Okay, guys. You can all breathe a sigh of relief -- or one of sadness, if you prefer. They're packing up the tents. The models are getting on planes. The fashion gliteratti are going back to their regularly scheduled programming. This year's Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Swim is finally over.
Through rain, through humidity, and through more bottles of champagne than we could count, the models, designers, and fashion elite who mixed and mingled at the Raleigh had plenty to sing about. But if they were anything like us, they also had a few complaints.
Read on for this year's winners and losers at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Swim: the things we loved, the things we hated, and even a few things we loved to hate.
The after parties
If you sat within the first two rows of any show, you were granted a bracelet to [insert club name here] for the fashion show's after party. We got to see designers and models frolicking with the common folk, a.k.a. people enjoying free booze. What's not to love?
Red Carter's limo service
Props need to be given where they're due. When Sunday's storms threatened to scare off any Swim Week attendee who wanted to look halfway decent (read: not drenched) at the event, Red Carter rolled out a free limo service from the convention center to the Raleigh for show goers? The result: A packed -- and dry, comfortable, and happy -- house. Why didn't we think of that?
Who doesn't love models? They're so pretty to look at. And this year's batch had plenty of attitude. From the standard runway death-stare to blowing kisses at the cameras during Wildfox's show, we've gotta give it up to the girls of Swim Week.
Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Swim was extra colorful this year, wasn't it? Lots of neons. Lots of animal prints. Lots of pinks, greens, oranges, blues. Some of the suits were so bright, we needed sunglasses to look at them ... and a pair of shoes to match those sunglasses ... and a matching bag, too.
The free-flowing alcohol (and water and lemonade)
It's hard not to love fashion week when there's free-flowing alcohol. And between sponsor Moet & Chandon's champagne stations and the waiters strolling around with pink, fruity concoctions, Swim Week attendees were never left thirsty. It made dealing with the losers on this list a little bit easier. Your feet hurt? Unwind with a drink. You couldn't get into the last show because it was at capacity? Unwind with a drink. That sounds about right.
Continues to the next page for the Losers...
Mara Hoffman's collection: beautiful. The lines to get in: ugly.
Is it just us, or were the lines particularly long this year? The interior ticketing tent resembled lanes at Disney World, but somehow we still ended up standing outside to wait for tickets as storm clouds gathered. What gives?
We get that Miami runs on "Miami time." But fashion week? That never happens. So we found it a bit unnerving that almost all of the shows this year were running at least 40 minutes behind schedule. That meant fashion types spent even more time waiting around in their uncomfortable shoes -- and running frantically from tent to tent trying to get into an on-time event after the one before had run over. Not exactly the most glamorous experience.
The weather definitely wasn't on our side this year. When fashion folks weren't sweating through their clothes as they waited in the humidity for the next show to start, they were ducking for cover from a classic Miami thunderstorm. Can we maybe not do Swim Week in the summer anymore?
A rare breed.
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Y chromosomes were strangely absent on the runways this year. Anyone else notice this? The only male models we noticed this year were the DHL guys passing out paper fans. (And the creepy older ladies following them around to pose for photos with them.) The next display? Not until Day Five. Now that hardly seems fair.
The [lack of] of a press lounge
Not to be all "boo hoo, our job is hard," but, well, it is. Last year, we were able to camp out between shows in an upstairs suite with food, drinks, and cater waiters, far from the humidity and/or rain. This year? The press was sent to wait by the pool or type away crouched over tables in the lobby. And we wonder why there were disgruntled reporters (like us) running around?