Fall 2008 Fashion Week in Review
Number of shows I attended: 29
Number of shows I was invited to but missed: 4 (two due to double-booking, two due to laziness)
Number of hours I managed to work at my daytime job: 37-1/2
Number of shows I tried to unsuccessfully talk my way into: 1 (Max Azria has prison-guard-like publicists)
Number of pounds I lost: 3
Number of ailments I now have: 1 (the flu)

Favorite shows I attended (in no particular order)
Mara Hoffman
Chris Han
Temperley London

Five trends for fall

The return of the waist
Over-the-knee (boots and socks)
Mad Men (bright colors, full skirts)

Best swag
In the Iodice gift bag, what at first looked like a random airplane toy turned out to be an incredibly useful 1GB external hard drive, courtesy of TAM airlines.

Tents vs. off-site venues

There's much debate on this topic. The tents are far more convenient--everything's all in one place, Bryant Park is centrally located, there are restrooms--but the corporate sponsors sometimes create a trade-show-like atmosphere, and then there are the crashers, fashion students, and random friends ("OMG! OMG! We're at Fashion Week! This is soooo exciting"), not to mention the Pushy McShoversons, all of whom make the tents a totally annoying experience (I think Cintra Wilson captured the experience the best in this article for Salon). As for off-site venues, they are often more serene, more civilized, and have better swag (hello, Bumble + Bumble!), but they require schlepping all over the place, which, if you don't have a car and driver (which I don't), can be a nerve-wracking experience. Also, at three of the four off-site shows I went to this season, I had guest-list issues (but more on those later).

On swag
Fashion Week gives most people a serious case of The Gimmies, and I will admit I'm not immune to it. When I enter a show and see there are no gift bags, I actually breathe a sigh of relief. When I see that only the first or first two rows have them, I get irritated (what, only the "important" guests deserve swag?). When all of the seats have gift bags, I stash mine in my purse, lest someone try to steal it (that does happen to me, at least once a season), or, if I have a standing ticket, I try to figure out how to get one. I have no idea why gift bags produce so much anxiety--they don't necessarily contain the most useful items--but, hey, as The Shophound noted, free stuff is good stuff.

How to dress for Fashion Week

There are two types of people at Fashion Week: those who have seats, and those who do not. Most of the time, I fall into the latter category (which is fine--I am happy just to get invited), which involves a lot of standing around, waiting to be let in. Editors, buyers, and other VIPs, on the other hand, stroll in wearing sky-high platforms; since they basically go between their chauffeur-driven cars and their front-row seats, practical footwear is not necessary. As for me, I wore flats (or very low heels) every day and still managed to get photographed by several Japanese street-wear magazines. Still, Fashion Week is a bit of a fashion show off the runway as well, and I think everyone gets a little anxious about their outfits.

Parties and photographs

I could care less about getting my picture taken and/or going to parties, but for many people, these aspects of Fashion Week are more important than, say, the clothes going down the runways. To me, these are just more causes for anxiety; read this post, written by Slut Machine at Jezebel, for an honest take on how Fashion Week can make you feel awful about yourself.

On publicists
At Fashion Week, publicists have an extremely challenging job. No, I'm not being facetious--they have to deal with major fashion-industry egos whilst creating a seating plan, and then when check-in time comes, they have everyone rushing at them, from people pissed off at their seating assignment (or lack thereof) to show-crashers. And, of course, things always go wrong--you're not on the list, you have a standing ticket and don't get in, etc. But it is at this point where a fashion publicist's true colors show. I think that, like in the real world, about 75% of them are genuinely nice people and about 25% are assholes. The people at MAO PR, for example, are always lovely. But you don't want to hear about them, do you? I had two publicists send me invites to shows, to which I RSVP'd, but then when I wasn't on the list, they said it was because I didn't receive a "final confirmation." Um, wouldn't my invitation be my final confirmation? When I politely pointed out the lack of business etiquette present, both situations were quickly resolved. Also, I had another publicist, who was incredulous at my lack of business cards, tell me, "Honey, bring your business cards when you come to Fashion Week." Noted.

How to dress like a fashion editor in six easy steps

1. Opaque black tights
2. Platform shoes (preferably Christian Louboutin, Balenciaga, or Prada)
3. Fur coat
4. Expensive but not-too-flashy handbag with gold hardware
5. Smock dress or bubble or tulip skirt
6. Huge ring


Anonymous said...

I know you don't normally post this on your blog, but I'd love to see some of the outfits you wore during Fashion Week, or any other time.

Anonymous said...

Sorry to hear you are ill! If it is the throaty thing, sleep is the only cure. Rest up and feel better!