Fashion

Front-row ticket to New York Fashion Week

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Your front-row ticket to Fashion Week

Attendees leave NYFW at Moynihan Station on Sept. 11, 2015.
Adam Jeffery | CNBC

New York Fashion Week has always been chaotic, but the spring collections have presented yet another challenge for the industry: The need to rush around Manhattan to and from the event's two main venues, which sit about two miles apart.

Though the logistics have certainly been complicated, the move away from the pop-up tents at Lincoln Center has resulted in a more subdued Fashion Week. With less space—and time—for attendees and wannabes to linger around or outside the venues, the circus that has long been associated with the event is decidedly more tame.

Several designers were fond of the move to more permanent event spaces in midtown and downtown Manhattan, which allowed them to be more creative with their shows. For Nicole Miller, whose collection channeled the New York City streets, the SoHo studio allowed her to articulate the show's message without much work.

"When you're in a tent it's sort of boring," the designer said, adding it takes more effort to spruce things up. "[This season] we kept it simple because the space was so great looking."

For more highlights from backstage and on the runways at New York Fashion Week, click ahead.

—By CNBC's Krystina Gustafson
Published 14 Sept. 2015

Tommy Hilfiger

Models walk through water at the conclusion of the Tommy Hilfiger Spring/Summer 2016 collection presentation during New York Fashion Week in New York, September 14, 2015.
Andrew Kelly | Reuters

Models at Tommy Hilfiger's show walked on water.

The American designer tapped into the Caribbean for his spring outing, taking quite literally what the brand referred to as a "joyous romp through the turquoise waters of Jamaica."

Tory Burch

Models present creations from the Tory Burch Spring/Summer 2016 collection during New York Fashion Week in New York, September 15, 2015.
Eduardo Munoz | Reuters

Tory Burch found beauty in the unexpected for her colorful spring collection. In addition to Tuesday's runway show, the designer just launched Tory Sport, her much-anticipated line of athletic wear.

"Project Runway"

Project Runway judges Heidi Klum, Nina Garcia, Zac Posen and guest judge Carrie Underwood at NYFW Spring 2016 on Sept. 11, 2015.
Adam Jeffery | CNBC

Judges Heidi Klum, Nina Garcia, Zac Posen and Carrie Underwood took to the catwalk before the season finale taping of "Project Runway."

Because the show's finalists have yet to be shown on air, six of the contestants' collections were paraded on the catwalk, so as not to tip off the audience to which contestants advanced. The designer of each respective collection was also kept under wraps.

Betsey Johnson

Models walk the runway during the Betsy Johnson fashion show at NYFW Spring 2016 on Sept. 11, 2015.
Adam Jeffery | CNBC

Everybody wants an invitation to Betsey Johnson's party. The lovably wacky designer celebrated 50 years in the industry by taking showgoers on a trip back in time, with each of the event's segments featuring looks that defined the respective decade for the 73-year-old icon.

Backstage at Lacoste

A model poses backstage at the Lacoste fashion show during NYFW Spring 2016 on Sept. 12, 2015.
Adam Jeffery | CNBC

Lacoste described its spring collection as "relaxed elegance"—a vibe that was carried through into its simple but stylish beauty look.

Kate Spade

Models pose during the Kate Spade presentation at NYFW Spring 2016 on Sept. 11, 2015.
Adam Jeffery | CNBC

The brand's creative director, Deborah Lloyd, transformed a traditional studio space into the quintessential New York City bodega—complete with thousands of fresh flowers, mini-bagels and egg sandwiches.

"We have such harsh winters in New York so we all celebrate when that sunshine finally comes out," Lloyd said.

The fashion house effortlessly weaved together looks from its namesake label and its just announced Broome Street line, which puts a more casual spin on the Kate Spade aesthetic.

"We have the mix of the high and the low," Lloyd said. "It just offers our girls so many more ways to wear our clothes."

The line comes just months after Kate Spade folded its lower-price Saturday label.

Diane von Furstenberg

Model Karlie Kloss leads the finale at the DVF fashion show during NYFW Spring 2016 on Sept. 13, 2015.
Victor Virgile | Gamma-Rapho | Getty Images

DVF's spring runway was packed with noteworthy models including Karlie Kloss, seen here. Other notables included Kendall Jenner, Lindsey Wixson and Lily Aldridge.

