his ears.
First-day attendees were most struck with the spacious facilities available at the Lincoln Center premises. Whereas guests once exited their cabs right on the curb at Sixth Ave. for a quick dash up the steps to the front door at Bryant Park, they are now welcomed by the gracious plaza and fountain of Lincoln Center in front of the main entrance.
The larger lobby area is also a boon to visitors killing time before the shows, notably for the new AOL media lounge-cum-conversation pit, which offers Wi-Fi, outlets for computers, and cables to recharge BlackBerries, and iPhones.
Charming as Bryant Park was, Lincoln Center is as welcome as a new season's wardrobe.
StyleList is your source for New York Fashion Week. Read our runway reviews and backstage beauty reports. Gawk at fashionable celebrities. Watch our video interviews with style personalities. Ruminate on it all with our roundups of Spring 2011 trends.