Sharp Edits #Three

...Fashion Week round one: Let the games begin

by Mariel Reed
It’s that time of year again. After a somewhat unnoticeable summer—a whole season, spent wearing coats instead of cut-offs has come and gone and now we are back into the swing of things. Love them or hate them, the Spring Summer 2012 Fashion Weeks have arrived and are coming to a city near you! Although some of you may want to scream and run the other way, survival isn’t as asinine as it seems. Models do it for a living. And although Fashion Week may seem so overwhelming, you envisage your death by day 3, it is a staple that makes the fashion world go ‘round. So, to cope with all the hullabaloo, I offer my experiences in dealing with some problems that might (almost definitely will) arise. And if you are not already familiar with these situations, read wisely. I offer solace and support to my fellow Fashion Week attendees and proof that it is indeed all worth it.

When I stepped off the plane in New York, I was immediately greeted by a common peeve all New Yorkers are familiar with: trying to catch a cab. A near impossible feat at JFK International Airport, I managed to hop in one and make my way toward The Big Apple. This was the beginning of something new. This was NOT JUST A LABEL’s first NYFW and I was honoured to break the ice.

Getting around New York City can be difficult at times. With fashion shows spanning the entire West Side of Manhattan, taking a taxi may not be the fastest way to get around and you can forget about it during rush hour. Although is it termed “fashionably late,” showing up so late that you miss a show is definitely not on trend. Of course you don’t want to be too early either. You’ll end up waiting forever and being herded like cattle while the feet you wish were not attached to your own body sink farther into the toe of your 6-inch heel. Getting the perfect timing for this is a stunt to be mastered. There is no worse feeling than walking to the back of a seemingly unending line or being denied entry after a show has started.

There is no better feeling than confidence. Fashion Week is a time to show off your Sunday best—a pageant for the fashionably inclined. I take great pleasure in parading around in my favourite frocks. But one must also consider practicality when choosing an outfit. A seasoned FW veteran will know exactly how dedicated to the sport someone is by looking at his apparel. There is a vast difference between the way an aficionado and industry professional present themselves. As much as we all may go goo-goo for those Gaga-inspired looks, the fact alone that a street-style photographer’s dream subject had enough time and energy to plan such an extravagant ensemble would lead attendees to believe that he is more serious about being in fashion than working in fashion.

That being said, I cannot stress the importance of wearing comfortable shoes enough. Standing squat at 5’4” I wouldn’t dream of going a day without heels, however, I would not advise being overambitious. Fashion Week is not the best time to break in a new pair of platforms. On Day 1, after a few hours spent gallivanting all over Manhattan, I managed to do some serious damage to my foot, which made the following days a little more than painful. Be smart about your footwear. Choosing shoes is like choosing friends. You want to keep the ones you can trust and get rid of the ones that will end up hurting you. Even though they might be hard to get rid of, the pain simply is not worth it.

By day 3, morale may be low, but don’t let that discourage you. FW is the time when everything is on display. Not only fashion brands, but also beauty and luxury brands put their best foot forward to impress the press. Take advantage of all the things that are on offer. After an exhausting morning of shows I recharged in one of the press lounges. As I had my hair and nails done (a rare occurrence for me anyway), I rebooted and re-entered the tents at Lincoln Centre, feeling brand new and ready to go.

After nearly suffocating on the plane back to London, I have calmed down and geared up for this week’s round. London, it’s your turn to shine now!