Before we get started there’s something you should know about me. I am a fashion lover, but, much to my chagrin, I am not a fashion insider. No matter how many issues of Vogue I read, how much clothing-related credit card debt I accrue, how devotedly I watch Gossip Girl, or how accurately I can quote dialog from The Devil Wears Prada, I am not privy to the inner circle. So when the opportunity to attend a couple of shows at New York Fashion Week came my way, I did an awkward little happy dance in my kitchen. This is the moment I’ve been waiting for!
Being the oversharer that I am, I couldn’t bear to keep the experience to myself. This is my diary of what it’s really like at NYFW.
Monday 3:00pm (2 hours until show time): I am in the midst of a full-blown outfit crisis. What am I supposed to wear? Do I wear fall clothing because it’s the current fashion season? Do I wear spring clothing because it’s the season that’s showing? Do I act like a normal person and wear clothing that befits the temperature outside? Thank goodness I only have a carry-on suitcase of clothing to choose from, otherwise, I’d probably miss the show entirely while deciding what to wear. I go with a colorful sheath dress and nude heels.
4:30pm: I hop in a cab to Lincoln Center for the Joanna Mastroianni show and feel the urge to tell the driver that I’m going to a fashion show. He doesn’t care, and I immediately feel like an ass for telling him.
4:44: There was no traffic, I arrive at Lincoln Center earlier than I expected. I’m fashionably early. Is that a thing?
4:47: There are well-dressed people and photographers everywhere. I try my best to look like I know what I’m doing and I’m supposed to be here. I walk into the show area and none of the security guards stop me.
4:50: There’s an intense check-in process in which I have to show my email invite at a kiosk and exchange it for a paper ticket. I then show my ticket to at least 3 different sets of ushers and security guards. Who would have thought there would be so much bureaucracy?!
4:56: I’m led to a waiting area where I line up with the other peons who do not have assigned seats. I pretend to be very busy with my phone.
5:03: Noticing a lot of men wearing sky-high heels. I wonder if their feet hurt as much as mine do.
5:07: What’s going to happen when they open up the rope to let us into the show. Is this going to be a stampede situation? I’m pretty sure I can’t run in these heels without looking like a fool.
5:10: The security guard opens up the rope and lets us into the show. We’re directed to the standing area behind the 5 rows of seats that flank the runway. Thankfully, there is no stampede. A lot of the seats are still empty.
5:12: A guy standing next to me suggests we steal a couple of seats while no one is looking. We make moves towards a couple empty seats in the last row, we’re about as sneaky as two people can be while stepping over people who are seated, which is to say not at all.
5:15: Turns out my new friend is a male model from South America who’s trying to break into the industry in New York. He asks me if I’m a model too, I immediately like him more.
5:22: The house lights dim and techno music starts blaring. Suddenly there are crazy bright lights on the runway. Here we go!
5:23: The first model sashays onto the runway in a neon pink and green floral dress. She’s a very thin, very pretty black girl with a glossy, mod bob.
5:25: This is so glamorous. I’m beside myself. I was all ready to tell you that it wasn’t nearly as cool or dazzling as I imagined. But it absolutely is. The model parade continues. So much neon in the first few looks! It’s very European garden party with a 90’s raver color palette. I’m especially surprised how wearable a lot of the clothes are.
5:27: We’ve moved into a second part of the collection with a lot more dark colors with neon accents.
5:29: Sequins! Fabulous sequined dresses make their way down the runway. My inner-Golden Girl would definitely wear these.
5:35: After about 40 looks, all the models take to the runway for the final walk. The model leading the way is holding a puppy.
5:37: Thunderous applause as the designer comes out for a bow.
5:40: Here’s the stampede I was waiting for. Major traffic jam leaving the show! Seems like everyone is rushing on to the next show.
5:48: I finally make it outside and walk right into a crowd of people surrounding some TV cameras. I can’t resist the urge to see who’s at the center of all this commotion. I try to push my way to the front for a better view.
5:49: It’s Joan Rivers! She looks completely plastic, but she also doesn’t look a day over 60 (per Google, she’s actually 79).
5:52: I’m standing in the middle of Columbus Ave. trying to get a cab to the Libertine show downtown at Pier 57. Apparently, I am not the only person with places to be, catching a cab does not prove to be easy.
6:00: My cab is making its way through rush hour traffic, but I can use the break. I’m still reeling from the last show, but feel much more comfortable going into the second show now that I know what to expect.
6:13: I arrive at Pier 57 and am greeted by a giant line. There are multiple shows going on, and no one seems to know which line leads to which show. I pick one and hope for the best.
6:15: A sleekly dressed PR guy starts waving people into the warehouse space. Fun dance music is blasting and everyone seems to be crowded along the back wall.
6:17: I realize that this is actually a presentation and not a runway show. The models are lined up and posing for photos. The clothes are fantastic! The silhouettes are mostly very prim and proper, but the clothes are all splashed with color and bedazzled with rhinestones. Every model is topped off with a feather hairpiece.
6:18: The models are dancing around and look like their genuinely having a good time. This seems more like a party than a presentation!
6:19: Meanwhile, the male models are lined up in another corner. My favorite dude is rocking black briefs with rhinestone skulls and a t-shirt that reads “Don’t Mitt Where You Sleep.” Another is wearing a sweater with a rhinestone skull bedazzled on the front. I’m not sure it’s meant to be unisex, but I’d totally wear it anyways.
6:25: I make a few more laps around the space taking photos of the models. Most are now grouped in pairs and are horsing around between mugging for photos.
6:33: I sink into the backseat of my last cab of the day (wearing heels isn’t cheap) en route to drinks with a friend. I’m feeling high on opulence, dance music, and the realization of my dreams to attend fashion week. I’m ready to celebrate with a glass of wine!