Fashion Week NYC: The Movie
February 8, 2008 5:29 PM   Subscribe

Was your invite to Fashion Week lost in the mail? Have no fear- you can watch video of some of your favorite designers and models at the official Mercedes Benz Fashion Week website. If you're more into schadenfreude than Sean John, check out the Zac Posen show to see Karen Elson take a tumble .
posted by ThePinkSuperhero (20 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
I can't get over how cool this is. Fashion for the masses with modems!
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 5:34 PM on February 8, 2008 [1 favorite]

Those interested in the reality TV side of fashion might be interested to know that the Project Runway show was today. To head off finale spoilers, designs from all 5 remaining contestants walked the runway (see there designs here, here, here, here, and here- do not roll over links if you don't want to know who the final five are).
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 5:43 PM on February 8, 2008 [2 favorites]

I've been working night shift covering Fashion Week for NY Mag for the past eight days--I haven't seen daylight in a week. Be warned: after spending too much time clicking around on the site, you will start looking at women funny if they're not equipped with Slavic features, zombie stares, and bodies like a bag of rakes.
posted by zoomorphic at 6:26 PM on February 8, 2008

I suppose this is a good a place as any to mention that I desperately wish to attend a Fashion Week event in person. Anyone who can hook a sister up, please MeMail me. I'm willing to cut my hair into a severe bob and pretend to be Anna Wintour.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 6:45 PM on February 8, 2008 [2 favorites]

Was your invite to Fashion Week lost in the mail?

why yes, thank you.

*adjust rifle scope*
posted by jonmc at 7:13 PM on February 8, 2008

Can it only be called the "official Mercedes Benz Fashion Week website"

What will happen if I call it just the Fashion Week website?

3... 2... 1...

knock knock knock...
posted by mattoxic at 7:21 PM on February 8, 2008

Can it only be called the "official Mercedes Benz Fashion Week website"

Do theater or art exhibits ever receive that sort of commercial funding, as opposed to charitable/private donations? Or is this another one of thousands of examples of how fashion is more grounded in consumerism than other forms of art?
posted by zoomorphic at 7:35 PM on February 8, 2008

If a bulimic falls in the middle of a forest ... and no one is around ... can it be said she really pukes?
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 7:49 PM on February 8, 2008

Bah dum bump, khsss. Thanks, I'll be here all week...
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 7:49 PM on February 8, 2008

Or is this another one of thousands of examples of how fashion is more grounded in consumerism than other forms of art?

Doesn't it have to be? I took a master class with one of the composers of Bye, Bye Birdie. He asked us how many of us had been in a production of the show, and almost every hand in the class raised. That was his fortune, right there. You write one show that every high school in the country does, and you've got a steady source of income. Write a handful, and you're set for life. It's not like you can make 3 shirts and then, poof, you're a millionaire.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 7:51 PM on February 8, 2008 [1 favorite]

Isaac Mizrahi's gorgeous fall line isn't on the MBFW site, but it's here. Love!

Also loving Malan Breton's collection. He coulda been more of a Project Runway contendah (but hey, I don't see any other PR alums on the Fashion Week site, do you?).
posted by padraigin at 9:24 PM on February 8, 2008

I LOVE that Isaac Mizrahi stuff! Every last bit of it!
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 9:33 PM on February 8, 2008 [1 favorite]

Fashion's going video: Prada, YSL (directors' cut), vintage Louis Vuitton...
posted by progosk at 11:03 PM on February 8, 2008

Getting into fashion week is one of the most emotionally fraught things I've tried. Been invited three times, gotten in once. The other two times I was ranting about betrayal to strangers on the N train within seconds of "I'm sorry your name isn't on the list".
But that was years ago, and now having been there done that, really, unless you are drawing a paycheck to be there, the jokes on you.
posted by Stonestock Relentless at 11:19 PM on February 8, 2008

TPS. You know I love you, in that if-I-ever-meet-up-with-the-brothers-Hanson-in-NYC-you-will-hear-from-me-first kind of way. So please don't take this personally.

But I HATE fashion week.

Since my time in the industry, I've realized that most of what I learned about it can be best summarized by utilizing the ageless wisdom of one William Wonka. I will dispense these learnings, now...

A little nonsense now and then is relished by the wisest men.

