Bloggers will have varied experiences of fashion week depending on the tier and reputation. I’m graciously placing myself in the D-list category not only due to humility but due to reality. I don’t feel like I’m necessarily on the “ins” of the industry. However, I am fascinated by every aspect of it and have tucked a hefty amount of knowledge under my belt as a result.
Realistically then, this should be titled “Fashion Week Experience: A Day in the Life Of a D-List Blogger,” since I’ll be describing my experience solely. Also, since I’m planning on basing things in reality, I have to break this down into two separate experiences. As a D-list blogger, there are show days, and then there are ‘slow’ days (which aren’t slow at all, it just means I’m not going to shows.) I’ll be recounting a show day here. And in another post I’ll describe a “slow” day.
I’ve already given you a glimpse of the backstage life and how things work there with Osklen and Chiara Boni, so we’ll skip the days when I’m backstage. The process of elimination is at hand to give you the most realistic experience possible!
A Day of Shows at NYFW:
8:00 AM: I have a pretty full day lined up, so I need to be strategic with my shoes and my bag. I’m 100% bringing my camera, so I line my Saint Laurent tote with bubble wrap on the bottom. It’s not sexy, but it ensures if my bag gets bumped, my lenses and camera are well insulated. I pre-planned my outfit the day before, so dressing is quick and easy. I decide to pop a pair of flats in the bag since it’s a long day. Best bet is to get a foldable pair, like Kushyfoot flats to go (I received a free pair, and they do the job), with some additional insoles.
9:15 AM: I’m out of the house. My first show is Jonathan Cohen showing at Industria Superstudio. I get to the location a bit early, so I decide to walk around the neighborhood and take outfit of the day pictures instead. I prop my phone up on a light post and start taking photos, looking around to make sure nobody sees me doing it because I feel silly!
10:05 AM: I check in with the Jonathan Cohen PR team and make my way to the presentation space. I walked into the internal review the day before at M. Martin by being early, so I’m glad I’m not repeating the same embarrassing mistake today. The makeup and hair team are doing the final touch-ups on the models, but there is a crowd already that’s viewing the clothes. I take several photos and make notes on the designs. I stand off on the side for a bit while the designer greets other guests and walks them through the collection. After 15 minutes, I think I’ve got what I need. Plenty of shots and a good grasp on the clothes.
10:20 AM: I’m close to several coffee shops, but I know the Starbucks across Chelsea Market has reliable wi-fi and plenty of outlets. I make my way over.
10:35 AM: The line for coffee is long, and the seats are all pretty filled up. I’m a block away from MILK Studios and MADE FW after all. I take an open seat by the window next to some outlets, skipping the coffee line. I get my laptop set up and go through the run of show sheet from Jonathan Cohen. I begin marking off my favorite looks while they’re fresh in my mind. I also start writing the article, referencing the pictures I just took as guidance.
11:20 AM: I have a Custo Barcelona invite, but I never received a confirmation for the RSVP. Last season the show was overbooked, and I ended up getting locked out. Nothing worse than being ready to walk in, only to have the doors close in front of you and hearing the show start on the other side (some foreshadowing here.) I reached out to the PR team but never heard anything back, so I decide to keep writing my article for Jonathan Cohen and perfect the article from yesterday’s M.Martin presentation. I also tweak up the Nicholas K and Daniel Silverstain reviews and layouts on the site. Getting stuff done!
12:25 PM: I need a break. My next destination is Sally LaPointe on W27th St. I decide to walk over. Being a New Yorker, I quickly realize Google walking time estimates don’t apply to my pace. I arrive at 1 PM. Show starts at 2. So, I do what any self-respecting human would do: I walk around the block. NYFW is a great exercise plan!
1:28 PM: I get a coffee from a coffee stand next door to the show venue and slowly sip while watching the Polo Ralph Lauren entrance directly across the street. The Polo show is taking place at Gallow Green, my wedding venue, so I reminisce a bit before realizing people are lining up to get checked in for Sally LaPointe. I get in line. People behind me are joking about being plebes and having to wait in line. They seem to be personal friends with one of the show organizers. They’re standing room attendees but will be pulled out of the standing line once we go in. This type of occurrence happens a lot. I don’t typically care. The only time I do take qualm is if someone unrelated to the fashion industry gets a prime spot to watch clothes they don’t regard highly. Or if the show gets filled with fashionably dubious friends and people whose job it is to report on the clothes get locked out due to overcrowding. Once again, I’m foreshadowing here.
