I'm so sorry it has taken me so long to get around to posting on NYFW, but I've been so busy working on my thesis lately that I haven't had the time or energy to do this. Better late than never, right? This is my “Newbies Guide” to New York Fashion Week. Basically I wanted to document my experience at fashion week as a totally clueless fashion blogger. I will be doing separate posts on the actual shows that I went to, but the text and pictures provided here are more to just give you an idea of what to expect if you ever do go to Fashion Week. I'm not going to pretend I had a completely glamorous time and that I knew what I was getting myself into in the least, but I hope this will give you an inside glimpse into what fashion week really is like for us laypeople.
As you may or may not know, I was miraculously invited to two presentations and a show at New York Fashion Week this year. How? The best answer I can give you is that I signed up with FohrCard.com, RSVP'd to them regarding fashion week, and applied to be in their “Top 200 Bloggers” list for NYFW. Once I got accepted to the “Top 200 Bloggers” list (how? I still don't know–but THANK YOU), I signed up with Fashion GPS using a special invite code that FohrCard.com gave me and waited for the invites to (not) come rolling in. Honestly, I wasn't expecting to get invited to anything at all. Fohr Card gives their list of bloggers to all the designers and brands putting on shows and presentations at fashion week. I knew I was at the bottom of the list so I wasn't holding my breath about it.
CELEBRATING GETTING INVITED. THEN FREAKING OUT ABOUT GETTING INVITED.
WELL, about a couple days before NYFW weekend, I received three invites in my email all at once! One for Susan Woo, Lela Rose, and Kaelen. I was so ecstatic and promptly went out to the bars with my friends to celebrate with tequila shots. Luckily I live in New York City (I go to school in Amherst, Massachusetts), so I was able to drive back for the weekend and stay at my own house. Of course I had to bring my partner in crime and beauty blogger, Sarah Wise, with me for moral support and beauty consultation purposes. Because at this point I was honestly freaking out. I was NOT prepared outfit-wise for these kinds of events and I felt totally out of my league already. I was determined not to be the laughing stock of NYFW, and I somehow managed to pull together a decent outfit the day before the fashion show. You can see pictures of what I wore to Lela Rose here.
THE FIRST PRESENTATION
The first presentation I went to was Susan Woo. I did not know what to expect at ALL. It was at Pier 59 and was in this absolutely gorgeous space. In true newbie-dom Sarah and I arrived 30 minutes early and wandered around taking pictures because the girls at the registration table weren't letting anyone sign in yet. They were also very intimidating and beautiful so we stayed away. We were directed to the lounge, where a gorgeous bar and seating areas awaited us. We got bored of that and decided to awkwardly stand in front of the sign-in table (first in line-duh!). Finally they opened this giant warehouse metal door and started taking people's tickets. They let Sarah in easily, even though she didn't have a ticket. It was exactly what I did not expect–I expected some kind of catwalk, but instead, models were lined up under hot white lights for hours as people took pictures of them. This was actually a great warm-up to seeing the Lela Rose fashion show on Sunday (which was a lot more intimidating), and I also got some great pictures of makeup and details of outfits I wouldn't have been able to snap if these pieces were walked down the runway.
Pier 59 (Lobby/waiting area)
One of the super comfy couches in the lobby.
Susan Woo NYFW Presentation 2013
I got some great hair & makeup shots that I cannot wait to share in my next post!
THE LELA ROSE FASHION SHOW
I'm not even going to pretend that I had any idea what I was walking into. I'm not one of those bloggers who gets invited to things like this, and I was beyond nervous to actually show up. I got there about an hour early because I wanted to take some pictures outside in Lincoln Center for my outfit post for NYFW. My friend Sarah took the pictures for me as other photographers also took pictures of my outfit. I was floored that people actually thought I was worth taking a picture of, and I even got featured on Social Bliss!
Once I was done taking pictures, I changed my shoes to moto boots (my feet were killing me and I absolutely could not walk a second more in those heels) and we entered the fashion tent. So the weird thing is that there was a bunch of people/photographers waiting outside the main tent as if they couldn't get in, but Sarah and I just walked right in without showing a ticket or anything. The security guard asked us what we wanted, and we told him we were going to a fashion show and he said OK and stepped aside. Strange.
Anyways, as we got into the tent it was very overwhelming. There were a couple Mercedes Benz cars on display inside, and a bunch of other little stations for different brands with some free samples. There was even a photobooth where you could take pictures with your friends. We meandered around for a little, and then went to the front desk to confirm my ticket. We were all ready to present some kind of elaborate story as to why Sarah should be able to come in with me, but when I asked the girl straight up if Sarah could come with, she gave me a guest pass in under 2 seconds. Easy. We got in line and waited in a crowd of people for about 20 minutes until they literally herded us in like fashion cattle into the Lela Rose tent. There was a huge wall of photographers and videographers at the end of the runway, which was pretty cool to see in person because obviously that's one angle you never see in pictures or on television. Sarah and I had “priority standing” (whatever that means), so we took that as meaning that we got to stand in the FRONT behind the last row of chairs (which actually turned out to be a really good view). We were a little disappointed when we saw the goodie bags were filled with Stila makeup and the old man in front of us didn't offer us any, but alas.
My partner in crime, Sarah.
This is inside the main tent where are the brands had their own little areas for free sampling, etc. As you can see, I've changed into more comfortable shoes!
You can kind of get the idea of the amount of people and chaos that ensued in the Lela Rose tent before the show.
The Wall of Photographers
Some shots from the runway…
The fashion show itself was amazing. The music was especially amazing–I discovered my new favorite artist, MS MR, from this fashion show. They played Ash Tree Lane to both open and close the show and it literally gave me chills. The show ended just as suddenly as it started and everyone piled out on top of each other. Sarah and I walked out to a horde of photographers waiting outside the main tent, snapping pictures at anyone that walked by (making us feel very special), but really waiting for the REAL celebrities and fashionistas to exit the tent. At this point, we were freezing, tired, and hungry, so we ended our fashion week debut at PJ Clarks for a crab cake sandwich.
MY ADVICE TO FASHION WEEK NEWBIES:
1. Bring a friend. You can probably get them in to see the show with you as long as you have an invitation. It'll ease your nerves, and you'll have someone there to hold your stuff and take your picture. Sounds super diva, I know, but especially when you have several bags (with shoes, other supplies) & a camera in tow, things can get pretty hard to juggle without an extra pair of hands to help out.
2. Bring a camera. This sounds super obvious, but try to take as many pictures as you can. Also have your picture taken so you can post pictures of yourself at NYFW on your blog.
3. Bring business cards. This is something that I didn't have time to do between the time I found out I was invited and actually attended the events. A ton of people were taking pictures of my outfit at Lincoln Center outside of the Fashion Week tents, and it would've have been super helpful to pop them a quick business card. Not only does this increase your network (they will probably give you theirs back), but if they post your picture on their blog, they can give you due credit–which in turn creates more traffic for your own website!
4. Bring an extra pair of shoes. If you saw the shoes I wore to NYFW, you would understand why I brought a pair of boots with me.
5. Know the difference between a “presentation” and a “fashion show.” I didn't. I figured it out after I went to the Susan Woo Presentation, but it would've been nice to actually know what to have expected. Here's the difference: a presentation involves a bunch of beautifully done up models wearing the designer's outfits, standing in a line under hot white lights as people crowd around, oggle, and take pictures. There is also a “water girl” who makes sure to water the models that look as if they are going to faint. A “fashion show” is exactly what you imagine when you think of a fashion show–models strutting down a catwalk. It's completely glamorous, has amazing music and fabulous people, and only lasts around 15 minutes.