Countdown to Fashion Week: Samples Arrive and Designers Stage Final Fittings Begin

Fashion Week is officially less than two-weeks away; In our Countdown to Fashion Week, we examine what designers and insiders are working on this week.

With a mere 10 days till fashion week officially kicks off, designers are in the midst of a whirlwind -- finishing fittings and working on the logistics of their fashion week shows. Fashion Week, at its core, is about the clothes, and designers say samples have started to arrive in their studios, allowing for final fittings to begin. Think designers are down to the wire? Many say that much of the design process happens in the days and even hours leading up to their show.

Designer Chris Benz, whose presentation is on February 13th at Lincoln Center, told us, “Every day new samples are trickling in, but the bulk will be ready closer to the end of this week.”

Benz keeps a close eye on the timeline leading up to his show, trying to leave as much time at the end for fine-tuning. “I love getting things done early so that there’s plenty of time for adjustments, fittings, and making sure everything is perfect,” he said. “There is so much design that happens even during the styling of the looks, and it’s always a blessing to have even an extra five minutes to marinate on each piece.”

Designer Elie Tahari is at a similar point in the process. He told us, “Samples of the collection arrived [on January 23rd]. Our design showroom is every woman’s dream."

Tahari, who this season will be showing his collection at his showroom instead of the Lincoln Center tents, has been spending his time in fittings and production meetings in the days leading up to his February 15th presentation. Closer to the event, there will be model castings to take care of, styling sessions, and hair and makeup tests.

Tahari and Benz, while heading two very different businesses (Benz is a rising star, while Tahari runs a commercial giant), interestingly find themselves in very similar places in the process, both taking a very hands on role in making sure that it all comes together at the end.

Being hands on means putting your life on hold during fashion week for these designers. Speaking about time off, Tahari says there is no such thing when he is in the midst of fashion week prep. "Weekend? What weekend, there are finishing touches to be made. But I’m feeling more inspired every day.”

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