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Designers talk Fashion Week ups and downs, diets and drama

Want to know what really goes on behind the scenes at New York Fashion Week?

Before the models strut their stuff on the runways, beginning Thursday and running through Sept. 11, designers spend hours upon hours creating their collections that are then showcased in 10- to 15-minute catwalk shows or elaborate presentations for the fashion community.

To get the inside scoop on all things NYFW, we grilled the designers themselves, and they dished on everything from getting by on diets of kale and green juice (with some fried chicken thrown in for good measure), to witnessing snooty behavior at shows, to what it's like to see their styles head down the runway in the fashion capital of the world.

BETSEY JOHNSON

It wouldn’t be Fashion Week without: Drama. What’s
Photo Credit: Getty Images / Frazer Harrison

It wouldn’t be Fashion Week without: Drama.

What’s your favorite part of Fashion Week? The four-hour party backstage before the show begins.

Least favorite? The stress of having to do a cartwheel.

What’s the most unfashionable thing you’ve witnessed at Fashion Week? B-tchy, snobby bad attitudes.

What can you tell us about spring 2015? It’s true-blue me, reinvented with a twist.

REBECCA TAYLOR

What’s your favorite part of Fashion Week? Getting
Photo Credit: Getty Images / Jamie McCarthy

What’s your favorite part of Fashion Week? Getting the chance to share my vision for the upcoming season.

What do you do after Fashion Week to unwind? After this show I'll just be happy to sneak away for a massage or facial!

What's the most unfashionable thing you've ever witnessed at Fashion Week? High heels staggering through mountains of snow and ice.

What’s the best part of showing in NYC? The buzz, excitement and anticipation that surrounds the city during Fashion Week.

What about spring 2015 excites you? I was feeling a mood of optimism this season. I’m excited to share that.

VIVIENNE TAM

How would you design your collection in one
Photo Credit: Getty Images / Michael Stewart

How would you design your collection in one word? Treasures.

What’s your Fashion Week must-have? Stamina and dedication.

What’s new this season? There are many new things: different fabrics, prints and appliqués in unusual combinations.

What’s your Fashion Week diet like? Lots of water (room temperature), healthy grains and salads.

What do you do after Fashion Week to unwind? Meditation and yoga.

MONIQUE LHUILLIER

How would you describe your collection in one
Photo Credit: Getty Images / Slaven Vlasic

How would you describe your collection in one word? Luminous.

How would you describe Fashion Week in one word? Exhilarating.

What would people be surprised to learn about NYFW? It’s hard work, plain and simple, [and] at times it is rather grueling. It takes a village to make my vision a reality. Months of prep work and in 10 minutes your show is over. It’s quite fascinating.

What’s the most unfashionable thing you’ve witnessed at Fashion Week? Lack of sleep.

What about spring 2015 excites you? I love the color palette in this collection. It’s inspired by the sunrise and how it paints the sky with luminous shades of pastels.

BIBHU MOHAPATRA

How would you describe your collection in one
Photo Credit: Getty Images / D Dipasupil

How would you describe your collection in one word? Empowering

What’s your favorite part of Fashion Week? To create

Least favorite? To miss Fashion Week fun in preparation for it.

What do you do after Fashion Week to unwind? Go to my country house upstate New York and play with my chickens.

What’s the most unfashionable thing you've witnessed at Fashion Week? People in bad moods.

LELA ROSE

How would you describe your collection in one
Photo Credit: Getty Images / Mike Coppola

How would you describe your collection in one word? Colorful.

How would you describe Fashion Week in one word? Overwhelming.

What do you do after Fashion Week to unwind? Spend time with my family at our country home and have friends over for dinner that I haven’t been able to see leading up to the show.

What’s the most unfashionable thing you've witnessed at Fashion Week? Rude behavior

What’s the best part of showing in NYC? New York City is my home, so it's really fun to see people from all over the world gather here for the same cause.

DENNIS BASSO

How would you describe Fashion Week in one
Photo Credit: Getty Images / Frazer Harrison

How would you describe Fashion Week in one word? Insane.

What would people be surprised to learn about NYFW? It’s not as glamorous backstage as it is in the front of the house.

What’s your Fashion Week diet like? No carbs and definitely no Diet Coke, even though I want it.

What’s the most unfashionable thing you’ve witnessed at Fashion Week? People in the lobby camping out on the floor eating lunch.

What can we expect from spring 2015? A great interpretation of the fashion-forward ’60s brought to the present.

ELIE TAHARI

How would you describe your collection in one
Photo Credit: Getty Images / Cindy Ord

How would you describe your collection in one word? Organic

What’s your favorite part of Fashion Week? Working together with my entire team, all of us focused on the same goal at hand. After 40 years in business, the excitement of putting a show still exists for me and with each collection I design, my passion continues.

Least favorite? Lack of sleep.

What do you do after Fashion Week to unwind? I like to head to my home in Sagaponak and unwind at the beach with my children. After months of work it is nice to enjoy a few last days of warm weather.

What’s the best part about showing in NYC? I love the energy of New York, the place that has provided me with endless inspiration ever since I arrived over 40 years ago. I truly owe my success to NYC: It’s the place that allowed me to turn my dreams into reality.

KAELEN HAWORTH, DESIGNER OF KAELEN

How would you describe your collection in one
Photo Credit: Courtesy of Kaelen Haworth

How would you describe your collection in one word? Textural.

It wouldn’t be Fashion Week without: Alcohol.

What’s your Fashion Week diet like? I think last Fashion Week I Instagrammed a photo of a spoon with almond butter on it next to a glass of whisky. So it’s that.

What’s the best part of showing in NYC? It’s the start of all of the Fashion Weeks around the world, people are anxious to get back into the swing of fall and it feels like back to school. The energy is infectious and really helps you get through the work.

What about spring 2015 excites you? The fabrics, specifically a fringed situation that I won’t go into too much detail on but it is bananas!

MARA HOFFMAN

It wouldn’t be Fashion Week without: My tribe.
Photo Credit: Getty Images / Frazer Harrison

It wouldn’t be Fashion Week without: My tribe.

How would you describe your collection in one word? Fresh.

What’s your NYFW diet like? The same as always: almond milk lattes, green juice, organic apples, kale, eggs and an occasional order of fried chicken.

What’s the best part of showing in NYC? The audience and the energy that everyone brings to a show.

What excites you about spring 2015? The prospect of evolution.

TADASHI SHOJI

How would you describe Fashion Week in one
Photo Credit: Getty Images / Frazer Harrison

How would you describe Fashion Week in one word? Thrilling.

What’s your favorite part of Fashion Week? The anticipation the moment before the first model walks out.

Least favorite? Losing a model to another show.

What’s your Fashion Week diet like? Hot ginger-green tea and Greek yogurt with honey from Milos.

What’s the most unfashionable thing you’ve witnessed at Fashion Week? Sitting in a front-row seat that isn’t yours.

YOANA BARASCHI

How would you describe Fashion Week in one
Photo Credit: Yoana Baraschi

How would you describe Fashion Week in one word? Exhausting

What's your favorite thing about Fashion Week? The sense of discovery.

What do you do after FW to unwind? Go to Paris.

What’s the best part of showing in NYC? It’s my hometown.

What about spring 2015 excites you? Mixing a colorful African aesthetic with athletic body-conscious elements to create a hybrid street/couture elegance.

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