Fashion week has reared its bulimic head once again in New York City, with all the pomp and circumstance it thinks it should receive. While it’s great to celebrate the world of fashion and get a sneak preview of upcoming collections and trends, there are many, many reasons why fashion week is not what it’s cracked up to be.
It’s one big circle jerk. Fashion houses, media, bloggers, and people who think they’re bloggers talk in circles for a week and validate their existence with both the number and quality of the invitations they receive. It’s like the “if a tree falls in the forest” deal–if you receive a fashion week invite and don’t tweet it, did you even get it?
Celebrities are paid to go. Yes, sure, some are invited, but many are bribed into sitting front and center so the brand can look and feel more important than it is.
People can pay to get in. I just saw a Groupon for not only a seat, but an after-party invitation and a personal bottle of liquor. So yes, you can put a price on your delusions of grandeur.
They’re kind of boring. It’s a bunch of really thin people walking around in clothes you can’t afford, with everyone around you taking pictures of anything and everything. Whether they’re actually press or just posting them to their respective social media accounts, your guess is as good as mine.
Most of the time you have to give a little, get a little to get in. The vast majority of the shows I have ever attended are because I was reporting on them for a website. That means I had to go backstage and report on the logistics of the event, along with the clothing and makeup. Afterward, I was sometimes allowed to watch the shows, or just given a bird’s-eye view from afar. That’s roughly two hours of your life you’ll never get back, where you basically avoiding a stampede backstage, try to sneak your way into a seat, and then write an article and edit photos after. After all is said and done, it’s usually not worth it.
People act like they’re God. I got kicked out of the Tommy Hilfiger show two years ago. And I was on the list as media–the show was just overbooked. I’ve always refused to wear that brand because it’s a caricature of the preppy lifestyle, but that sealed the deal.
Some of the models look legitimately unhealthy. Eating disorders are a very real threat in their field of work, and it’s disturbing and sad to see what our society has forced on a group of men and women. I heard a story about someone’s girlfriend eating nothing but toilet paper during fashion week because it was roughage without calories–and that’s plain terrifying.
With that being said, fashion week can be fun. You get to dress up and see a lot of people bask in their own self-importance. Three years ago, my friend’s cousin was running a show so I got to sit in the front row, completely hammered. I was only a seat over from Anna Wintour and across the row from a European Vogue editor–Anna did not look pleased to be near a no one, and a visibly intoxicated one at that.
This year, I’ll be attending fashion week from the VIP section of my couch, viewing it front row on Instagram. Because at the end of the day, it’s only truly exclusive if there aren’t enough people present to know you’re wearing sweatpants.