My New York Fashion Week adventure turned into a Week in New York adventure, so I’ll have to break it down into a couple posts. First, I’ll break down my direct experiences with the Diet Coke Red Dress fashion show and later this week I’ll show what I did with the other half of my time.
I finally got into my hotel on Tuesday evening after my shuttle driver forgot to drop me off near Times Square; I ended up at 188th street before he realized his mistake. I stayed in the Westin New York at Times Square and it was perfect. McKenzie and Austin came and stayed with me so we made a party of it, even filling the bathroom sink with ice to make a place for our Diet Coke.
After getting all fancied up (I nailed my sock bun, by the way) McKenzie and I met up with the other four winners and their +1’s, our Diet Coke contact and the winner of the Diet Coke and Target t-shirt design contest and his +1. We piled into an SUV limo and drove over to the Hammerstein Ballroom to attend the pre-show event.
The backstage was set up so the party was in the balcony while the models get their hair and makeup done on the floor below us. Right about the time our initial star-struck-ness wore off (McKenzie helped me identify any Kardashian-related people) we met Minka Kelly, the celebrity face of the Diet Coke campaign. I’ll admit, I didn’t know who she was before I won because I had never really seen any of the shows she acted in. She was really genuine and sweet.
As we took one-on-one pictures I realized that the way I had my arm around her felt a little like I was her boyfriend so I said, “I hope this isn’t awkward,” to which her response was to grab me in a big bear hug. “Is it awkward now?” We just laughed; no, it wasn’t awkward.
McKenzie and I spent the next couple hours spotting out celebrities, enjoying drinks from heart-print paper straws, chatting with different women and getting heart-themes painted on our fingernails. My favorite part of the evening was interacting with different women. While waiting to get our nails painted by the artist we chatted with a woman and her mother, who was a federal employee, and with two women from the James Beard Foundation.
As I was walking out of the show at the end of the night, I spotted two women: one tall, thin black woman standing 6’4” and an older woman with beautiful white hair and a black, fur coat. I doubled-back and went up to tell them how impressed I was by the first woman’s height, admitting it was my first fashion show and I’d been nervous to wear heels. They both seemed surprised/disappointed to hear that:
“At these things, you just do you!”
“Yes! I wore four-inch heels on the plane yesterday!”
Can you see why I loved it?
The show itself was very fun feeling and actually quite short. It started with a video about the Heart Truth then each model’s reason for supporting the Heart Truth campaign was projected onto the screen as they walked the runway. Each models let their personality shine from Kelly Osborn’s “Rock On” to Wendy Williams, “How you doing?” The dresses were gorgeous, Minka Kelly’s Oscar de la Renta design was my favorite. My favorite moment was watching a non-celebrity walk the runway. She was selected to be a part of this because she applied the Heart Truth changed her life. I wrote a little more about her for the Coca Cola blog*.
The entire event motivated me to be the type of influential and intelligent woman who is invited to these types of events. One step at a time, right?