2:00 PM: Still in line. Inside the venue now, waiting to go downstairs where the show will be taking place. I got my seating assignment: standing. I have no problem with standing room. I prefer it to sitting a lot of the time. The standing space allows a much better view of the clothes and produces better pictures a lot of the time. I see several people who were assigned to standing approach the PR team to talk about their assignment. I read the news on the phone.
2:20 PM: The standing room crowd is herded down. I get into position at a spot opposite the model entrance and right at a turn of the runway. It’s a good place to see the clothes from all angles. A show organizer approaches several people at the spot and me and asks us if we would like to sit down. I say sure and get seated right behind Linda Fargo. I fiddle with the camera settings a bit but realize quickly that the spot probably won’t yield many good photos. I put the camera down and instead prep my notepad and run of show sheet for notes.
@sally_lapointe on point today. Especially that closing duster trench worn by @iriska_kravchenko 😻 A video posted by Nataliya O (@styletomes) on
2:33 PM: Heading up the stairs out of the Sally LaPointe show. The looks were incredible! I’m right behind Leandra Medine, and as we exit a slew of street photographers closes in on us (by us, I mean her.) I pull my camera out and creepily take a picture as well because I’m a sheep. And because the girl is one of my style icons! On to the next show: Pamella Roland at 5 PM.
That one time when I was was leaving the Sally LaPointe show and realized I was climbing the stairs behind @manrepeller so I contemplated how creepy it would be to take a photo of her outfit from the back (very creepy is the answer.) I waited til we were outside to blend into street photography denizen before snapping my creepster shot. I’m ashamed but surprisingly satisfied at the same time. 😨 #nyfw #streetstyle #streetfashion
3:05 PM: I’m early again. Story of my life. The show doesn’t start until 5 PM at the Whitney Museum in the Meatpacking District. The museum has seating outside its entrance, so I take a seat in the sun and catch up on Instagram. I start writing the Sally LaPointe article as well.
4:33 PM: I take a walk around the block in search of a bodega and some water. By the time I get back, a line has formed outside the Whitney Museum side entrance for Pamella Roland check-in. It’s another opportunity to go through Instagram and listen to the buzz of conversations around me. Many bloggers are meeting and taking photos of each other. After checking in at the door, we proceed up the elevator. The seated assignment crowd breaks off to the left to the main space. The standing room crowd (me) lines up at the rope, waiting while the seats get filled up. Mary J. Blige walks in. The photographers snap up photos of her, and her with the designer, at the Pamella Roland backdrop.
5:19 PM: Standing crowd enters the space. We line up against the walls behind the seats. I stop in a clear aisle behind Mary J. Blige and snap a photo of her from the back with cameras and lights all around her. I proceed on and find space behind Nigel Barker. Everyone that was standing with me has found seats and chosen to sit down. Some of the standing room crowd even found themselves in the front row. A man in front of me offers me his seat; I thank him and let him know I’m ok standing. I edge to the side and stand next to all the seats, directly opposite of the model entrance. The show starts and the models walk straight up to me before turning to the runway. Not only do I see the clothes up close, but my photos are also coming out splendidly! I’m delighted with my spot.
5:45 PM: The show is over. Next stop is Zang Toi at the main NYFW venue. I walk on up, because, why not? I have some time before the show starts at 7 pm.
6:45 PM: Line up again. I accidentally walked backstage by sashaying in like I owned the place. I just had no idea where I was going. Anyway, same story. Line, wait, Instagram. I’m exhausted at this point and just want to see the show and go home to rest and upload all the photos. I have a TON of work to do.
6:50 PM: The line is extremely disorganized. I’m getting irritated. People are just making their way through by being loud and pretending to be important. Sense my irritation? We get to the check-in point. My barcode isn’t scanning. I go up to the PR girl; she doesn’t check anything just tells me to go into standing line.
7:10 PM: The standing line is not a line. It’s a humongous herd of people squeezed in like sardines. My Custo Barcelona experience previous fashion week springs to mind. I ask the people next to me if they recall the capacity for the venue. Nobody knows. See where I was going with that foreshadowing earlier? All the girls around me look at me with disbelief when I tell them that I think the PR team grossly overbooked. I don’t believe they’re familiar with how the shows often work. I’m at the front of the standing crowd. As I look behind me, I realize there’s no way in the world all the people are going in.
7:23 PM: They let in ten people from the standing line. They stop the line at a few other girls and me. Yes, literally ten people. The doors close. “Sorry, we can’t have any more people at the venue due to fire code.” I was right. Everyone I addressed earlier is standing around and not moving as if the doors will magically open. I squeeze through and rush home. I’m tired, hungry and in need of an episode of “Pretty Little Liars.” Plus, there’s that early wake-up call for backstage coverage at Osklen next day.