OH MY LOVES! Yesterday marked the official start of NYFW for the Spring/Summer 2018 season + MAN am I ever excited to see all the new beautiful designs. As I sit here writing this post, much to all of your dismay I am actually not sitting in NYC thinking about all the amazing shows I will be attending tomorrow. Instead I am sitting here in good ole sunny California writing this blog post to you lovely people thinking of all the stereotypes that come from dreaming about the glorious fashion week experience.
When I was younger I ohhh’d + ahhh’d as I dreamed about going to New York Fashion Week. My inner fashionista almost felt like nothing would be more of an accomplishment than attending NY or Paris Fashion Week. I got a taste of this dream during my internship in college when I got to experience something called “market week”. For those of you who don’t know, market week is where you go to designer showrooms + see the latest collections about 6 months before they hit stores. Most of the showrooms are gorgeous open spaces that have floor to ceiling windows, fresh flowers galore, + tons of pretty smelling candles burning. Mix that with lovely fabrics, beautiful models, + gorgeous clothing + it can be quite glorious.
I will never forget going to a Stella McCartney garden party presentation in the NYC Meatpacking District during that summer internship. Somehow during that event, I mysteriously ended up in a circle of conversation with Stella McCartney herself alongside the gorgeous Gwenyth Paltrow + Kate Hudson. My little college girl self was all sorts of starry eyed at that very moment. I stood in wonderment at these women who were decked head to toe in their gorgeous designer clothing, as I stood there, 20 years old wearing the latest fashions from Zara [a dress that resembled an Alexander McQueen runway piece no less]. Needless to say, that summer internship truly was a window into making all my fashion dreams come true.
It wasn’t long after that lovely internship that I attended my very first designer fashion show. AT LAST! IT WAS HAPPENING + MY FASHION DREAMS WERE COMING TO LIFE! I’ll never forget that day. A week prior I had received a beautifully printed invite with a name written on the front. MY NAME. I remember spending hours trying to pick out the perfect outfit for the show. How do I be myself but simultaneously stand out? It seemed like an impossibly difficult task, but I was determined to not be discouraged.
Alas it finally was the day of the show. I strolled by the crowd of onlookers + photographers that stood outside the entrance + walked right up to the front. I handed my personalized invite to the security [my heart skipped a beat as I did] + proceeded to strut inside with my patterned tights, colored skirt, + bright lips. After a bit of confusion, I finally found my seat amidst the chaos of people. As I sat down, my eyes darted around the room looking at all the fashionites entering. I found myself thinking about which celebrity I would spot first. I was in awe of the unique, over the top, yet simultaneously beautiful fashions surrounding me. Then, suddenly there she was. The glorious Rachel Zoe, famous celebrity stylist + fashion maven, decked in a beautiful fur coat, jumpsuit + round oversized sunnies. She strutted right in front of me + I swear I could almost feel the wind from her brisk walk as she passed in front of me + over to her front row seat, paparazzi in tow. Soon after, the lights began to dim + everyone slowly put away their bright iPhones. There was a pause in the darkness when suddenly the beat to an amazing heart racing song started to play. The lights went up + the first model walked down the runway. It was glorious….
After the show I walked outside + saw a crowd of photographers. Naturally I thought they were looking for the likes of Rachel Zoe. But surprisingly, I was stopped by multiple photographers to have MY photo taken… ME?!? I gawked at the question + let out a confident “of course”, as they snapped away. Sigh. All that to say, I left my first show feeling as though I had finally gotten to live a piece of my 22 year old dream that was finally coming true…. + it was more than I could ever have expected.
NOW, let’s flash forward to today, shall we?
While that story is lovely + SO meaningful to me on a personal level, there are some realities that have sank in since that time of being a luxury fashion buyer. Back then, fashion week seemed ALL so glamorous. But now that I am a full time blogger + co-founder of a social media agency I have realized just how not-so-glamorous fashion week can actually be! So before you get sad that you have never tasted the lovely experience I just described above, I urge you to read on! There are a few stereotypes that I must bring to the light for you.
Stereotype 1: Every person that goes to fashion week looks like they do during fashion week 100% of the time.
