Photo Diary: New York Fashion Week

The internet is home to a glut of information on how to fake your way in to New York Fashion Week (seriously, Google it). But for the hundreds who desperately want in there are thousands who don’t understand why this week, or its worldwide counterparts, matter. New York Fashion Week has become an arena housing a spectacle of sartorial gladiators, a place to see and be seen, and a bit of an enigma to those who don’t work within the industry.

Perhaps it’s because Fashion Week is about more than just clothes. It exemplifies much of the quintessential New Yorker’s spirit, i.e. a willingness to get your hands dirty, a toughness that is untarnished by its accompanying grace, and the indestructible love of being in the thick of things. It proves it is possible to thrive on experiences — and to live on free Zone Indulgence bars and Light Frappuccinos, to don bare legs and five-inch heels in the midst of a snowstorm, to reapply your makeup in Sephora between show and party, and wash up in a portable toilet.

Plus this year marked the end of an era: the last season after 17 years of shows at Bryant Park before it moves to Lincoln Center. Below, check out some of our favorite images from a week filled with sartorial adventures.


Project Runway season two alum Daniel Vosovic keeps his models consistently ethnic at his presentation at Exit Art.


Mark Hunter’s (TheCobrasnake.com) latest tiny muse, Julia Frakes, and Phil Oh (StreetPeeper.com) at Milk Studios


Patti Smith does a surprise performance at the LNA after party.


Jared Leto tries to hide under endless knitwear at Milk Studios.


American Express presents a multimedia board of Twitter posts regarding NYFW.


Rachel Zoe minus one former assistant, Taylor Jacobson, at Prabal Gurung (spy 2nd assistant Brad in the row behind)


Anna Wintour sheds her infamous sunglasses momentarily to get a better look at Prabal Gurung.


Thirsty guests begin queuing up at the bar before it opens at 4:30 p.m. (champagne runs out within the first 30 minutes, though there are plenty of alcoholic alternatives that last all through the evening).


Anna Sui takes a moment to graciously thank her audience (after the gift bags I’m graciously thanking her back).


Tim Gunn is as composed as ever despite the hilarious photographs and adoring fans that surround him.

All photos courtesy of Alia Kahan.