BCBG Max Azria

Models walk the runway at BCBG during NYFW Spring 2016 in New York.
Adam Jeffery | CNBC

After traveling overseas for her fall collection, Lubov Azria stayed home for her spring outing. Dubbed "California Dreaming," BCBG's collection keyed into the surf and skateboard culture for which the Golden State is famous.

"We actually did a lot of research on skateboarding believe it or not," Azria said. "Not because our customer skateboards, but the idea of ... how much that culture really influenced the world."

Custo Barcelona

Models walk the runway at the Custo Barcelona fashion show during NYFW Spring 2016 on Sept. 11, 2015.
Adam Jeffery | CNBC

When people try to imitate your look, you do the opposite. That's the attitude that Custo Barcelona designer Custo Dalmau took for spring, by rejecting the notion of fast fashion in favor of all things slow.

"We invest a lot of time in all the pieces," Dalmau said, explaining from his showroom that instead of working with patterns, he assembled parcels of different materials into his garments.

Rachel Zoe

Models pose during the Rachel Zoe presentation at NYFW Spring 2016 on Sept. 13, 2015.
Adam Jeffery | CNBC

Showing her namesake label at New York Fashion Week for the 10th season, the celebrity stylist-turned-designer said her collection has become much more concise over the past five years.

"I've learned a lot about kind of editing and fine-tuning and really kind of making tighter decisions," Zoe said.

"You learn and hopefully you get better with age—like wine and cheese."

The multitalented Zoe will return to TV later this month, in a new show called "Fashionably Late."

Rebecca Minkoff

Models walk the runway during the Rebecca Minkoff fashion show at NYFW Spring 2016.
Adam Jeffery | CNBC

Rebecca Minkoff's shows have become just as known for their high-tech edge as they have for the clothing.

For spring, the designer sent drones up and down the runway to capture looks as they came down the catwalk. She also incorporated wearable technology into her accessories, including a collection of Apple Watch bands.

Givenchy

A model walks the runway at the Givenchy Spring Summer 2016 fashion show during New York Fashion Week on September 11, 2015 in New York.
Catwalking | Getty Images

Who said fashion is only for the elite? Givenchy broke two of the fashion world's norms during its spring show.

First, the Paris-based label showed its collection for the first time in New York, after opening the doors to its only Manhattan stand-alone store earlier this year. Perhaps even more controversial, the design house also allowed hundreds of members of the public, who signed up for tickets online, to attend the show.

Banana Republic

Models pose backstage at the Banana Republic fashion show during NYFW Spring 2016.
Photo: David X. Prutting, BFA

Banana Republic also broke fashion week norms—albeit in a less disruptive manner. The retailer once again took to New York Fashion Week to debut its upcoming collection, allowing budget-conscious fashionistas to participate.

This season, the lineup drew inspiration from Morocco.

Monique Lhuillier

Models walk the runway during the Monique Lhuillier fashion show at NYFW Spring 2016 on Sept. 12, 2015.
Adam Jeffery | CNBC

Know for her beautifully feminine gowns, red carpet favorite Monique Lhuillier didn't disappoint.

Vibrant blues, pinks and emerald green brought the cheerfulness of spring to life, as did the designer's bevy of floral looks.

Nicole Miller

Models walk the runway during the Nicole Miller fashion show at NYFW Spring 2015 on Sept. 11, 2015.
Adam Jeffery | CNBC

After frolicking in the forest for her fall collection, Nicole Miller took to New York City's streets for spring. After opening the show to the voice of a subway conductor, the designer's looks played up the contrasts between the grit and beauty of the streets.

Last month, the designer celebrated the 10-year anniversary of nicole by Nicole Miller, her affordable collection sold at J.C. Penney.

Tadashi Shoji

Models walk the runway during the Tadashi Shoji fashion show at NYFW in New York on Sept. 10, 2015.
Adam Jeffery | CNBC

Another celebrity favorite, Tadashi Shoji channeled the beauty of a Japanese garden—still damp with the smell of fresh rain—for his spring collection.

The designer's parade of dresses brought this theme to life by incorporating wisteria, blossom motifs and flower petals.

Alexander Wang

A model walks the runway during the Alexander Wang show as a part of Spring 2016 New York Fashion Week at Pier 94 on September 12, 2015 in New York City.
Antonio de Moraes Barros Filho | FilmMagic | Getty Images

Perhaps more talked about than Alexander Wang's spring collection was the designer's after-party, which featured performances by pole dancers.