FALSE. You better believe me when I tell you that every person attending fashion week goes ABOVE + beyond to accessorize + perfect every last detail of their wardrobe. Not only that, but most of us bloggers do not have limitless amounts of money to spend on new clothes. There are endless amounts of coordination ranging from hundreds of emails to multiple showroom visits, to phone calls, to deliveries, happening in advance of fashion week so that you can be connected with as many brands as possible. Then before you know it you have all these amazing fashion pieces + yet absolutely NO idea how to style them. It is back to the drawing board. Time to fish out every last known basic layering piece + unique accessory out of your closet in the hopes to make your look feel completely complete, yet simultaneously “effortless” [HA, ya right!].
Let’s just say, it takes a WHOLE lot of effort to look fierce for Fashion week, + I can pretty much guarantee that most people do not look like that in their daily lives.
Stereotype 2: It is extremely easy to get into fashion shows as a fashionista.
FALSE. When you are not a high end buyer, top editor at a magazine, or an A-list celebrity it is not as easy as marching up to the front door of fashion shows looking extra fly with your fingers crossed just hoping someone at the door will know who you are + think you look fabulous enough to let you in. Nope. Sadly, when you are an average blogger such as myself there are weeks + weeks of reach out that have to happen prior to getting even a single invite.
It all starts with stalking every last PR contact you can find for every show + event you want to go to. Yes indeed, I used the work “stalk”. No that doesn’t mean to email each person endlessly..but rather go to any means necessary to research online until you find an email of someone…anyone! When it is the Chanel show + you desperately want to go, you do your research so you can live that once + a lifetime experience… ya know what I’m saying? The point being, you end up acquiring hundreds of emails, in which then you have to email out a lovely message to every single one of them… individually. Yes, indeed. Hundreds of emails. AND THEN… when you do not get a reply back in a week [which happens quite often], you send follow up emails to every single one of them. I almost think it would be smart for every blogger to make an entire new email address dedicated to sending out + organizing fashion week emails alone. SHOOT. I am already exhausted just thinking about this!
Stereotype 3: All of us fashionistas have our own personal paparazzi following us around at all times henceforth translating into all of our amazing imagery.
FALSE… Well most of the time. Okay, so it is true some bloggers do have their own dedicated photographers during fashion week. In many cases these photographers are personally tied + fully vested in that particular blogger. That is amazing, + a gift. For the rest of us…. especially people not from the city they are visiting, this means having to hire a photographer + convince them to meet you somewhere convenient in between shows to coordinate a shoot. Keep in mind, you are likely in heels + the weather is likely not the greatest as fashion week tends to be known for. Happy scheduling!
In many real life situations, bloggers end up bringing their own cameras to the show + work out a deal with their fellow blogger besties to snap photos of them between shows whenever convenient. When your fierce blogger #PIC is done taking photos of you, you return the favor….which likely means crouching down in your platform heals + fancy outfit on the streets of a big city just to get the best angle. No big deal, you may have just ruined your fancy stilettos, but it was worth it for the shot, right?!
Oh, + did I mention often the weather is less than ideal with gusting winds, or freezing temperatures, or WORSE rain/snow? Yup. Let’s talk about real life glamorous photography right there. 😉
Stereotype 4: You feel like a glamazon at a fashion show.
FALSE + TRUE… For the most part, fashion shows can be fun + exciting. They truly are amazing + beautiful + I LOVE watching all of the gorgeous clothing come down the runways. But the fact of the matter is, unless you are an A-lister, you likely are standing in endlessly long lines + being forced to either find standing room during the show or squeeze next to someone on a tiny bench hoping to have a good view. Sometimes this scenario works to your advantage + you get the joy of having a front row seat. But many times, these instances are few + far between.
When the show ends, there is a mad dash of people to go outside + rush to their next show. The complicated part is, there are only so many ubers than can pick up hundreds of bloggers at one time. This means uber prices being at SURGE pricing at all times + also very long waits for your uber to arrive.
This post is by no means trying to make you think that Fashion week isn’t still extraordinary. IT IS, + believe me when I say I loveeeee every minute of it. Rather, if you find yourself having fashion week FOMO because all the bloggers are there + you are seeing it all over social media… just keeping mind the truth behind how much hard work goes behind making every fashion week successful for us bloggers.
Love you all so so much, happy Fashion Month Watching!
Thank you to the amazing Thacker for making this post possible!