By  on February 5, 2005

It’s showtime in Bryant Park and around Manhattan, and the media and buyers, like the designers they come to see, are ready for a change of pace.

Organizers of 7th on Sixth have taken that to heart, sprucing up the tents and environs. Designers showing beyond the greens of the park are trying to be more innovative with their site selections.

Donna Karan will channel Dorothy Parker at the Algonquin Hotel, where her DKNY show will be held Monday. Guests received classic books as invitations to the fabled hotel, the Vicious Circle’s favorite haunt. Another departee, Yeohlee, persuaded a bunch of photographers and friends to model her collection Monday at the International Center of Photography. Roxanne Lowitt, Miranda Lichtenstein, Anne Collier, Lia Chang and Julie Dennis Brothers are some of Yeohlee’s recruits.

Jack McCollough and Lorenzo Hernandez are also going the gallery route. Their Proenza Schouler collection will be unwrapped Monday at Milk Gallery. Newcomer Thakoon shows at Drive-In Studios Sunday afternoon.

Yigal Azrouel will unfurl Sunday at the Harold Pratt House, once the Upper East Side home of the Standard Oil magnate for whom it is named. Alvin Valley will unveil his fall collection Monday at the Altman Building in Chelsea. Marc Bouwer introduces his fall line Wednesday at the new Cipiriani 23rd Street.

But the main event remains behind the New York Public Library. There are 67 shows under the tents in Bryant Park this season. It started with Kenneth Cole Friday morning at 9 and concludes with the first runway show for Jennifer Lopez at 8 p.m. Friday. From start to finish, there will be scores of celebrity logjams, harried editors, weary models, curious pedestrians and no-nonsense security guards.

Knowing this is an appearance-conscious crowd, Fern Mallis, executive director of 7th on Sixth, said “the space has been tweaked” to give this season a fresh look. She said the lobby space is enlarged and enhanced, and each of the three venues — The Tent, Plaza and Atelier — are slightly larger, mostly with better backstages and enhanced seating capacity.

Bathrooms have even been spiffed up, now that Kohler is a sponsor, and the Olympus lounge has been enlarged. The Cafe area will feature materials for NYC 2012, the city’s bid for the 2012 Summer Olympics, and this year’s logo is in saffron orange in support of the Central Park Gates Project by the husband-and-wife artist collaborators Christo and Jeanne-Claude.

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