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Fashion Insiders: Alicia Quarles' NYFW Diary

Alicia Quarles, Red Dress Courtesy of Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

New York Fashion Week: How I love and dread thee. When it comes to town twice a year—once in September and once in February—I realize how truly lucky I am in being able to interview the designers (these creative geniuses!) and watch their work from the front row. That said, running all over the city nonstop from show-to-show and party-to-party is downright exhausting—Not to mention the fact I'm doing it all while trying to look chic.

By the end of NYFW, everyone's feet hurt, we're famished, we're crabby and we're very, very sleep deprived. Oh, the tough lives we lead…Wait, who am I kidding? It's totally worth it!

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Alicia Quarles, Red Dress Courtesty: Starpix

So here we are again. Day 1: I woke up with even more anticipation than usual. The reason? E! News is now an official sponsor of Mercedes Benz Fashion Week, which means we have a prime set up at "The Tents" aka Lincoln Center, where most of the action goes down and where we'll be shooting much of our show.

Adding to my excitement: I'd been asked to walk the runway that evening in the Heart Truth Red Dress Collection, an annual show featuring celebrity models that raises awareness about female heart disease. It's a huge event and I needed a major designer to help me out, so I called on my guy Zac Posen, who whipped up a to-die-for red gown for me. #Blessed.

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To calm my nerves and get into the right mental space, I started the morning by hitting the gym. From there, it was off to Katie Couric's daytime talk show to tape her current events panel. Before I go any further, I want to express how grateful I am to my glam squad. On a normal workday, I do about three wardrobe changes—but during Fashion Week, forget it. It's on another level and I couldn't possibly keep up without them.

For Katie, my first look of the day, I wore a Rebecca Taylor shift and Herve Leger boots. Hey, if you got to keep your legs warm, do it in style!

After that, it was a BCBG leather dress for the Creatures of the Wind show. Got to sit front row and found the show very moving and ethereal.  

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Alicia Quarles, Twitter Twitter

Lucky me (again!) it was then time for a red carpet manicure by nail guru Lisa Logan, who beautifies the hands of Beyoncé, Queen Latifah and Mary J. Blige, thank you very much. She coated my digits in a gorgeous color called Nominated For.

Another change, this time into a Daisy Darche top and BCBG skirt, to shoot the weekend show. When that was done, it was off to 30 Rock in a Haute Hippe sweater and pants and Ask Alice boots to meet with supermodels Anne V. and Lydia Hearst for some quick tips on how to work the runway. Their best piece of advice: give good face!

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Then by 6 p.m. it was game time. The backstage area for Red Dress was like really fun party; everyone chatting and laughing while getting ready. I hung with my girls Annasophia Robb, Colbie Caillat, Bella Thorne and Ireland Baldwin plus all my reporter friends who were covering.

Zac's team had been kind enough to send over a few dress options, but when I stepped into the crimson, V-neck number I had ultimately chosen, I immediately felt like a star. Paired with Sergio Rossi heels and Hearts on Fire diamonds and Sasha Fierce had nothing on me!

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To get the mood pumping, all the models started dancing as we lined up to hit the runway. Even Lindsay Vonn with her knee injury bogeyed down in her chair! I went third and as soon as I hit the catwalk, my anxiety vanished. I know the dress, the hair, the makeup were all bangin'. I was proud to represent E! News and really bring it. As I made my way down, I could hear all my friends, family and coworkers cheering me on. It was surreal. As I walked, I remembered the first time I covered this show years ago as a producer and thought to myself: "Wow, I'd love to walk in this one day." I guess dreams do come true.

The night ended with a champagne toast led by none other than Nene Leakes. After that, it was home to rest up for another day. I'm working hard, but this is a charmed life. Fashion Week rules.

PHOTOS: Celebs walk the Heart Truth Red Dress show

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