Monday, September 14th at 10:10am: Settled in my seat at Carolina Herrera. The show was supposed to start at 10, but the seats are still half empty. There's a long line to get in. Backstage was calm and surprisingly uncrowded. Unlike seasons past, I wasn't hit on the head by one cameraman (I've even had them try use me as a human tripod once!). The look is ladylike and beautiful as always, with strings of metallic beads that hairstylist Orlando Pita has woven into the soft updos. —Ning Chao

10:50am: The Carolina show's over and I'm in the mad crush of people trying to push their way out of the tent. One slip of a stiletto and we'll all go down like dominoes. Lots of texture and braiding on the clothes, which were inspired by Japanese baskets, according to my program. Looks like belts over blazers are still in style for spring! —NC

3:00pm: The Chris Benz show is down by my apt. If only the day were over! Lancôme's Daniel Martin is doing makeup and is using a soon-to-be-released bright coral lipstick with pink undertones. It will be called Chris n' Tell. Martin actually created the shade two years ago for Elettra Wiedemann (Isabella Rossellini's model daughter). The collection is as bright and bouncy as the lip color. On my way out, I run into an old intern who's working for Lancôme during Fashion Week to coordinate backstage dealings. Happy for her and love that our interns go on to great things! —Lizzie Dunlap

3:05pm: Thakoon's show was supposed to start five minutes ago, but lead hairstylist Eugene Souleimann just got here. Poor guy has a stomach flu and was held hostage at Donna Karan. This show is going to be laaaate! —NC

4:17pm: Just left the Thakoon show. Had an epiphany: Models don't diet, they just don't have time to eat. Saw one poor girl backstage who tried to reach for a piece of cheese from the craft service table, but then a makeup artist whisked her away to gloss her lips with Nars' new Ophelia shade, which isn't out until February. Lots of turquoise and cobalt blue at this show. All the silk kimono prints, wrap styles, fitted "armor dresses," and half up/half down samurai hair made this look like Japanese geisha-warrior from the future dressing. Obsessed! I wonder how much the silk printed Giuseppe Zanotti for Thakoon sandals will cost. —NC

6:00pm: Marc Jacobs! By far the strictest about backstage access. Last season every girl had a different look. Will it be the same this year? The answer is a resounding no. The look is cabaret dancer after work. It's all "Drama," says Francois Nars. And indeed it is. SO many big name models walk this show, but hard to spot who's who under all the white foundation. —LD

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