While athletes from across the globe gather in Sochi, Russia for the opening of the Winter Olympics, the world's fashionistas descend upon New York City for New York Fashion Week, which kicks off today eight days of runway shows and presentations across the city spotlighting looks for next fall and winter.
Not on the guest list? Not to worry! Thanks to social media and video streams, anyone can take part in the fashionable fun from home. Here's how:
Watch it online in real time: Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week, the group of shows largely concentrated at tents outside Lincoln Center on Manhattan's Upper West Side, livestreams shows at www.mbfashionweek.com/live. Watch the who's-who of the fashion world filter into their seats -- maybe you'll spot some celebrities dotting the audience. When the lights dim, you'll have a front-row view of the action.
See it unfold on social media: Thanks to social platforms such as Twitter, Instagram and Vine, trends travel almost instantaneously from the runway to the rest of the world. There are countless fashion and beauty accounts that will be posting photos and video clips from shows, backstage and the always colorful street style scene, but a few good ones to check out on Twitter and Instagram to get started include Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week (@MBFashionWeek), the trend experts at WGSN (@WGSN), the popular fashion show venue Milk Studios (@MilkStudios and @madefw) and the Council of Fashion Designers of America (@CFDA). Or search for the hashtag #NYFW or #MBFW across social media sites to see what people are saying about the shows.
Surf the Web for style: Fashion photos aren't hard to find on the Internet, but quality ones that capture designers' collections in interesting, comprehensive ways can be tougher to track down. The fashion and style section at www.nytimes.com boasts several designer slideshows from past and present, plus videos surveying street style. Fashionista.com and www.FashionWeekDaily.com also boast an abundance of photos for the day's shows. FashionTV.com is another go-to resource for behind-the-scenes access to events on your computer.
Tune in on TV: National TV news broadcasts and morning shows often show clips of collections from time to time. For a more in-depth look, check out "Fashion Police" on the E! network (check local listings). Joan Rivers, Kelly Osbourne, Giuliana Rancic and George Kotsiopoulos dish on the show about what's hot on the runway and often film segments at the tents.
(Photo: Models wear the Clover Canyon spring/summer 2014 collection at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week at Lincoln Center in September 2013. Sara Bauknecht/Post-Gazette)