I will never forget my first New York Fashion Week. It was September of 2005 and I had ditched an entire week of class to fly solo to New York, bunk with generous friends, and work back-of-house at the shows of any designer who would have me — it was a fashion major’s dream! Seven years later, there’s still nothing like the energy of fashion week in New York.  Not an available cab in sight, but plenty of models dashing from show to show in full hair and make up with their skinny jeans and cotton tank tops.  I remember leaving Rag & Bone one year directly behind Grace Coddington and thinking to myself, “I could literally pull her bright red hair!” Helmut Lang having drinks at The Mercer is on the top of my favorite designer sightings list and having Thom Browne walk me personally through his new collection in his Tribecca store is a fashion week moment I will never forget. After wrapping up work Friday, I’ll be on the first flight out Saturday morning and plan to squeeze in as many meetings and shows into four days as humanly possible (I’m really sad I won’t be there in time for Marissa Webb‘s presentation — she is definitely going to be one to watch!).

If you only buy two pieces this fall, make sure it’s a pair of pattern pants (not denim) and a great leather jacket.  These pants from A.L.C. are the perfect gateway pattern pant because they are dark and there isn’t a lot of contrast in the colors, making them more subtle and also more flattering if you’re curvier on the bottom.

When it comes to a leather jacket, you want it to fit you precisely in your shoulders and then tailor in around your waistline.  Because leather is such a heavy material, it isn’t going to drape like most fabrics, and you want the fit to be exact to keep it from looking wide and boxy. This drapey chiffon top is a nice juxtaposition to the heavy weight of the leather and I like how the tail of the shirt floats behind me as I walk.  Kind of dreamy right?

Since the baroque trend couldn’t be hotter this season, I highly recommend a pair of gold pumps as well.  I have had these for years and they’ve proved to be quite the good investment!

For the latest runway looks from the new Spring collections, be sure to check out Style.com —  I would love to know who your favorite collections are. Also, has anyone ever stayed at The Ace hotel in New York? Aaron and I always start the day there at Stumptown, but this will be my first time checking in. Would love to know your neighborhood recommendations!
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Jen Pinkston