I remember my first one shortly after I moved to NY in 02. I had to run there straight from the office and I never felt so out of place in my life. I remember being well dressed before I walked in, and then realizing how completely slovenly I was upon leaving.

I was attending in lieu of my boss - he had stopped by my desk that afternoon, given me a couple of tickets, and told me he wanted an style run-down in the morning. I assumed this meant, you know, notes. You see all those studiously attentive people on the side of the runway, writing stuff down? Deep thoughts. Like "strong color moods," or "accessories accessories accessories," or "custom embellishments in custom colors," or "pleated, and ruched!" Well I'm glad to say that I wasn't one of those people. No, I was a peon, wedged in against the back wall along with the other 100 or so of us that the dark parts of the room are so cleverly designed to hide. We Morlocks of the industry were copiously trying to capture every detail that walked out hung on some sandwich-needy whisp of a human.

I remember I was standing next to a girl who had clearly done this before, because she was writing a lot. My problem was that I didn't speak the language yet - a language set in English, but of an entirely different vocabulary than any I had ever known. She caught me looking at her pad and I immediately apologized and explained that I was new and had no idea what I was going to put together for my boss the next morning. She gave me a look that didn't have much pity in it but she also started talking about what she was seeing, as she wrote it. I wrote down pretty much everything she said, typed it up the next morning, and from that day on I was spewing the industry BS (I'd last for exactly 3 years before pretty much melting down in a stock room full of bikini samples, which is a story for another time).

I also remember the next morning, when my cube neighbor Audrey noticed the extra pass I had tossed in the trash the night before when I was running out to the show. "What's this?" "Where did you get it?" "Why is it in the trash?" etc.. She then sat me down and explained for about 10 minutes how I had thrown away pure gold. Thanks to Audrey, I would come to accumulate a wardrobe big enough for 5 guys my age over the next few years, trading event passes away like court-side seats for the Lakers (seriously, guys, this is what these things are worth to the women of NYC). And that was just the clothes. You could trade these things for anything. ANYTHING. The great thing about it was that I could get much of my work done for me as a part of these deals - I got to go home early and had everything waiting for me to give to my boss the next morning.

We are the music-makers, and we are the dreamers of dreams.

The ironic thing to me, the whole time, was how everything stayed the same - every experience was very much like that first night. I would be standing there, maybe with colleagues, maybe with my other biz-side-of-the-industry-schlep friends from the vendors, other merchandisers, etc., but there was always a very clear delineation between us and the people who were supposed to be in front of the cameras. Models, celebrities, and the designers. Always the designers. After 5 years in the fashion industry, I'm still not entirely sure what these guys actually do. Anyway, the tents in Bryant Park always struck me as a rather fitting metaphor for the situation - the whole thing is built around exclusivity and keeping people out. But we were always there - the worker bees that they elite had to accept as part and parcel to their little soirees. Because we were the ones who knew how to bring in the money that made their lives possible. We had the collective power to summon the wallets of America. They were just good at being nice to look at.

I remember one year for my birthday, some of my buddies got me an extra invite to Hugo Boss' summer party, on the roof of their studio just off the west side highway. We left straight from work so we were in our suits. $1200 suits. But we could have been encrusted in diamonds, I suppose, and it wouldn't have made a difference, we smelled of industry.

It was at that party that I saw John, and really had it driven home just where exactly I fit in that social strata. See, John went to the same small college in northwestern PA as me. John's dad was a pastor, and John was an Abercrombie model, right at about the time all their racy catalogs started coming out - it was quite the scandal at our conservative little school. Years later I would see John in ads for Andrew Marc, or Ralph, or whatever, and occasionally I'd run into him, when some mutual-friends' band was up in town to play or something. I ran into John with some blond thing in tow coming up the stairs to the roof. "Hi John." He looked up, right at me, didn't say a word, and brushed right past. That was the last time I ever bothered talking to John.

Candy is dandy, but liquor is quicker.

After-show parties and studio events like that dotted the years, but it all kind of blurs together when one night differs so little from the last. Offered lines of coke in the men's room by 4 girls, none of whom looked 18 years old, when I just needed to take a leak. Vitamin water bars (for the models) and Vodka ice fountains (for the rest of us) in an east village flat with Paul Oakenfold spinning in one corner. Exotic animals and topless models on display as art, around the room. Sitting across from Russel Simmons in the VIP at the Canal Room. It didn't matter where or who or what so much as the fact that there would always be a line of people trying to get in, and cameras that were pointed at the ground as we stumbled out to our cab. I was in another world, one I very clearly didn't belong in.

