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Why travel to New York? Top 10 Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week shows you can watch online

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Last season, Donna Karan took a bow from the streets of New York at the end of her DKNY show Photo by Peter Michael Dills/Getty Images for Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week
News_Fashion Week_Spring 2012_Oscar de la Renta
At Oscar de la Renta, it's always fun to guess which gowns will show up at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston Ball Photo by Dan and Corina Lecca
News_Michael Kors_Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week_Sept 2011
Michael Kors always floods the runways with lots of models wearing American sportswear Courtesy of Michael Kors
News_Tory Burch_Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week_Sept 2011
Tory Burch waved to the crowd at the end of her first full-scale runway show last September. Photo by Fernanda Calfat/Getty Images for Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week
News_Marc Jacobs_Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week_Sept 2011
At Marc Jacobs, fashion critics play the game of guessing which trends from the collection other designers will copy Courtesy of Marc Jacobs
News_Donna Karan_Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week_Sept 2011
News_Fashion Week_Spring 2012_Oscar de la Renta
News_Michael Kors_Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week_Sept 2011
News_Tory Burch_Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week_Sept 2011
News_Marc Jacobs_Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week_Sept 2011

I'm a lucky guy. I'm off to New York to report on all the fall 2012 collections that will be unveiled at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week, which kicks off Thursday for an eight-day run. But thanks to the wonders of technology, you can get a close-up view of all the runway styles without leaving Houston.

Every season, an increasing number of top designers are live streaming their shows, which means you get a front row seat in front of your computer (it's probably better than mine in the the venue).

Fashion week organizers plan to live stream 30 shows from Lincoln Center on YouTube. (Go to www.youtube.com/live runway.) In addition, a number of other top designers, including Marc Jacobs, Donna Karan, Tommy Hilfiger and Calvin Klein Collection's Francisco Costa plan to live stream their shows from venues around New York.

Here are the 10 live-stream shows I'm most looking forward to (in order of upcoming date). Watch them online (all times are Central Standard Time, corresponding to Houston, but note that shows usually begin 30-40 minutes after the scheduled start time) and, afterwards, let's discuss.

10. BCBG Max Azria, Thursday 9 a.m. Go to: www.youtube.com/liverunway

What to watch for: It's the first big show of fashion week and often sets the tone for what's ahead.

9. DKNY, Sunday noon. Go to: www.facebook.com/dkny

What to watch for: Donna Karan's New York state-of-mind. Last season, in a really nifty trick, she sent models from the street onto the runway inside, with a yellow cab in the background.

8. Tommy Hilfiger, Sunday 7 p.m. Go to: https://www.facebook.com/tommyhilfiger?v=app_287008051352233

What to watch for: Hilfiger is showing his All-American collection at an upper East side location (the Park Avenue Armory).

7. Betsey Johnson, Monday 5 p.m. Go to: www.youtube.com/liverunway

What to watch for: At 69, Johnson still does a cartwheel at the end of her show.

6. Marc JacobsMonday 7 p.m. Go to: www.marcjacobslive.com

What to watch for: Jacobs sets the trends that just about everyone else will copy.

5. Tory BurchTuesday 8 a.m. Go to: www.toryburch.com

What to watch for: It's only Burch's second full-scale runway show as she swiftly creates a worldwide brand.

4. Oscar de la Renta, Tuesday 5:30 p.m. Go to: http://theboard.oscardelarenta.com/

What to watch for: The gowns that will likely show up at next year's Museum of Fine Arts gala.

 
What to watch for: No one does classic American sportswear better — or send as many models down the runway at one time.
 
2. J. Mendel, Wednesday 1 p.m. Go to: www.youtube.com/liverunway
 
What to watch for: Get a sneak peek at the collection, which will be showcased at the Houston Chronicle Best Dressed Luncheon and at Neiman Marcus next month.
 
1. Calvin Klein Collection, Thursday 1 p.m. Go to: calvinklein.tv
 
What to watch for: It's minimalist heaven with Francisco Costa's sharp styles showcased in a white-cubed box.
 
It was awfully hard to whittle down the list to only 10 shows, so these are some more great choices:

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