Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Behind the Scenes: NYFW Q&A

While I envy those who are able to attend New York Fashion Week, I'm at least happy to live vicariously through the many bloggers sharing their insights.

My good friend Molly, who works with We Heart It, has been in full fashion week mode and is keeping me updated on all the behind-the-scenes activity. I thought this would be a good time to do a Q&A with a fashion week insider.

1. What show were you most looking forward to heading into NYFW?

Of the shows I've attended so far, Project Runway was the best. First of all, I got to see Heidi and Tim Gunn in person...AH-MAZ-ING. Heidi is a true god amongst humans -- up close, she looks like a real-life Barbie. Her legs are SOOO long and SOOO shiny. I was directly across from her the entire show and it was tough to even pull my eyes away from her to look at the clothes! 

But enough about Heidi -- I liked the Project Runway show because there is a raw emotional element to it. They showed nine collections so the audience wouldn't know who the finalists were, but you could tell it was an overwhelming experience for all the designers to go from virtual obscurity to showing in Lincoln Center. All their families were there and there were a lot of tears. As a person in a creative field, I related to that experience of struggling for a long time, wondering if you're ever going to "make it," and then finally experiencing a "victory"--in their case, making it to Fashion Week. 

Other than that, SAUNDER was my favorite. That was a presentation and she's a smaller designer but her clothes are very "mod Barbie" and I wanted every single thing! 

Of the upcoming shows, I can't wait for Reem Acra and Jenny Packham. They are two of my favorite designers and because they are so favored by celebrities it's fun to guess which dresses will make it onto the red carpet and who will be wearing them. 

2. Describe the atmosphere. 

The atmosphere at Lincoln Center is truly one of the most energizing, buzzing and exciting atmospheres I've ever been in. You feel like you're at the center of something massive -- like you've made it to the "top" of something. 

Because I have a press pass, I'm able to access Lincoln Center every day. To get in you need to walk through the big, open area outside in front of the actual theater -- and every day it is SWARMING with people dressed in the craziest, most insane outfits you've ever seen. Half the people honestly look like they're in costumes -- feather hats, wild sunglasses, crazy, structured coats, every single hair color (natural and not!) you can get the idea! Truly, anything goes -- for example, I always imagined most people would wear heels. Tons of people do, but it's totally okay to wear, say, a ball gown with Adidas sneakers, too. And both outfits will get photographed by the HUNDREDS of street style photographers and bloggers running from person to person.  

There are also tons of people who hang around in front of Lincoln Center hoping to catch a glimpse of someone famous -- and not just "Hollywood" famous. All the most famous bloggers, fashion journalists, socialites, etc. from around the world are at Lincoln Center during FW, so it's not uncommon to see someone well-known. 

Inside, the entire event centers around the main lobby -- the tents are attached to it. In the lobby there are a bunch of sponsors set up. And I'm not talking like, booths at a convention. I'm talking full-blown sets. There's a Tresemme hair area, for example, where you can sign up to get your hair done. There's a big lounge area in the middle for bloggers/photographers to work that's always super busy. Everyone is giving something out -- fancy stationary, flash tattoos, make-up/skincare samples, etc. There's also a cafe and a bar, and all through Lincoln Center, there is free Diet Coke, Vitamin Water, Smart Water and Illy coffee. 

Upstairs are more press lounges. My best friend Emma works for UGG so I've been hanging at the "UGG Sanctuary." It's set up to look like a mountain lodge with really comfy couches, pillows, etc. There's also food and drinks, a TV where you can watch all the shows live and plenty of outlets! :) 

When shows are about to start there's always a massive crowd outside the tent (which is technically still inside...hard to explain?!). You can only get into Lincoln Center if you have an invitation to a show or are a member of the press, but things still get nuts right before a big show. They scan your ticket/phone confirmation (I had all my invites emailed to me) and you get in line to go in. 

Each show lasts around 15 minutes but some are longer. Everyone is assigned either a seat or "priority standing" so there isn't too much confusion on that front, and you can take pics on the runway before and after which is awesome. 

Many designers also have their shows or presentations offsite (at hotels, galleries, etc.) and the excitement definitely extends. 

Overall, FW is just loooong, fun and insanely exciting. You're so tired at the end of the day you can't even believe it -- seriously! 

3. What is your favorite part of NYFW?

I have a few favorite parts of FW -- I just started working for We Heart It, which is a photo-based social network with an absolutely incredible community. Seriously, the users are so loyal and enthusiastic and creative that it's been really fun to share behind-the-scenes photos and information with them because the reception is always so positive

Another favorite part of Fashion Week is meeting so many creative people. I've become friends with some crazy-talented bloggers, fashion illustrators, model bookers and musicians. I used to think everyone in the fashion world was really snobby and intimidating but the truth is, most people are crazy-talented in their fields and really cool to talk to. 

Other than that, I love being able to spend a bunch of time during the day with my existing friends who work in fashion. Everyone sort of congregates at Lincoln Center and going to shows and working just feels like creative summer camp! 

4. What's your go-to NYFW attire?

AGH! Well, it's been really hot in NY, making creative dressing semi-difficult! It is not fun to be sweating to death, running from show to show, in heels! 

That being said, I've found the most important element in dressing for FW is, ironically, being comfortable! Unless you're an A-List celeb being dropped off for one or two shows, wearing insanely high heels, intense dresses, etc. is just not practical--you're there from like, 9am to 9pm in some cases. That's why you'll see a lot of people in cool sneakers or amazing flats.

This Fashion Week I've been dressing sort of boring because I'm in the process of moving and only have basic white and black things at my disposal, but I try to keep things at least sort of fun with a wild accessory. The go-to outfit would probably be a black shift dress with flat black sandals and a statement necklace. ZzzzZZzzz, I know. I promise I'll be more creative in the spring!!! 

5. What trends have caught your eye at the events?

Well, at least on the runways, there seems to be a return to very feminine silhouettes and fabrics, as opposed to the sporty looks I've gotten used to. I'm happy about this because I love the idea of embellished clothing, 1950's silhouettes, etc. 

In terms of street style, I've literally never seen more crop tops paired with tea-length skirts in my LIFE!!! Also, pastel hair. It's huge. 

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