Where is fancy bred, in the heart or in the head?

I remember I was sitting in our SVP's office, surrounded by about 10 females and the other 2 men under her report, both of whom were fabulously gay. How I had as little success with women in working environs like that is a testimony to my complete lack of any kind of game. Anyway, we were all sitting there thumbing through the preview copies of SI's swimsuit edition, studying it in great detail, pointing out things we had seen in LA, or something that the BCBG rep had told us in hushed tones about just that morning, or what have you. All I could think about, however, was when I was 11 or 12 and got caught with that copy of SI's swimsuit edition - the one with the three models in black bikinis on the cover, I still remember to this day. Dad would talk to me about how it was a gateway to other things. Oh, if he could see me now, deciding which of these styles we would dress the consumers of America in this year.

That, and a million other experiences like it, all serve to constantly remind me of the qualifications it takes to make what I consider tantamount to an "educated decision" on style, in the fashion industry. I was qualified to be making those decisions because I had spent a lifetime of staring at women. That was pretty much it. I didn't learn one thing in college, or really even in work after college, that taught me about what was fashionable. Fashionable was just whatever everyone said was fashionable that year. There's no real logic at the end of the day behind the fact that brown with purple tye-dye sashing works this year, of all years. There really isn't.

Oh, you should never, never doubt what nobody is sure about.

You just kind of nod and go along with it. That's what I learned. That's what Fashion Week is really about. Its about the rest of the world just kind of nodding and going along with what they're saying this time around, because so much has changed since last season, as it always does. I do love the cycles, though. The cycles are the self-admitted but completely-unrealized fact that nobody's really doing anything all that new or ground-breaking. Everything comes back around sooner or later. Somehow there's constant creativity in that. To this day, the phrase "Its all about..." (e.g. "its all about photographic prints on washed-out dyes," "its all about classic shades and layering," et. al.) is still fingernails on a chalkboard to me.

The suspense is terrible... I hope it'll last.

Hopefully by now you can see how the Wonka pearls have absolutely nothing to do with the story. You see, that's the point. The story itself doesn't really have anything to do with the story. Its just a kind of random compilation of the things I saw and did during my days in the fashion district. I think that's really the only way I can make any sense of it in my head, by accepting it for the fact that it doesn't really make any sense to anyone.

There's only one real gem I took away with me from my time there. I love it because it is true through-and-through, and yet its subtle irony remains: "Its not what you wear. Its how you wear it."

That is the way fashion works.
posted by allkindsoftime at 11:54 PM on February 8, 2008 [43 favorites]

That was spectacular, allkindsoftime. All the same.. I really would have liked to experience what you experienced.

Will read links when not so drunk.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 1:17 AM on February 9, 2008

*gasp* Allkindsoftime, you threw away an extra pass to fashion week!? I love you!
posted by dabitch at 4:23 AM on February 9, 2008

The NYTimes followed model Samantha Rainer on her first Fashion Week.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 9:52 AM on February 9, 2008 [1 favorite]

Heh, Fashion Week brings back memories. My roommate when I lived in Manhattan was a fashion photographer and often gave me passes.

Actually, being the roommate of fashion photographer was interesting in itself. We shared a 2,000 sq ft loft on West Broadway in Soho. He also did some work for some of the local modeling agencies and used our loft often as a place to shoot. The space was completely open except for dividers we had built. Cue Sunday mornings with me in bed sleeping and less than 10 feet away, across a divider, flashbulbs going off. And the parties were endless throughout the year. Always crawling out to the newest club in Soho that nobody else could get into.

This was the mid 90's so the designers were like Todd Oldham and Anna Sui. My roommate was at all the shows even when I wasnt with him. Turning on ETV and watching Naomi Campbell stroll down the runway, then see Paul near the front reaching in for a shot was an incredible experience.

Fascinating guy, Paul. Gave up the industry to go back to what he was previously doing - investment banking.
posted by vacapinta at 1:06 AM on February 10, 2008 [2 favorites]

« Older Aimee Mann Celebrity Christmas Show   |   178 years old and still going strong Newer »

This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments