I began blogging professionally about a year and a half ago. In September 2011 I said to myself, “I’d like to attend Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week,” as if it should be so simple.
After scanning through the internet, I finally figured out that the mega fashion event that takes place in New York twice a year is Invitation Only. Brilliant. However, my dream was not completely destroyed. I continued on with my blog, and found success through persistence and meeting the most generous of people, and four months later, I began receiving my very own invitations to not only New York Fashion Week, but also London Fashion Week.
As a regular chick living in the big city just trying to get by, I thought it would be nice to type up a post for the ultimate guide to surviving New York Fashion Week, whether you’re a fashion newcomer, or maybe just a curious outsider.
I am going to crush your dream, though, and let you know that the fashion industry – Fashion Week included – is NOT all glamorous. Yes, the free gifts are awesome. Yes, the fashion show invitations are priceless. But when you’ve got 10 shows in one day, you find yourself living off of protein bars and Gatorade while you’re running around Manhattan in stilettos when it’s pouring rain and of course – you didn’t bring an umbrella because it didn’t match with your outfit and the 3 purses you’re carrying that are stuffed with all the free magazines you got from the Tents. (oh…the magazines…..)
Survival Guide: New York Fashion Week
- Clear your schedule: When a show invitation says 3PM, that usually means the show doesn’t actually start until 3:30PM. And if you have a 4PM show scheduled after that….well, sometimes you’re lucky and sometimes you’re not. I received an invitation to [major designer]‘s runway show last February. I – and about 100 other people – waited in line for about an hour only to be told “We’re sorry, but we’re at maximum capacity.” Pretty lame… but it happens and there’s nothing you can do about it.
- Back up your back-up camera: Always, always, ALWAYS have a back-up camera. And be sure to have a back-up for your back-up. Pathetically enough, due to the universe just playing a really lame joke on me (or maybe I’m just avoiding taking responsibility for my own actions), I ended up needing to carry 3 cameras with me (iPhone included). You never know what might happen: forgot your memory card? Forgot to charge your Cyber-Shot? Or maybe you just made a really bad investment….. BACK-UP YOUR BACK-UP!
- Pack some canned goods: Whether you’re carrying an Hermes, rental, or thrifted tote, be sure to pack yourself some healthy snacks. Even if you’ve only got one show scheduled the entire day, for some reason Fashion Week does a really good job at taking over your entire life, and you may or may not find yourself sitting on the floor in the Tents…. starving.
- Bring your phone charger: As a fashion blogger, I’m a messenger between the designer and the consumer. Although being able to attend the runway shows is amazing, I don’t have the luxury of being able to just sit back and relax and just enjoy the show – I document every moment of it by taking pictures (yeah, on all 3 of my cameras) and Tweeting/Instagraming the crap out of them. You’ll be on your phone basically every moment… so you best keep it juiced.
- Stay fresh: Fashion Week happens rain or shine, and it’s up to YOU to keep up. If it’s important to you (which, if you’re there in the first place, I’m sure it is) be sure to carry your hairbrush and cosmetic bag with you. Unfortunately people are just too polite to break the news to you that mascara is running down your face and your hair looks like you just ran through a tornado. Bloggers and reporters are all over the place snapping photos left and right…and you don’t want to be labeled as Fashion Week’s Worst.
- Don’t lie: If you weren’t invited to a show, don’t try to lie to anybody and say that you were. They know everything. And the security guards eat kittens for breakfast and will not let you badger them. Trust me, I’ve seen people do it and it’s just really painful to watch.
So, yeah. Fashion Week doesn’t have to be a heart attack. Just plan well and remember it’s okay to be practical AND fabulous.