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Fashion Week 2011 highlights

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Nicki Minaj
Mike Coppola/Getty Images

With Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in full swing for the spring 2012 season, there have been plenty of highlights (a swell of American pride on the 10th anniversary of 9/11) and lowlights (pantsuits, pantsuits, and more pantsuits). Nicki Minaj seems as committed as ever to sky-high hair, laughing in the face of the schlub behind her on the second row, and Lindsay Lohan may just survive the oncoming apocalypse. Click through to learn some of the goings-on.

1. Nicki Minaj is an inconsiderate seatmate. I’m sure Anna Wintour would have nothing but glowing things to say about Minaj and her beehive, but whoever got stuck behind this mammoth bow headpiece at Prabal Gurung’s show couldn’t have been happy.

2. Spring 2012 is going to be Muppet-y. From Miss Piggy’s appearance at Fashion’s Night Out to the sneezing fit-inducing array of fur sandals coming our way, I’m guessing the Nov. 23 opening of The Muppets in movie theaters will be but a mid-point to a slew of oncoming electric-colored furriness. (And that’s without mentioning Minaj, who is basically the closest we humans get to Muppethood.)

3. Project Runway is a giant fashion monster that will swallow us all. With nine designers  showing this season, has the show officially lost control? Or has this expansion only amplified the reality competition’s power? It was one of the biggest celebrity draws from the first several days, in the company of Lela Rose, Alexander Wang, Tracy Reese, Edun (the label of Bono’s wife, Ali Hewson), Charlotte Ronson, and Rag & Bone. (Honorable mention to Tommy Hilfiger Men’s for this ultra-handsome lineup.)

4. Lindsay Lohan is still a thing. Consider this account of her appearance at the Cynthia Rowley show. LiLo will be around with the cockroaches and Cher when the final days are upon us, y’all.

5. Literacy is so this season. Designer Hally McGehean is bringing bookish back with her pulp fiction-inspired cover frock.

6. Pantsuits aren’t going anywhere. And now they involve outsize floral prints (sometimes in rather inopportune places). Sorry.

7. Designers ‘Never forget.’ On a more serious note, yesterday’s festivities at Lincoln Center were marked by a swell of patriotism (from American and non-American designers alike) as 10th anniversary remembrances took place Downtown. Rose played John Lennon’s “Imagine” before her show, Victoria Beckham held two moments of silence, Diane Von Furstenberg handed out American flags during her finale, and Donna Karan chose The Guess Who’s “American Woman” for her models’ walking music. On the runway, the looks were just as USA-inspired — with Americana-style ensembles ranging from von Furstenberg’s ’60s retro hair styles to Tracy Reese’s Coney Island-esque array of bathing suits, and Thakoon’s Wild West cowboy chic, among others.

These are just a few of the highlights from the events in progress. The designers who have shown so far include Luca Luca, Mara Hoffman, Rebecca Taylor, Nicole Miller, Monique Lhuillier, Lacoste, Jill Stuart, Vivienne Tam, Derek Lam, L.A.M.B., and Carolina Herrera. There are still many big names shows to come, including Betsey Johnson, Perry Ellis, Tory Burch, Badgley Mischka, Vera Wang, Hervé Léger by Max Azria, Narciso Rodriguez, Norma Kamali, Michael Kors, Nanette Lepore, Anna Sui, Elie Tahari, Ralph Lauren, and Calvin Klein Collection.

Whose collection(s) are you most looking forward to checking out, PopWatchers? What do you think has been the single best look on display this season? The single worst? What trends are you looking forward to embracing this coming season, and which would you rather have been left on the cutting room floor?

Read more:

‘Project Runway’: Nine (!) finalists show at New York Fashion Week