A few weeks ago we tentatively tiptoed onto the Lincoln Center cement with wide eyes (no blank stares here), Fashion Week virgins. We swaggered out sluts.
With London Fashion week coming to a close and Milan up next, we wanted to reflect on what we learned in New York so that anyone who loves fashion and is lucky enough to live in New York or have cheap access can experience the wonder that is New York Fashion Week next year.
We’re going to focus on the three key things everyone wants from easiest to hardest: 1) getting photographed by fashion street photographers, 2) getting into Lincoln Center and 3) getting into a runway show.
1) Getting photographed. There is a parade of pretty people, almost all either models, celebrities or fashion industry insiders, with the cash and access to wear the best of everything. Photographers will knock you down to get to them. Don’t despair.
If you strut with confidence and a bit of intrigue (who is that?) and wear COLOR, something extreme or dramatic and killer heels, your chances jump by at least 50%. This is not the time for subtle. Go big and bright or go unnoticed.
2) Getting into Lincoln Center. Download a copy of the Mercedes Benz New York Fashion Week schedule, dress well (see above) and tell the nice men at the door you’re there to see the Nicholas K show. Good, you’re in. If you time it to some of the hotter designers, you will see all manner of fashion royalty. It’s fascinating and fun as hell. If you get hungry or thirsty, there are free bottles of water and Fiber One bars in the café to the left. I kept grabbing the Fiber One bars by the fist-full. No one eats, so I had free reign.
3) Getting into a show. Assuming you have successfully made it into Lincoln Center, wait until a few minutes before the stated start time of any scheduled runway show, head up to the podium, and ask if there are “standing room only” slots available. There is a chance you will get in for lesser known designers (we did this for the Walter Show and got in,) not so much for bigger names (we tried and failed for Rebecca Minkoff.) Once inside, move to the middle (best views) and get as close to the benches and an aisle as possible; if there are empty seats (which is often the case) the usher will motion you into them right before the lights dim and the music starts.
Many of the edgier names show in the Meatpacking district at Milk Studios and venues a short walk from there. Again, check the schedule and spend time loitering around there too. The people watching, the vibe, the shopping (Jeffrey, Alexander McQueen, Elizabeth Charles) all of it are intoxicating.
In the end, this whole exercise is all about is having confidence: The confidence to wear clothes outside the norm, the confidence to strut in front of photographers because we look that good, and the confidence to carry ourselves head held high like we belong. It’s a life lesson.
So for now, Jslow and I are drooling all over the Acne and Burberry Prorsum collections on our MacBook Air screens, getting inspiration for what to wear for the February shows in New York. And who knows? Someday our horning may expand to London, and/or Milan, and/or Paris.