Thursday, September 13, 2018

My First Time at New York Fashion Week

To say it's been a crazy week is an understatement! I can't believe I'm writing this, but I attended my very first New York Fashion Week event this past Monday, September 10th. Ever since I was a little girl, I've been mesmerized by fashion and have wanted nothing more than to attend one of these events. Last year I was writing a recap article about Fashion Week for my internship from the comfort of my dorm room, and this year I actually got to take part in the iconic week. 

Every time New York Fashion Week rolls around, I apply to fashion assistant or editorial positions knowing that I will probably never receive a response. For example, I've applied to press positions for The Cut, the fashion page run by New York Magazine, Condé Nast, and several others with no luck, so I didn't expect this time around to be any different. 

Recently, I began graduate school in NYC to pursue a master's in journalism, with a focus in fashion writing. So far, this has been the best decision of my life and I credit it to my Fashion Week invite. I made a friend at school who has a friend that works in fashion media. She was kind enough to forward me several invites for a few events taking place over the course of the week. I chose an event I wanted to attend and reached out to the press contact via email about a week before it took place. As expected, I didn't hear anything back from the press contact so I made the decision to send another email on Sunday, a day before the show. This time, the press contact got right back to me confirming I would be attending the show and that she would have a press pass waiting for me when I arrived. 

I had to read the email over several times before it finally sank in that I would be attending a show! I attended the Council for Aspiring American Fashion Designers Collective Showcase, CAAFD for short. While this event wasn't for a major designer or brand, these are designers on the rise who are gaining popularity in the fashion realm, so it was definitely worth attending. Despite being extremely excited, panic also began to sink in. I've never been to a legit fashion show before, only the student-run show my college used to put on every year. I wasn't sure what to wear or how to act, and having minimal time to prepare, I had to put together an outfit with items I already had on hand. Luckily, I'd gone shopping a few weeks before, and picked up houndstooth pants from Forever 21 and also wore this blouse, this black coat, these black booties

The fashion show took place on Monday night at 9 at Industria, a gallery located in West Village. Even though it was pitch dark and raining, I knew right away that I was at the right place because there was a line out the door and around the block. Immediately, I noticed how well-dressed everyone was. Men and women were covered head-to-toe in Gucci, Chanel, and other designer items. Although I was intimidated, I enjoyed looking at the different outfits. 

Security was intense, which was to be expected at an event like this but I still found it surprising. I've been to numerous concerts and Broadway plays and didn't experience security as strict as the people working at this particular fashion show. When I entered, I had to state my name and proof of entrance, which means I had to show the press invite I'd received from my friend and the confirmation email from the press agent. After I was identified, I was taken to my seat on the press side. A variety of fashion writers, bloggers and photographers sat on this side. I was lucky enought to speak with a magazine writer, and he followed me on Instagram and promised to reach out if a position opens up in the future. 

This runway was no different from the pictures I've seen of Fashion Week setups. There was a long center stage and the chairs were set up on both sides. Somehow, I managed to score a seat in the front row! Before the designers began showing their collections, a musician named Yo'av Shemmesh performed for the audience. I'm not that familiar with music but it seemed like a form of techno and was really interesting to listen to. 

There were four different designers that presented collections. Their names are Sania Studio, Yufash, Helena Bajaj-Larsen and Patricia Wijaya. Each collection was entirely unique and beautiful. The creativity of fashion designers always amazes me and I find much inspiration in their work. You can see how much time and effort they put into their work by looking at the different textures, fabrics and silhouettes. I'll include some of my favorite designs down below! 

The entire show only lasted about 45 mintues to an hour. Each guests that attended received a gift bag to take home with them. Afterwards, the security wanted us right out, which was a bummer because I wanted stay longer in hopes of meeting the designers. I did get to speak with a few guests and writers, however. I'm also a little sad that I didn't get a really good photo of myself at the event, partly because of the harsh lighting and security but also because of the rain and darkness outside. 

Regardless, I had the most amazing time and am so thankful for this opportunity. I'm excited to see where my future takes me during the next Fashion Week shows in the spring! 

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