NYFW SURVIVAL GUIDE + ESSENTIALS
As this will be my fifth (yes, fifth!) year attending New York Fashion Week this season, I thought it would be an excellent idea to share with you guys some of the tricks of the trade in a 'survival guide' post. I also wanted to tell you guys a little bit about my fashion week story.. how the hell I even got involved in attending shows and events, and how you can do so yourself. So without further ado -- here goes nothing (or well, a whole lot of something!)
I've told this story a few times before on my various platforms, but I'll summarize it here: I started going to fashion week, well, by accident. To be a little more specific, I like to say that I 'fell backwards' into it -- because it was certainly something I had never even known much about, and especially something that seemed really intimidating upon first glance. Ever heard of the expression, 'fake it 'til you make it'?! That, in essence, captures about 50% of fashion week goers per season. Ironically, a lot of what happens, a lot of the things you get invited to, is often, by happenstance. I first started going to fashion week because I saw it as a complete spectacle (not to mention, the Mercedes Benz tent, pictured above, was about an 80 foot walk from my Manhattan dorm). So as a bunch of freshman college kids with a lot of time on our hands, we went to observe the excitement of it all, see designers like DVF and Michael Kors, and even huge editors like Ms. Wintour. We went as a way to kill time and meet interesting people -- and boy, little would I know how much it would pay off in my future career. But here's the thing about it: fashion week used to be a little different when I started going -- you were able to basically just waltz into the main tent, stand in a 'standing ticket' line, and get ushered into a show or two by MB security, dressed head to toe in secret-service attire. You got to enjoy the open bar cocktails and e-cigs that were thrown at you at every corner for hours, and wouldn't even need to show a speck of credential to get your foot in any of those tent doors. Today, it is completely the opposite. Everything is ticketed, and even after you attend a show, you're encouraged not to sit around, you have to leave the premises unless you have special tickets to the 'VIP' areas. Even the materials they hand out in the tents today are sparse, nothing like the books of contacts that I would grab out on display years ago. Sure, these types of events are evolving constantly, but there certainly is a little nostalgia about how it used to go.
Regardless of the details though, the shows have still been super on par, and after all, you are really there for the fashion, and that's how it should be. So maybe, taking away that 'spectacle' of it, was really a good thing.
fashion week essentials
If you know me, you know I don't go many places without makeup products on hand. It's just to really ensure that I can touch up if I'm going to be out for a while, and it makes me feel better knowing I'll have those products handy. Plus, they've come in handy going out with girlfriends who need touch-ups too. Call me the fairy makeup godmother on Saturday club evenings, that's for sure. For fashion week, this is just as important. Running around to shows all day or eve is tough on your made-up face, so touching up is a must-do. During summer fashion week, it's also really important to carry some SPF on you, and especially a bottle of water, no matter the season!
I typically carry around a small pouch with these essentials: Makeup Forever Pro-Finish Powder in 163, Makeup Forever Full Cover Concealer in No. 8, Maybelline Spider Effect Mascara, Mac's Mocha Blush, Glossier's Lip Gloss, Kylie's Maliboo (typically 2 different lip colors in case I want to switch it up in between shows,) Makeup Forever Mist + Fix.
As well as making sure your makeup is intact, making sure your scent is intact is just as, if not more, important.
I typically carry around these scents with me as well as a baby deodorant: VS Fresh Vanillas Feel Flirty Body Mist (apparently discontinued, whomp, but similar here, and Korres Violet White Pepper Eau De Toilette.
Throughout all of my fashion weeks, I've certainly had a few hair malfunctions. Unfortunately, I don't have Miss Lindz living in my closet to pop out and do my hair for every show, so I have to do with the styles I typically stick too, french braids, french braiding details, or just plain straight.
Ah, one of the best fashion week secret weapons. So call me totally nuts, (I mean, it's not untrue), but I have certain pieces of special clothing I usually just keep saved for when fashion week rolls around. TBH, I'm sure many bloggers do the same. The thing about these 'special' pieces is that sometimes they don't exactly fit perfectly, but I tend to purchase them anyway if they're really unique or have special detail. Cue: fashion tape. What's even more crazy (crazier than me, lol), is that it really does work! Definitely good to use for a low neck cut or something that needs to be 'hemmed.'
The brand I like to carry with me: Hollywood Fashion Tape
If you know me well, you know I never put the camera down. I'm often criticized for it by strangers, my friends, even my family. Point blank: unless I pull out a camera during a wildly inappropriate situation, it shouldn't matter. I love to record my life. In fact, my senior year of college, I dragged around my GoPro to all of the parties and events we attended throughout the year, and put it together at the end. Of course, it's for my personal records and won't be put online, but it turned out to have a really killer result, and I don't regret doing it one bit. Same goes for fashion week, I like to record it all, and there's nothing wrong with that.
Finally, one of my favorite parts of fashion week, the accessories of course! I like to carry around a few chokers and extra pairs of glasses/sunglasses to switch up my looks throughout the day/night of fashion week events.
Last but especially not least, networking is vital at these events. In order to do so in a quick and professional manner, I like to give out my blog business cards that I made from Moo. It's super important to have these at the ready when getting photographed or meeting other bloggers/editors at these events. And yes, mine are modeled after playing cards, because what else would a killer queen do?!
Finally, a little piece of advice for anyone looking to attend NYFW: build your brand, be so good they can't ignore you, and all it takes is a simple request email a few weeks before the show to the PR company representing the brand. Modem is really helpful for this.
Happy FASHION MONTH Y'ALL!
"This above all: to thine own self be true"
Cheers, xx - A.Martine