Fashionistas set styles off the catwalk at Fashion Week

Wed Feb 15, 2012 12:10pm EST
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By Patricia Reaney

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Stylists, bloggers, former models and budding fashionistas aimed to make a splash off the runway as they descended upon New York Fashion Week this week, flaunting their own original looks and aiming to be snapped by photographers.

With the spotlight during the week-long event focused on the 90 designers showing their 2012 Fall/Winter Collections, the colorful, creative and sometimes bizarre attire worn by those hanging around the shows vied for attention with those on the main catwalks.

Indeed, many trend-setting fashion devotees can be seen posing and waltzing into Lincoln Center, where most of the main designers show, as if they were starring in their own private show. Some aim for fame, others to simply show off their love of fashion.

"It's all about seeing what is new and what is hot," said fashion stylist, image consultant and blogger Joy Adaeze while posing for photographers after viewing a show. "This season I've been inspired by African prints."

The 27-year-old New Yorker who grew up in Nigeria, created her look centered on an African print top, accenting it with a red skirt, faux fur wrap, snake-skin high heel boots. She never misses fashion week and aims to dress the part.

"I love hats -- turbans and hats. It's my trademark. It adds to the look," she said about the vintage sailor hat perched on side of her turbaned head.

The outfits of fashion insiders at the shows were as varied as those on the catwalk with the style-conscious eager to see and be seen, and photographed, by the hordes of photographers who cover the semi-annual event which attracts about 232,000 people.

This year's event is expected to generate $865 million for the city coffers, up from an estimated $773 million five years ago, according to the New York City Economic Development Corporation.   Continued...

Combination portraits taken outside of the Lincoln Center, site of the Fall/Winter 2012 New York Fashion Week, February 13, 2012.  REUTERS/Carlo Allegri