In my post of February 1st on this blog I wrote: “for 7 days those of us involved in Fashion Week will live in an altered reality. There will be memorable people to meet, and some who aren’t so nice. There will be connections to make, and some that only last for the amount of time you are standing on the line to enter the show. We will know what’s coming in fashion, but we can’t know what’s coming for the next 7 days until we live them.
Fashion Week is over. Every season I’ve attended, I find the experience to be like a roller-coaster ride. First, there’s the anticipation. Then, there’s the growing excitement as the first shows reveal a glimpse of our fashion future (for the next season, at least). Mid-week, there’s exaustion: “Why am I subjecting myself to the intensity of this?” The intensity continues to build as the shows draw to a close. Who will show us something new and exciting? Whose collection will flop? What other news will affect us? This year, the death of Anna Nicole Smith, and the bitterly cold weather, were two big topics of conversation.
On Friday, after all of the above, I always feel a bit of a let-down as I bid farewell to the tents, my 7-day home-away-from-home. But the title of this blog post is “Fashion Week Must Haves.” Here’s what I simply couldn’t be without — followed by things I would definitely ditch (if it were up to me), and a few closing thoughts on Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Fall 2007:
Fashion Week Must-Haves:
Clothes: really warm coat (will definitely get dirty since it will be dragged on floors, spilled on backstage, and rumpled in standing room). Comfortable shoes (heels tend to turn into flats, and then into sneakers as the week goes by) . Gel pads for comfortable shoes (no shoe is really comfortable after you’ve been standing all day). Layered clothing (you’re going to get HOT, and then COLD, and then HOT, and then COLD…)!
Handbag: this is the second season that I’ve used a Butler Bag to carry all my essentials. It is sturdy, with inside compartments that let you see exactly what is inside without fumbling and fishing. It has seen me through travel, interviews, launch parties, and even a few dinner dates!
Emergency Kit: Tape (for everything from a broken camera to a ripped hem), Batteries (for the two digital cameras, audio voice recorder, and MP3Player I carry), Aleve and Aspirin (for aching feet and bones); Pens and pads (lots of them)…the MAC booth is a godsend but thick-barrelled pens are easier on the hands when you’re taking lots of notes; A great, lightweight tote (for all the above)
Makeup Must-haves: Lots of lip balm and treatments (Einstein Lip Theory, Z. Bigatti Re-Storation Lip Pout and Re-Storation Lip Envy, Damage Reveral Lip Treatment by Patricia Wexler, M.D., ANEW Clinical plump & Smooth by Avon), Hair products (Redken, Got2B, Warren Tricomi, Aveda, Bumble & Bumble), great brushes, and a hair straightener by Maxius.
Eye shadow that won’t run, crease, or quit: Stila, Trish McEvoy, Laura Mercier, NARS, MAC)
Blush that won’t run, crease, or quit (Boots No.7, Tarte, Jillian Dempsey for Avon). A great foundation and base that won’t run, crease, or quit: Clarins Instant Smooth Perfecting Touch, Make Up For Ever Matte Velvet, Anew Age Transforming Foundation, Biotherm Light!). A great Mascara that won’t run, flake, or fade: best of the best: Chanel, Giorgio Armani, Dior, Bourjois, Clinique…Q-Tips!….Great Hand and Body Creams (Zia Age-Defying Hand Treatment, Essie Smoothies, Lady Primrose Royal Extract Body Creme, Phytomer BodyRexlax).
Food: Thanks to DHL in the tents for the coffee, I really appreciated it. Still, you’ve got to eat sometime. If you don’t want to leave the tents, and can’t squeeze your way into the little “cafe” area inside, seasons past there were sponsors offering power bars, yogurt, mints, etc. This year, we got to look at gorgeous cars, but there wasn’t a snack in site. Bring your own water, too. These are still given out, but bring your own water bottle or juice pack, if you want to be sure you are properly hydrated.
Business Cards: I can’t believe how many people don’t have them (or enough of them) for Fashion Week!
…Michael from New Jersey, a firefighter and Fashion Week Security Guard –and ALL the security guards and service personnel who are polite and patient (you guys have a rough job, and we all know it)! …and Michael….definitely do enter yourself as a model for the next fire-fighters calender…you’ll be a hunky hit!
Overuse of the word “chicettes,” chicas,” “fashionistas” and “fabulous” (once or twice is ok but “gag me” when it’s used more often)
Non-essential guests who get great seats, while members of the press and the buyers are standing in the back. Also impossibly long standing room lines that are first come first served. Suggestion to IMG: Why not let working press (who paid for the ability to report on the shows) move up to the front of the standing room line if they do not have assigned seats and the standing room line is very long? Press need to get in to to their jobs more than the merely curious do.
The (“new”) idea that “by invitation only” (and you didn’t get one) means you are apparently less “fabulous” than some other folks, while you are in full view of them (and a sign that says “be fabulous“).
Daily suites once open to all with creds, now mystifying if you didn’t get the “missive”
Internet writers who report on shows and parties as a clique of cronies, pretending that they were flooded with invitations (but only one person really gets in and files a report for all the others “as-if” ). Sharing info is ok, but please keep the internet credible and honest, and say your content is second hand.
Hotel lobbies where a “fash week” invitation gets you through to the elevators or else, you’re left out in the cold.
Cold Weather…can’t wait for Spring!
Some Final Thoughts On Mercedez Benz Fashion Week Fall 2007:
Fashion week is like a wedding: it brings out the best, and the worst, in the best in people. Mostly it brings out the best in them…but there are always a few exceptions. There are new connections to be made, and the type of instant bonding that takes place when you’re all in the same place and situation, together. Easy laughter over a drink or a shared seat in the Lycra Lounge. Alas, there are also attendees who feel more “entitled” than others. they are rude and pushy. They take other people’s assigned seats and refuse to move. Some even steal products out of goodie bags that or take entire bags that don’t belong to them. We’re not just talking one thing or one bag….-I saw a man literally take an ENTIRE ROW of little bags off the back row at a major show! How many beauty products or T-shirts could you really need?
And, while my own visibility continues to grow, I’m still aware that the fashion week I experience as a member of the Internet press is different from that of the very high profile press. I’m in the majority of journalists who attend to do a job, and pass the information on to people who will probably never get closer to the tents than seeing them on TV. We do not arrive in furs and limo at the last minute, waving an invite with a seat assignment already on it (front row, or second row at the very worst). We do not walk directly to our seats…we wait..and wait…and wait some more. We do have a shared experience with the “Annas” and “Patricks” and other “must-have” front-row faces, though: we are united in our interest in being part of the experience, and viewing the newest clothes and trends.
I feel fortunate to receive press credentials to cover these shows as I have done for a number of seasons (I believe that I was one of the first Internet writers to receive credentials). I feel even more fortunate that I have a network of related professionals who know my work, understand the power of the Internet (and the power of my international audience), and respect my professionalism,. Due to them, I was able to cover more of backstage than ever before. My sincere appreciation to all of you that made it possible to pass information and experiences on to my readers.
My writing is always first-hand. If I don’t experience something, I don’t pretend that I did, just to boost ratings or readers. My style is 100% “up-close-and-personal.” So….to the designers and sponsors who don’t know me or are not sure they need my online coverage need to, let me show you what I can do. If you, or any of your assistants/friends/staff/colleagues/publicists/clients read The Advice Sisters through this blog, my web site, the What Works Beauty, Cosmetics & Fashion Review columns, my bi-monthly Enews, or my Myspace.com page and like what has been written about other designers, maybe next year I will get close enough to your clothes, products or services to report on them! Please contact me and put me on your media list.
See you NEXT season!