After eight days of nonstop fashion shows, parties, budget woes, and free McDonald’s lattes, Fashion Week fall 2009 is over. We turned to IMG senior V.P. Fern Mallis (basically Fashion Week’s fairy godmother) at the Ralph Lauren show this morning for some final words before it all becomes merely a blurry neon-hued memory. “I think it’s been a great week! I think the energy and the enthusiasm and the attendance — all of it was as good as ever,” Mallis said, noting the economy may be the elephant in every room, but didn’t plow everything to the ground this season. “It didn’t stop Fashion Week as we know it from functioning. It didn’t stop the parties from happening, the shows from going forward, or the dinners or the entertaining.”
Mallis added she didn’t encounter a single person who wasn’t excited about the move to Lincoln Center’s Damrosch Park in 2010. But what about Anna Sui, who bemoaned the move because Lincoln Center is too far from her studio? “Anna Sui is the only one who likes to walk with the rack from her office,” Mallis said.
What will Mallis do with herself now that New York’s fall 2009 collections have all been shown? Why, judge a new Bravo reality series, of course! Mallis will judge Fashion Show, along with Kelly Rowland and Isaac Mizrahi, who also plays host. It’s Bravo’s Project Runway replacement, in which designers compete for a chance to have their clothes sold at a major retailer. A studio audience will in part determine the winner. Mallis said Bravo knew her from her guest-judge stints on Project Runway and called her up to ask her to do this show. “I think they liked the credibility that I bring in a show called Fashion Show. I mean, hello?” So while she does that, we’re going to go drink and collapse somewhere, hopefully in our own bed. Fall 2009, it’s been real.