Monday, September 26, 2011

Tales of a Newbie at Fashion Week

Fashion Week.
Me, Darby, and our photographer Romona.
After flying out at 6 am (that means airport at 4, eww), we arrived, checked in, and headed straight for our press passes before even touching a shower. 

I personally promised many of you a recap. So for those who come here not caring so much about my personal life, you may want to skip over this post. Back to inspired content on Tuesday, promise. For those of you who have been urging me to fill you in, I can't show you everything. Because let's remember, I was in New York on behalf of VIE magazine, of which all photos except a few snapped on my phone belong to. But the good news? You can pick up the fashion issue of VIE later this Fall for every scrumptious little detail, including what is sure to be a lengthy column on my personal experiences, thoughts, and opinions from the week. So consider this a sneak peak:

The week started off shiny and covered in glitter- quite literally. We stifled our squeals upon seeing reality TV stars, celebrities from our favorite shows, and almost had a few full-blown meltdowns over Beyonce, Nicki Minaj, Anna Wintour, Olivia Palermo (hello, I died), Sophia Bush, Emma Roberts, Kim Kardashian (that teeny tiny little thing), and a handful of other celebrities that were on our radar before we arrived. But long work days jaded us a little, and as each silver-screen darling strutted in to the lobby of Lincoln Center, we realized we'd quickly adapted to the daily grind of the routine.
Guess who's on that front row?
The shows? They're everything you'd hope. Bright white runways light up as models strut down towards an intimidating pit of photographers all vying for their money shot. They're as much about the performance of the show as they are the clothes the models are showing. (Secret: You should go ahead and get pretty excited for the J.Crew and Tory Burch spring collections.) 

at Carlos Miele

One thing someone should have taught me before I went was how to have my picture taken. Not in the real world sense of instruction, but in the fashion-obsessed sense of the phrase. Since street-style has become a phenomenon, bloggers, newspaper photographers, and tourist flock Lincoln Center from sunrise to well past sunset, waiting, camera-ready, for an outfit that catches their eye. Some ask you to stop for your photograph, while others follow you from the side or skip backwards in front of you click click clicking away to capture your outfit. One day a photographer followed me across the cross-walk snapping pics of my booties, camera aimed at my feet the entire time. Like, what? This I was not prepared for. Upon walking up to Lincoln Center the first day, Darby (my sidekick marketing assistant) and I were stopped and asked for our photograph. Not knowing why in the world this photographer wanted to take a picture of little ole us, we flung out arms around each other and grinned with big southern smiles, lowering our chin and looking up through our lashes just like our mamas taught us. Uh uh. Not the way to do it, girls. We quickly caught on to the one leg in front of the other, lower your bag to your side, turn slightly, and don't smile (ok, let's face it, I had to smile. My face doesn't not smile in front of a camera.) By day two, we were ready for those photographers again... although we never tired of laughing and wondering why in the world they wanted to photograph us. 

Other snippets? People were nice. This southern drawl got us raised eyebrows and the infamous "Where are you guys from?" more often than not. But what also happened more often than not, was that we found our accents paired with a sweet smile was hard for people to turn down. We were granted access we shouldn't have been granted. We were invited places we weren't meant to be. We were taken backstage at shows, given free tickets, offered on-the-house food and champagne. Of course, the key to the whole scheme was pretending that we were absolutely deserving but also still absolutely grateful for these favors. Which we got pretty good at, if I do say so myself. Lesson learned: Mama was right, smiles and thank you's always go a long way
My favorite part? Outfit browsing. I came back completely inspired for how to pair my current closet staples and with an eye for what I'll be picking up this fall and spring to add in, which I'm excited to incorporate into some upcoming content to share with you. I packed for New York completely terrified of not being able to keep up with the sure-to-be fashionistas that would surround me at Lincoln Center. But I came back with a whole new persepective. People are genuinely appreciative of personal style, more so than a head-to-toe designer look or stuffy pre-paired ensemble. Personal style is a must- knowing how to freshly and uniquely pair items together, no matter the label or price tag, is what catches people's attention, not a straight from the runway outfit. Refreshing, yes? For me, absolutely.

Have I bored you yet? I hope not. I could share stories with you all day, and I"m sure they'll sneak in from time to time. But I'm guessing, for those of you who hung on this long, that your eyes are hurting a bit. For a few more behind the scenes photos from our time at fashion week, visit VIE's Facebook page here.
Until tomorrow,


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