It is that time of year again: while the world is getting ready to pull out their spring wardrobe, fashion goers look to Fall 2011 and Mercedes Benz Fashion Week. This season I received official accreditation from IMG as a stylist (Christina K. Pierce) as opposed to attending under the usual invitations. Accreditation merely means IMG recognizes you for your work in the industry and adds your name to a list of press, media, stylists, and photographers. Invitations still come by way of the various public relations organizations but I do think we likely received a few extra from our accreditation status as there were some show invites of which I did not recognize either the designer or the public relations ladies.
This season I attended 35 shows across seven days which I have learned is a lot within the industry. Though it was about 10 more than I saw last season, it still doesn’t feel like a large amount. I was in line for a show waiting for the doors to open and a Parisian editor was saying how he had 36 shows and everyone around him gasped. I wasn’t too sure what everyone was surprised about (at that point in time I had 28 shows I planned to attend and figured if I were seeing 28, of course an editor would likely see more…). While I was seeing 28 at the time, as the days wore on the invites kept coming; I ended up skipping about five or six shows and was able to pick up some of the new additions. I can understand where season after season, attendees would learn to limit their show intake especially while juggling a work schedule; afterall, 35 shows begin to blend into four or five by the end of the week.
Having attended last season in Lincoln Center (and the previous three seasons in Bryant Park) the Fashion GPS system was old news. Similar to when I was in high school and our town built a new shiny building, Freshmen and Seniors were all lost together last season but I almost had some form of seniority this time even though I am relatively new to the Fashion Week scene; many of my industry counterparts had not attended the first run at the new venue and I found myself giving instructions, location advise, and lead time guesses to many stylists, bloggers, and photographers. It was the first time I ever felt overly knowledgeable to New Yorkers being a Bostonian.
The shows, the scene, the rest required to make it out of bed the next morning, season five gave me the schedule I needed to reserve myself for the long haul. Hours add up and the time spent standing, waiting, tweeting, texting, and running around wear on a girl; even the most comfortable heels have their expiration! Though it is work, there is the glamorous side of the week: attending shows many people watch on TV and few have the chance to actually experience, and the feeling of connecting with friends and celebrities who may live across the country but all come together for one unifying love of fashion.
The high points:
Some of my favorite shows included Farah Angsana, Jenny Packham, Zang Toi, and Max Azria, and Milly. Vivenne Tam was also high up there.
Attending Jill Zarin’s release of Skweeze Couture as it was a fabulous party with old and new friends.
Not doing anything embarrassing when friends texted me that they saw me on the live steam of the show on their computer
Walking into Conde Nast and seeing Grace Coddington waltz in next to you, impressive.
The low points:
Endless eye rolls at the extent some people will go in an attempt to be noticed. A lesson to all, it’s easy to be noticed but more difficult to be remembered.
Walking out of my first runway show ever. They might as well have just sent down one dress and had the model hold all the swatches.
Having a cold cramp my style and missing some of the 9am shows of the week as well as some of the after parties.
To view diary style blog posts involving Mercedes Benz Fashion Week, check out Fashion O.C.