A week from yesterday, today and tomorrow, I will be in New York City wearing the equivalent of a Wonka Golden Ticket around my neck.
This accessory, which is actually a press badge not an easy-button necklace with one-click transport into Georgina Chapman's life, will not only grant me three-day admission to a fashion trade show the size of Micronesia but will also give me the opportunity to bring back to you, my readers, months in advance, a peek into the "new Autumn arrivals" displays at boutiques such as Bop, Revolve, Barney's Co-op, Muleh, Pink Mascara, La Garçonne, among others.
The event is called The Coterie, it's held at the Show Piers on the Hudson, and its list of participating vendors reads like the ultimate wishlist of ASJiNE-adored fashion lines:
Robert Rodriguez, Milly, Tracy Reese, Anlo, Diane von Furstenberg, Twelfth Street by Cynthia Vincent, Rich & Skinny, Dolce Vita, Twig, Karen Zambos Vintage Couture, Mara Hoffman, Goldenbleu, Madison Marcus, Elijah, Paul & Joe, Foley & Corinna, Alice + Olivia, Cacharel, Rebecca Minkoff, Castle Starr, Shelly Steffee -- the list literally goes on forever.
For those of you who, like myself, hadn't heard of this biannual event until very recently, its primary purpose is to serve as an in-person lookbook for personal stylists like Rachel Zoe and buyers attached to independent boutiques like Urban Chic and department stores like Neiman Marcus. Closed to the general public, The Coterie, unlike Fashion Week, is a cut to the chase, all-business atmosphere; sure, those in attendance will likely be dressed Sartorialist-cool -working on your feet 10 hours a day for 3 straight days is no excuse, after all- but I've been told on good authority to make like a fly on the wall the first two days and to just "observe," take in the well-oiled machine that is the designer-to-buyer transaction. Tuesday, the reported quiet after the stressful storm, is when I'll actually attempt to dialogue with the designers and/or their representatives to better understand the directions and influences behind their Fall/Winter collections.
And to fawn. To involuntarily and shamelessly fawn.
Why I'm taking two days leave from work, cashing in R's generous Amtrak Christmas giftcard and sleeping consecutive nights away from my life partner to attend The Coterie is threefold:
First, I want to identify with first-hand authority what the next season's trends will be from the smaller fashion lines.
Second, since I'm planning to conduct a series of post-Coterie interviews with DC-based boutiques' buyers to discuss the processes through which they "edit" their selections, I thought it important I, too, have firsthand familiarity with the collections.
And third, I just really want my Veruca Salt in the Golden Goose nursery moment.
As mature and collected as I know I'll need to be around these fashion insiders, you better believe my inner-dialogue as I walk past the new Robert Rodriguez dresses, Anlo straight-leg jeans and prim, slim, Karen Zambos blouses will look a whole lot like this: