NYFW: Cynthia Rowley Spring Summer 2012 from the American Express Skybox

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Pictured: Cynthia Rowley belted layered dress for Spring, screen capture from the show live stream.

Friday evening I had the pleasure of viewing the Cynthia Rowley Spring Summer 2012 collection from the American Express Skybox. If you have purchased a ticket through American Express for a NYFW show, they you sign-in with the American Express concierge at Lincoln Center to be escorted to the Skybox.  Our gracious concierge was Bryce, who exemplified customer service.

When you enter the Skybox, it’s like your going to a sports event..  You are viewing fashion as a spectator sport, with the true eye of the consumer. And you can discuss the fashions with others in the box openly, since it is sound proofed.  The Skybox is a service American Express offers to their card members. Card members can buy tickets to New York Fashion Week events, and watch from the Skybox while being served drinks and appetizers.  I watched the Cynthia Rowley show with a group of women who came  for a getaway weekend. They enjoyed the view of the runway from above, especially seeing celebrities like Lindsay Lohan sitting stage side wearing her new Edgar Winter hair extensions. The American Express Skybox hosts pointed out the celebrities down front (Lindsay and Alexa Chung), and let the viewers know some behind the scene facts about the show. Unfortunately, I didn’t see the designer show notes distributed in the Skybox. Taking photos from the Skybox is supremely difficult, as you are shooting through glass, and your best view of the runway is from one side.  I watched the show again later via Live Runway to make sure I didn’t miss any of the details.

Pictured:  An updated Little Black Dress with splashes of color 
(Photo by Fernanda Calfat/Getty Images for Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week)

The Cynthia Rowley show surprised me.  I expected something more playful and girly from the designer for Spring/Summer 2012.  Instead, the presentation featured a more rock star like edge  with chinois inspired floral prints and lots of gold embellishments, even on little black dresses. The runway was mirrored and outlined in gold for a little extra flash.  If you’re a model working that runway at Cynthia Rowley be sure to wear foundation garments as otherwise, your innermost secrets could be revealed.  The color palette for the collection was rather subdued for Spring featuring white, black, red, gold and florals. There were slender silhouettes for jackets and pants, particularly a white botanical print blazer and slim-fit black floral print pants contrasted by the later appearance of  full circle skirts on some of the black dresses.  I especially liked the belted black dress below, with a full skirt, and gold embellishments at the shoulders.

Pictured: A Black Dress with full skirt and gold embellishments, screen capture from the show live stream.
Pictured: An Ivory dress with colorful pattern, screen capture from the show live stream. 
Overall I really enjoyed the Cynthia Rowley show.  The collection is very upscale and glamorous, but modern.  I expect to see these garments on the rack in high-end stores that cater to luxury buyers.  At some point, they may trickle down to fashion sites like Gilt Groupe for flash sales. When they do, I’ll let you know.

If you’re an American Express card member who wants to attend a NYFW show, you can check for tickets to Fashion Week shows through AmericanExpress.com.


Since 2008, Mary Hall has been the author of The Recessionista Blog, which is read by thousands of regular readers in over 160 countries. An internationally recognized expert on the art of the living the good life for less, she has been a commentator on local, national, and international radio and TV shows. Her advice has been featured in over 2,000 media outlets, including The New York Times, Reuters, Life & Style magazine, ABC News, NBC News and now The Huffington Post, among many others.

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