New York Fashion Week / Part One

Way back in high school, we used to have an algebra teacher who would repeatedly say "maths is not a spectator sport" to encourage us to participate and engage with the material. Though we like to think that fashion is about participation, and it very often is (after all, we consider helping our readers integrate otherwise intimidating trends into their daily lives one of our primary goals) when it comes to the bi-annual fashion weeks, we have to just sit back and soak it all up. It is with this mission in mind that we have gathered a well-edited selection of truly inspirational ladies in some seriously lust-inducing ensembles. We hope they help you get an idea of what some members of the fashion-forward cognoscenti wear while attending the countless shows and stylish soirees during New York Fashion Week.1. Erin Wasson
Though supermodel Erin Wasson has undoubtedly walked many runways at the Promenade in Bryant Park (the locale's largest and most prestigious venue), she was simply aglow to make her debut in the tents as a designer. The S/S 10 Erin Wasson x RVCA collection produced groovy girly pieces with an edge and Wasson's behind-the-scene look totally embodies her line's aesthetic. Seen here wearing an ethnic-printed voluminous coat, loose white tee, and skin-tight black jeans, the independent spirit managed to effortlessly achieve that just-thrown together brand of grunge-chic she executes and designs so well. Wasson finished off her look with an oversized black beanie and lots of long pendant necklaces (perhaps from her new costume jewellery collaboration with Mouawad!) including one that features a lighter on a chain-long live rock' n' roll!

2. Kate Lanphear
One of our favourite industry insiders-Elle's Style Director, Kate Lanphear-managed to look dressed-down and high-fashion while attending the shows at Bryant Park this past Sunday. One of the reasons we continue to keep an eye trained on this sartorial all-star is the amazing way in which she incorporates statement pieces into her wardrobe to create an inspirational yet wearable look. For example, her Yves Saint Laurent Imperiale Booties ($1395) pack a real punch (or a kick, in this case), so she smartly balances her aggressive soles with simple J Brand black jeans and a vintage Princeton sweatshirt. Just throw on some of your favourite chunky silver arm candy, and you'll be looking Lanphear-less in no time at all.

3. Alexa Chung
Small-screen star Alexa Chung was spotted flexing her layering muscle while enjoying the second day of Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week festivities in zee tents. We love her playful mash-up of classic pieces with trendier fare, such as a tweed jacket worn over a denim jacket and paired with winter shorts. Though Chung was toting her go-to Bayswater tote by Mulberry, we learned that the British bag brand created an entire group of "Alexa" bags for their S/S 10 collection, so she might soon have a new favourite style. We have always considered this it-Brit an icon and it's safe to say she has officially entered the sartorial pantheon as the namesake of her own scrumptious satchel!

4. Alexandra and Theodora Richards
The Sisters Richards are always impressively dressed, but we were particularly taken with their complimentary clothing choices when we saw them together at the BCBG by Max Azria show. Both girls wore dresses from BCBG's Fall Runway Collection; we love the mauve colour and draped details of Alexandra's Long Sleeve Origami Dress, while Theodora's Crepe Short Sleeve Dress features velvet paneling, one of our favourite fall fabrics! Though both opted for Louboutin heels and chic clutches, we appreciate the way they customised their looks by picking accessories in interesting colours and materials. We can't decide which combo we like best: the grey croc-embossed bag and sexy black heels or the mustard suede wrist bag with leopard printed pumps? Hmm, maybe both...

5. Byrdie Bell
While attending the Fashion Night Out dinner celebrating the Richard Hambleton exhibition, the always-impeccable Byrdie Bell looked chic and cheery in a romantic yellow Christian Dior dress. The bright colour of her fantastical frock proves that vivid hues are a great way to keep your fall gear looking fresh, just remember to ground it with weather-appropriate footwear, like an on-trend pair of thigh-high boots. Bell opted for Brian Atwood's New Davis Boots ($1495, 212.206.3928), which are certainly covetable, but any iteration of this shape will be a smart fall footwear investment.

6. Meredith Melling Burke
Though evening shorts were featured on a few F/W 09 runways, they were all over the S/S 10 catwalks, as well. It is no wonder then that Meredith Melling Burke, Vogue's Senior Market Editor and Who What Wear favourite, was rocking a great pair of chic shorts while attending the shows this weekend. Melling Burke rounded out her ensemble with a slightly sculpted strong-shouldered blazer and a classic striped Chanel bag, proving that no matter what the season, this behind-the-scenes star will always be in fashion!

7. Julia Restoin Roitfeld
As a Tom Ford model, freelance creative director, and daughter of Carine, it is clear that Julia Restoin Roitfeld knows a thing or two about creating seriously sultry ensembles. We have long admired this stunning brunette's ability to wear pieces that are risqué without looking as though she is trying too hard. While attending a Fashion Night Out dinner, Roitfeld managed to rock two of our favourite fall trends simultaneously: the long-sleeved mini dress and thigh-high boots. While her form-fitting sheath with slightly squared shoulders is au courant to be sure, we think the mid-thigh suede black boots elevate this outfit from stellar to out of this world!

8. Lauren Santo Domingo
Altuzarra is proving to be one of the most buzzed-about lines this season, and for good reason; Joseph Altuzarra's pieces have been spotted on some of the most directional dressers, while his front row was jam-packed with influential editors (did we mention that Vanessa Traina, Chanel Beauty ambassador and one of the best dressed girls in the world, strutted down his runway?). Accordingly, it's no surprise that Vogue contributing editor Lauren Santo Domingo wore a lust-inducing pale long-sleeved mini dress from Altuzarra's line to attend the Richard Hambleton dinner. LSD's selection demonstrates why Altuzarra-a former Givenchy design team member-is getting so much press; this wonder boy clearly knows how to create a strong silhouette that is both fashion forward yet flattering. Santo Domingo also opted for some seasonally appropriate booties, specifically, Proenza Schouler's High Heel Lace Up Suede Booties ($795) to finish off her look.

9. Taylor Momsen
On-screen teen queen and aspiring rocker, Taylor Momsen looked insouciant while running between shows this weekend. Though we love the devil-may-care effect of her Erin Wasson x RVCA cardigan and shorts (yes, they're under there), we are particularly taken with her stocking and shoe choices. The F/W 09 runways made many references to lingerie inspired garments, so it makes sense that this trend is migrating south and appearing on some of our favourite dressers in interesting ways, such as thigh-high stockings and garters. Momsen paired her sexy leg-wear with a pair of creeper booties from Phi's F/W 09 runway show. But what we dig most about this look is the way Momsen's clearly channeling Courtney Love's nineties/Hole look in the beauty department. Critics may complain that it's heavy handed and hard-core, but we think it's dramatic and fun and totally fash-week appropriate.-KM

Photos of Alexa Chung, Theodora Richards and Alexandra Richards, from Splash; Photos of Kate Lanphear and Meredith Melling Burke, from Getty Images.

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