Fashion Weeks are always a struggle: it’s challenging for the body, but also for the mind, which could be deeply affected. Inflated ego or lost of self-esteem, tantrums, insomnia, and combat stress syndrome are not uncommon.
This cannot be stressed enough: a Navy Seal is a real wimp compared to an experienced Fashion person. I remember Hamish Bowles once telling of his experience as a participant in am American wilderness Training Survival Camp (I think he did it as an assignment for US Vogue), and how big macho types started sobbing on the second day, while he smoothly cruised through the entire trek. No wonder that when you’re used to navigate the Fashion crowd, angry snakes or enraged bears are nothing in comparison. And one would rather drink from a pond contaminated with animal droppings than from your Fashion show neighbor’s abandoned bottled water.
Here are my own tips on how to behave in such situations, while remaining yourself.
1- Be ready to strike a pose for the herd of Fashion bloggers waiting at the entrance of the show. I personally use airplane bathroom mirrors for rehearsal.
2- Adopt the Pitti Uomo walk, also known as the Milanese walk. This particular walk has been largely popularized by The Sartorialist. Look back at his archives for the appropriate gesture.
3- If you’re commuting by foot, it’s not a bad idea to start looking absorbed by your important thoughts at least 10 blocks away. A Fashion blogger could be waiting in ambush, and you want to give him the busy-as-hell-while-amazingly-dressed shot that will bring him 10 000 likes.
4- Acknowledge your best-dressed competitors by openly photographing them. Make sure they hear you whispering « how gorgeous !… », like you can’t keep it to yourself.
5- Unless you’re prominent within the Industry, being granted a good seat is always the harshest part. Don’t hesitate to bribe the PR assistants.
6- A true Fashion person doesn’t eat (or needs a pee in 12 hours) but you might more likely be starving to your death. Pack a lunch, and use the long waits before the shows to take a quick bite. The bonus : a vomit smelling melted cheese panini will give you extra room.
7- Lack of sleep, over-heated spaces, dull music, and especially tedious Fashion are the most common causes of patent drowsiness. Instead of uselessly fighting somnolence, indulge yourself with a 20 minutes nap.
8- Bored with the whole scene ? Make yourself useful as a dresser. This high-responsibility position will teach you a lot, while helping to keep the interest alive until the next Fashion week.
” Offering unprecedented access to the world’s most exclusive backstages, the Unknown Hipster shares his insider secrets for surviving a fashion week” i-D magazine
How to get more room at fashion shows? What to do during waiting time? When to adopt the Milanese walk? One wonders about these existential questions.
At the invitation of i-D magazine, I’m giving my own tips on how to deal efficiently with the toughest persons in the world, and successfully cruise a fashion week.
i-D magazine Summer 2013 issue is out now.
This is the time of the year in New York when you see them returning.
The tall, thin, black silhouettes navigating the slush in their cheap Rock boots.
They announce the coming of Fashion Week like quails announce the end of summer.
I was inspired to write them a poem :
« Don’t look at me unless you’re Vinoodh and Inez
My boyfriend he will get you
Dump you in a trash bin somewhere
Daddy will drown you in a pond behind the factory »
I saw you walking fast
Holding tight the frozen plastic of the lookbooks
And now in the middle of the night
I hear you giggling in the hotel rooms
I often see this guy at the airport.
He chaperones the girls trans-Atlantic.
I think he figures out the passports, waits for the bags,
Makes sure some jerk doesn’t snap some photos of them in their sleep.
The girls look bored while they wait.
No friends but a cellphone.
One hundred or so living models were standing on a 4-story scaffolding structure installed on the golf driving range on the Hudson, wearing the latest Moncler collection.
The futuristic, neo-military opera-style installation reminded me of the aesthetic of some of the Thierry Mugler photographs campaigns from the late 80s.
The coldness was extreme, and only well-equiped Fashion people could stay on the tall balconies to study the models and confront chilly winds blowing from across the river in the New Jersey dark skies.
I was glad to wear my vintage Moncler, and a French ski team hat from Brooklyn Flea market that I had bought the previous weekend to attend the Fashion shows.
This is where I met Ricky, who was freezing, simply wearing a cordoroy jacket and his marine boat captain’s cap.
– This is almost model cruelty, he said, alluding to the Artic endurance test unfolding on the scaffolding.
However, this was to forget the high-tech yet stylish insulation of the Moncler design (you can ski in warmth and still feel like a page from Wallpaper magazine).
– Don’t worry, I told him, these pretty young things feel as hot as if they in a Purple fashion shoot.