During this month’s New York Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week, I was lucky enough to be given the opportunity to attend my first fashion show. I could not have been more excited as a shopaholic and fashion-obsessed person to attend one of the Nolcha Fashion Week: New York shows. Held at Chelsea Piers, Nolcha Fashion Week: New York is a leading award-winning event showcasing independent fashion designers and previewing their collections to a large, eager audience of press, retailers, stylists and industry influencers. Now in its seventh year of showcasing independent designers, Nolcha Fashion Week: New York has become an established platform for discovering and promoting innovative fashion designers through its runway shows and exhibitions. It’s a fantastic way to see the collections of the big designers of tomorrow. The weeklong event was sponsored for the third year by professional hair care RUSK, renowned for its innovative products and styling techniques.
“I attended the runway show of acclaimed Italian designer, Danilo Gabrielli. Now in its fifth season, known as SS14, Gabrielli describes his signature style as structured, classic and elegant with an edgy finish. The designs showcased at Nolcha fit this vision perfectly. They were glamourous yet many were work appropriate and easy to wear. The hair and makeup was really fun too: big teased hair and big cat eyeliner, which was a juxtaposition to the more approachable fashions.

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Other designers who showed at Nolcha included Vanity Project, Stacie May, Maita Morimo, and Mariana Valentina.

Here are a few things I learned during my excursion to Chelsea Piers in case you find yourself in a similarly fortunate position and can attend a show in the future.

1. Dress to Impress

You’re probably thinking, “Duh.” But seriously, do try your best. People were attired in many various levels of dress up so whatever you feel like, goes. But no one looked schlubby, except maybe that blogger who’s look it is is to dress like a hobo.  

2. Take a few minutes to explore before heading to your seat. 
There were vendors giving out free goodies and offering complimentary cocktails. It was definitely worth checking out before moving into the runway area. It was also a great place to see and be seen more clearly.
3.. Get your cell phone ready.
As soon as the show began, cell phones were up in the air faster than you could say “Danilo.” Everyone was snapping photos of the runway looks. I have enjoyed looking through the photos I’ve taken as a reminder of the designer fashions.
4. Ask questions if you have them. You may get lucky.
The designer quickly scooped up a girl from the front row to walk with him at the end of the show. I did not know the story so I asked the person next to me. Apparently the girl, Katherine, was the 10,000th child to make a wish with Make-A-Wish Metro New York. Katherine’s wish was to be a fashion designer, which Gabrielli helped come true by working with her the week leading up to the event and featuring two of her pieces in his show. “Katherine’s wish to be a designer played a major part in inspiring my next collection,” Gabrielli told the Nolcha Fashion Week blog. “It was incredible to work along side such a brave young girl and to help see her dream become reality.” This touching and inspired move made me even more of a fan of the Gabrielli’s and the overall experience, and I would not have understood what was happening had I not asked.
danilo and katherine
4. Walk down the runway before you leave.
Why not? We didn’t do it strutting or anything but me and my friend went to the runway and walked down it instead of walking out behind the seats. When else can you walk the catwalk?
5. After the show, check out the paparazzi area.
This was how we got to get a good long look at supermodel Coco Rocha. There was also an unknown celeb being photographed that I later found out was Jennie Mai, host of the Style Network series How Do I Look? Even most of the people around me taking pictures did not know who she was but we were all excited to be in the presence of famous people. 
6. Don’t get your hopes up too much about the after party
We did attend the after party for a bit. But it wasn’t what you would picture in your head. At least not this one. It really seemed like just an average night out at a club. Maybe if we had stayed longer Gabrielli or Rocha would have dropped by but I’m sure we would have been waiting quite a while for that. And in the process, there would have been a lot of standing up in our heels with no where to sit. But I’m not complaining! We knew when it was time to leave the party and had a fantastic time at the show overall. 
Here’s to another New York Fashion Week and Fall coming to an end and I hope that all participants had a fun and fascinating experience.