Until recently, Wang was also the creative director at French fashion house Balenciaga. The two announced earlier this summer that they would part ways after just three years.

Hervé Léger

Models walk the runway at the Herve Leger fashion show during NYFW Spring 2016 on Sept. 12, 2015.
Adam Jeffery | CNBC

The sister label to BCBG stuck to what it knew for spring—body-hugging frocks that leave little to the imagination.

Lacoste

Models walk the runway during the Lacoste fashion show at NYFW Spring 2016 on Sept. 12, 2015.
Adam Jeffery | CNBC

Though the Rio de Janeiro games are nearly a year away, Lacoste drew its inspiration from the forthcoming Summer 2016 Olympics—and rightly so.

After outfitting the French Olympic delegation at Sochi, Russia, last year, the brand will once again be worn by its country's premiere athletes come August.

Custo Barcelona

Models walk the runway at Custo Barcelona during NYFW Spring 2016 on Sept. 11, 2015.
Adam Jeffery | CNBC

Custo Barcelona's spring collection also featured swimwear, perfect for warm-weather aficionados planning a pre-summer getaway.

"The inspiration [for the collection] is the challenge of ... keeping the [brand's] identity but showing your DNA in a new and refresehed way," Dalmau said. One way of doing so, he said, is sticking to the vibrant colors the label is known for.

Desigual

Models walk the runway during the Desigual fashion show at NYFW Spring 2016 on Sept. 10, 2015.
Adam Jeffery | CNBC

Desigual brought the electricity of Barcelona, Spain's streets to life with its spring collection, designed to evoke the free-spirited and independent nature of women.

Models didn't simply strut down the runway—true to city life, several donned oversize headphones, with one carrying a selfie stick.

Prabal Gurung

Models walk the runway during the Prabal Gurung fashion show at NYFW Spring 2016 on Sept. 13, 2015.
Adam Jeffery | CNBC

Yellow and orange hues dominated the runway at Prabal Gurung's spring show, which paid tribute to the Nepalese designer's home country.

Since Nepal was hit by a devastating earthquake in April, killing more than 8,500 people, the designer's Shikshya Foundation Nepal has raised more than $600,000 in relief funds.

Jenny Packham

Models walk the runway during the Jenny Packham fashion show at NYFW Spring 2016 on Sept. 13, 2015.
Adam Jeffery | CNBC

Jenny Packham's spring collection played off the idea that masculinity and femininity are not mutually exclusive.

Pop culture icons Mick Jagger, David Bowie, Patti Smith and Nick Cave served up inspiration for the British designer, who said masculinity and femininity are "perpetually passing into each other."

BCBG Max Azria

Models walk the runway at the BCBG fashion show during NYFW in New York on Sept. 10, 2015.
Adam Jeffery | CNBC

BCBG's California cool vibe was carried through in its set design, including a runway that channeled a beach boardwalk.

Backstage at Lacoste

Models hang out backstage at the Lacoste fashion show during NYFW Spring 2016 on Sept. 12, 2015.
Adam Jeffery | CNBC

Models goofed off backstage at Lacoste's spring show. Although New York hosted its first-ever men's fashion week earlier this summer, the French brand was one of several houses to include men's looks in its show.

Jason Wu

A model presents a design by Jason Wu during New York Fashion Week in New York, on September 11, 2015.
Trevor Collins | AFP | Getty Images

Feminine ruffles and a bold red lip were two takeaways from Jason Wu's spring collection, which was heavy on glamour.

Victoria Beckham

A model walks the runway at the Victoria Beckham Spring Summer 2016 fashion show during the New York Fashion Week on September 13, 2015 in New York City.
Victor Virgile | Gamma-Rapho | Getty Images

Showgoers on the hunt for celebrity sightings need look no further than Victoria Beckham's front row. The former Spice Girl's husband, David Beckham, was once again in attendance.

Backstage at Nicole Miller

A model in hair and makeup backstage at the Nicole Miller fashion show.
Adam Jeffery | CNBC

A model receives the finishing touches for her city slicker look ahead of Nicole Miller's spring show.

"Project Runway"

A model walks the runway during the Project Runway fashion show at NYFW Spring 2016 on Sept. 11, 2015.
Adam Jeffery | CNBC

"Project Runway" fans will have to wait until the season finale to find out which of the show's budding designers created this flowing gown.