From working mothers to runway watchers

Baltimore trio spends weekend at New York Fashion Week

  • Laura Marsico and Cheryl Bernard-Smith stopped at Lincoln Center during their Fashion Week trip.
Laura Marsico and Cheryl Bernard-Smith stopped at Lincoln… (Handout photo )
September 15, 2010|By John-John Williams IV, The Baltimore Sun

Laura Marsico and girlfriends Cheryl Bernard-Smith and Laura Durington didn't give a second thought to leaving their children with their husbands for a weekend of couture, celebrities and the overall fabulousness that is New York Fashion Week.

The three attended the Rebecca Taylor fashion show Sunday in Lincoln Center. It was the first time the trio had taken an overnight excursion together sans children in the past six years. It was also an opportunity for the working mothers to let their collective hair down while revisiting their big-city roots.

"It is a once-in-a-lifetime thing," said Marsico, who lives in Hampden and works as a kindergarten teacher at the GreenMount School. "I would love to go back. But if I don't, I can say that I went. I'm telling everybody about this incredible experience."

Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week-related events have become some of the hottest tickets on the planet. With journalists, bloggers, celebrities, buyers and fashionistas all clamoring for spots in shows, the trio knew how fortunate they were to be able to experience the designs of the likes of Taylor, a New Zealand-born designer whose Hollywood clients include Sarah Jessica Parker and Zoe Saldana.

"We were really lucky," Marsico said. "This was a big show. I see her [clothes] more and more as I'm flipping through my magazines."

Durington, who lives in Baldwin and works as the online community manager for Catholic Relief Services in Baltimore, took her friend Taylor up on a standing invitation and got the group access to the show.

"Rebecca is a wonderful person," said Durington, whose husband is a friend of Taylor's husband. "She's such a genuinely sweet, nice person. I completely forget that she has this other life."

Durington, Marsico and Bernard-Smith met six years ago when they all lived in Hampden. The three bonded instantly and soon became shopping partners and hosted play dates for their kids.

The trip to New York was the first time all three could get away for an overnight trip at the same time. "No one was nursing, pregnant or home with a sick child," said Marsico. Each of the three has two children between ages of 1 and 6.

The trio arrived in New York City the day before the show to soak up the sights, do a little shopping and eat dinner at Perilla, the restaurant of Harold Dieterle, winner of the first season of "Top Chef."

"It was just hours of good food, conversations and drinks," Marsico recalled.

The next day, the friends spent most of the morning crowded around a mirror or angling for bathroom time as they prepared for the fashion show. Each woman brought at least three outfits to choose from.

"We were making sure the shoes and outfits were perfect," Marsico said. "We were like little girls going to their first fashion show. It was a very funny moment for all of us."

Once at the show, the friends used their celebrity hookup to gain access into the show, which was filled to capacity. They had priority standing tickets, allowing them to enter the show with the people being seated.

"The people in back of us couldn't get in," Marsico said.

The 35 pieces in Taylor's show were a hit — especially for Marsico, who described the spring line as "wearable clothes for everyday people."

She added: "They are flirty, romantic everyday clothes for everyone. You don't have to live the lifestyles of the rich and famous to wear it. It was beautiful."

Taylor's clothes might have appeared to be for the masses, but they attracted the attention of the elite.

Celebs Shanae Grimes ("90210"), Michelle Trachtenberg ("Buffy The Vampire Slayer" and "Mercy"), Carmen Electra and Ramona Singer ("Real Housewives of New York City") were all in attendance, and the crowd was dressed to impress.

"Everyone seemed to have on very fabulous, ridiculous high heels," Marsico said. "The second we were out of there, we switched shoes."

Bernard-Smith, who lives in Roland Park and works for the SPCA of Maryland, was even stopped by a photographer who wanted to take a picture of her outfit.

"He didn't ask us," Marsico said with a laughing reference to herself and Durington. "We kept on moving."

After the show ended, the three went backstage to congratulate Taylor.

"It was pretty chaotic," Durington said of the scene.

"The models were all throwing their clothes off," Marsico said. "There were lots of models in their skivvies."

Durington added: "It was a crazy day, but it was great. We could have gone to the after-party, but we had to work the next day. We had to leave our glamorous life behind."

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