My first fashion week: the good, the bad, and the pretty.
As an associate editor for Fashion Week Online, there come perks. One of those perks include invites to some of the most coveted runway shows during fashion week. I was super excited because anyone who knows anything about fashion can argue that fashion week is access to an inside look at what trends will be for upcoming seasons, before anyone else. Going in, I knew three things for sure: I had to dress to impress, I had to pay close attention to details in the fleeting moments the models came by me, and I had to soak it all in. Let me tell you what else I learned.
Fashion week is chaos. Pure, provocative, chaos. Invites to shows are sent days (if that) before many times. There are cancellations last minutes, interviews you’ve been approved to do the same day, and a lot of waiting. Like, a lot. The Friday before NYFW I was signed up to attend four shows. I ended up attending 15, including interviewing four designers (being quick on your feet comes in handy in both litigation & journalism).
I didn’t realize this, so many of you may not have either, but most of the shows are housed in the same location, the first in NY having been in Bryant Park. For some reason I imagined designers taking up residency for the day at beautiful, historic landmarks all throughout Manhattan to reflect their style and demeanor of the collection. Some designers did do that - and many big names too. Alexander Wang showed his collection in an office building in the middle of Times Square - the exact location being known only to those invited and even then, often skewed so as to keep the exact space hush-hush. But most of the shows I attended were located in the same space, in one of several galleries at Spring Studios (don’t get me wrong, there were still shows far away enough I had to frolick around NYC in heels).
The space was beautiful, with gorgeous windows facing west and natural light pouring in. But it was also very plain (minimalism is a trend right now, after all). Milan and London fashion week shows seem to be housed in beautiful historic buildings and you can see the difference if you catch any insta stories from runways going on right now.
The shows are also much shorter than I expected. Twenty minutes tops, though some went on longer and if your show is longer than that, you better make sure to put on a performance. Too often I would look around at the crowd in shows going on their 30th look and even if the music was bumping, if the show was not throwing glitter at your face (for the KiraKira opportunities, duh) or the decor wasn’t sensory overload, people seemed bored, even irritated. Interesting, since weren’t we all there for the clothes anyways? I’ll get to that in another piece.
One of the most fascinating things I found about fashion week was the street style. I have always been a fan, searching ‘street style [fill in the blank for whatever country I’m traveling to]’ on Pinterest but fashion week street style was different. Photographers waited outside the doors of Spring Studios to catch the most creative, mismatched, and often just downright bizarre looks they could find, à la fashion. Everyone looked good, but when I really analyzed what some people were wearing (and mostly those who were being chased by the paparazzi) I found myself thinking “who the hell would wear that out”. After several days of critical analysis, I realized that’s exactly what you need to wear during fashion week to be noticed. Monochrome outfits, pops of colors, and patterns that you would often think ‘clash’ made the best street style looks, from what I could tell. Of course, the look *must* be accompanied by a nice bag and sunnies. I honestly don’t think I saw anyone being photographed who was not wearing sunglasses, and remember, it rained most of the week.
Although I found myself thinking the above about people’s choice of clothing at the beginning of the week, I found myself appreciating those when done well by the end of the week. The clashing prints didn’t clash so much anymore, and monochrome outfits actually complimented each other. Everyone was wearing trendy pieces, but I started to admire when those trends were worn in a unique way, in a way that made you tilt your head and say ‘why didn’t I think of that?’
Maybe I returned from NYFW with fashion fever, but there’s something to be said for individuals who aren’t afraid to bend the rules a little bit. Fashion is a form of expression, after all, and who really wants to just fit in rather than stand out?
More to come on my experiences @ NYFW.