You'll still need a ticket to sit front row. But several top designers are finding creative ways to make New York Fashion Week more inclusive — and more shoppable.
Following last season's existential crisis, which had many brands searching for ways to highlight already-available, in-season items, Tommy Hilfiger's collection featured looks that could be bought straight off the catwalk.
Ahead of Ralph Lauren's Wednesday show, to be held outside his Madison Avenue store, the designer promised "every look, every accessory, every handmade detail" would be available immediately after in the brand's flagship stores and online.
The creative duo behind Veronica Beard hosted its presentation in the basement of the label's Madison Avenue boutique. There, showgoers could shop the collection that's already in stores.
And at Rebecca Minkoff, which pioneered much of the movement to making Fashion Week more democratic, models strutted down a cobblestone street outside the designer's shop. After the show, 98 percent of the items seen on the runway were available for purchase in her Greene Street store.
Such forward-thinking initiatives are already paying off for the cult-favorite brand, which showed shoppable runway looks for the first time last season.
"We had a 200 percent increase in sales in the month after Fashion Week than we did the previous year," said Uri Minkoff, the designer's brother and CEO of the brand.
To see more from New York Fashion Week, click ahead.
— By CNBC's Krystina Gustafson
Updated 14 September 2016
Michael Kors' spring collection played with contrasts. Pairing jackets and coats with fluid dresses — and cinching nearly every look at the waist — the feminine collection had a romantic feel. Several of the styles were available for purchase immediately following the show, both online and in two of the brand's New York stores.
Did somebody say pillow fight? Clad in silk pajamas, robes, and dresses both short and long, models danced around Cynthia Rowley's West Village townhouse as feathers rained down on them.
Design duo Carly Cushnie and Michelle Ochs played with geometric shapes for their spring collection, including on swimwear.
The geometric theme at Cushnie et Ochs was also carried through via colorblocking and a two-tone lip, which was red on top and pink on the bottom. Like all of the brand's collections, it was designed with previous seasons in mind, so shoppers can mix and match products from fall with spring.
"That's absolutely a thread that always runs through," Cushnie said.
"We were even trying to pair our own clothes today," Ochs agreed.
Tommy Hilfiger invited consumers to take part in his show on "Tommy Pier." True to the carnival theme, there were food stands serving doughnuts, French fries and burgers, and rides including a Ferris wheel.
Tommy Hilfiger's new global ambassador Gigi Hadid walks run the runway at the designer's carnival-theme fashion show. Hadid created a capsule collection with the fashion house, which was available for purchase after the show.
Gap's Banana Republic brand was back at New York Fashion Week, this time with a newly named global style ambassador. Socialite-turned-reality-TV-star Olivia Palermo, who will be featured in the label's fall marketing campaign, curated roughly a dozen styles from the collection. They were available for purchase online and at the retailer's Flatiron location immediately following the presentation.
Banana Republic's spring collection was inspired by the design team's travels to India. The brand is looking to reverse a series of steep sales declines, with comparable revenue down 10 percent this year through August.
"Project Runway" judges Heidi Klum, Zac Posen and Nina Garcia posed for the cameras with guest judge Zendaya before the contestants' collections hit the catwalk.
The 15th season of "Project Runway" doesn't premiere until Thursday. So with the finale already being taped, Klum introduced all 16 contestants ahead of the show, so as not to spoil any surprises. Six "Project Runway" designers were given $9,000 to create their own 10-piece collections, which were presented during the Fashion Week taping.
Miss USA Deshauna Barber and Miss Universe Pia Alonzo Wurtzbach sat front row at the "Project Runway" show.
Rebecca Minkoff channeled the "gypset" lifestyle for spring (that's gypsy mixed with jet set, in case you were wondering), acknowledging that travel has become the new form of luxury.
"But at the end of the day, my nest is New York City," she said, explaining why she decided to host the show on a street outside her SoHo boutique.
For those who couldn't attend, the label livestreamed the runway in virtual reality, and partnered with a software app called Zeekit. That technology allows shoppers to virtually try on the runway looks, and see how they'd fit in various sizes.
The design duo behind Veronica Beard transformed the basement of its Madison Avenue boutique into an eclectic apartment party. With a DJ spinning tunes in the background, the spring looks were sprinkled throughout the shop. Visitors were given a simple map to help guide their way through the collection, with Pabst Blue Ribbon and other treats peppered around the room.
"The retail experience is so important ... to build excitement for your brand, and to get people out instead of going online all the time," Veronica Miele Beard said.
Rebirth was a central theme of Tadashi Shoji's spring show, which included ethereal gowns and voluminous skirts. Several of his looks included beautiful back detailing, including this gown that closed the show. Six of Shoji's spring designs were available for pre-order on his website.
Christian Siriano took showgoers on a trip to Capri. He carried the theme through via a bold turquoise and citrus color palette, bright parasols hanging from the ceiling, elegant eyewear and over-the-top hats. The audience broke into applause several times throughout the show, which featured a handful of plus-size models on the runway.
"I love spring. I have to say it's my season," designer Michelle Smith said backstage ahead of the Milly show. "I love the warm weather, I love the way I feel in those months and so spring/summer is always a joy to design."
Smith's affinity for spring showed through in her collection, which featured pops of orange and emerald green.
A model gets her hair and makeup done before Milly's spring show.
Tapping into the spirit of a nomad, Nicholas K designers Nicholas and Christopher Kunz aimed to create clothes that could be worn beyond one season.
Iconic fashion photographer Bill Cunningham died in June at age 87, making the September shows the first in decades without his presence. In his memory, IMG outfitted more than 75 photographers and videographers in a version of Cunningham's famous blue jacket at the Nicholas K show.
Models line up across the stage during Desigual's spring finale. The collection channeled a woman's "free spirit" and did not shy away from its signature bold patterns.
The models at Carmen Marc Volvo were made up to resemble dolls, with "porcelain skin and doe-like eyes." Elegant eveningwear was dressed down and worn with sneakers, bringing a child-like essence to the collection.
Son Jung Wan's spring collection brought the crowd back to the '70s. The show even included a guest appearance from legendary supermodel Pat Cleveland, who danced along the runway to hits including "I Love You Baby."
Jill Stuart's spring collection was big on color, from the multicolored eyeshadow down to the metallic rainbow shoes sported by some of the models. Stuart harnessed the spirit of a dancer, incorporating chiffon fabric and ombre coloring for a "fluid" feeling. Though none of the looks were immediately shoppable, Stuart said she's exploring ways to incorporate that capability next season.
Josie Natori's take on casual is still extremely elegant. Yet the designer's feminine and romantic collection was balanced out with more informal fabrics such as cotton. That made it "a little more playful," Natori said.
The event was hosted at the Waterfall Mansion and Gallery on the Upper East Side, and Natori said the intimate setting — complete with a trickling waterfall — delivered a feeling of "escapism." "I fell in love with that," she said.
Spring at Noon by Noor included plenty of sheer layers, draping and a delicate color palette. Several of the looks were paired with slippers, meant to evoke "nonchalant ease."
Bold patterns and prints were a standout at Nicole Miller's spring show, which was inspired by the culture of Panama.