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Fashion Forward

Mary Alice Stephenson.

By Tali Jaffe

Mary Alice Stephenson is one of the industry’s most highly regarded stylists and fashion editors. She’s worked for numerous fashion publications, appears regularly on talk shows like Today and Rachael Ray and is a brand unto herself.

We stole a few minutes with Stephenson just after New York Fashion Week to discuss the best shows, trends to look out for and tips to surviving the week in once piece!

How many runway shows were you invited to?
Too many to count—hundreds!

How many did you attend?
The most important ones!

Any tips or tricks for making it through the week?
It takes a village! I have a fantastic team which makes everything run smoothly! A studio director, social media director, driver and nanny!! Nicole Bryl comes every day in the morning to do my hair and makeup, which helps me look camera-ready all day even though I am usually exhausted from the events the night before.

I also have a secret weapon that flies in for the week to help me with my son... my mom!

Most surprising face in the front row?
Ryan Lochte!

Whose collections stood out to you the most and why?
I thought Alexander Wang, Proenza Schouler and Calvin Klein stood out for the groundbreaking way in which their collections merged technology, creativity and glamour. They create clothes that feel relevant for the powerful, sexy and sophisticated woman of now.

What trend(s) are you looking forward to?
It will be fun to see what happens when I start wearing all of spring sexy clothes to the boardroom! I love all the leather, lace and cut-outs even done in the most ladylike way, but am a little worried they still might give off a vibe that says “Fifty Shades of Grey!”

Best party you attended?
W magazine and Swarovski had a screening of the fabulous new documentary Diana Vreeland: The Eye Has to Travel. There was a very chic dinner after at the Monkey Bar.

Are you going to Paris or Milan? 
No need to when I can see the shows live stream on my iPad!! I’m a single mom and try to limit my traveling as much as possible. I spent years going to Milan and Paris and enjoyed every minute but now I would rather be close to home. Front row as mom comes first for me but fashion takes a close second!

What are some of the greatest differences between each city's fashion week?
In New York it’s a full-blown media circus, Milan feels like one big rave and Paris is the most charming week of them all!

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