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After several seasons in which a slew of starlets and reality show contestants filled the front rows, there's been a noticeable scaling back this time round. It's not that you missed J.Lo and Reese and Nicole on your rounds: They just didn't bother to show up.
"I think it's the first season I haven't been run over by Beyoncé's bodyguard," said Cindi Leive, the editor in chief of Glamour. The lack of star wattage at the shows this season is partially the result of the freezing-cold temperatures that have socialites, editors, buyers and celebrities alike bundled up like bubble people. "It's really hard to show off your tootsies when it's 10 degrees out," noted Ingrid Sischy, the editor in chief of Interview.
And there was the scheduling of the Super Bowl during fashion week — "In Miami, no less, which is warm," publicist Paul Wilmot pointed out — not to mention a slew of promotional events in Los Angeles related to the Oscars, which were moved up this year from March to late February.
But it's almost always cold in February in New York, and the Super Bowl was held at the same time last year. So while those explanations may have some validity, other observers cited the alack of celebrities as proof fashion week has been organized poorly, that it lacks sufficient glamour — and that, at some shows, the tacky factor is way too high. (One veteran publicist complained of the "souk atmosphere" in the tents with aggressive Mercedes salesmen, a cocktail bar in the back and AstroTurf on the floor.)
It's as if the pendulum has swung and the industry is self-correcting after several seasons in which a phalanx of reality-show winners and underemployed actors rushed the tents, thereby turning an appearance at the shows into a fairly reliable indication that one had too much time on one's hands.
Just as soon as the photographers at the Marc Jacobs show in September could be heard screaming, "Hey Winona, over here," others could be heard asking, "Hey? What's she done lately?"