“Being a strong black man (or any man) has nothing to do with what you wear or who you fuck, but whether or not you have the will power to stay true to yourself. If that means wearing a dress, then so be it.”
Fashion Week Sucks Balls
Thanks to my job, I’ve been going to various fashion weeks for a few years now. Usually, when friends find out I’m going, they start begging for invites and guestlist spots for parties and free goodie bags (or something—I’ve pretty much stopped listening). This is because everyone is an idiot, and you have been lied to about fashion week. Fashion week sucks balls.
Here’s what happens at a fashion week:
As you approach the Lincoln Center (where the main NYFW events takes place), a terrifying, dark desperation hangs in the air. Dozens of photographers wait outside the door, hungrily looking from person to person, hoping to see either a celebrity, or someone with a bloggable outfit that they can photograph.
Though there are close to 100 different photographers there, they’re not shooting for anyone you’ve ever heard of. They all “work” for “online magazines” that have “.blogspot.com” in their URL. You will see the above scene (a woman, who is probably a fashion student, being mobbed because she’s wearing a “funky hat”) play out multiple times.
Once inside, you join some kind of line, which you will be in for a very long time. And it’s not like some relaxed Space Mountain line, either. Fashion people are fucking INTENSE. There are different line-heirachies, which leads to a lot of shoving and shouting (especially if you’re in the plebe’s line, like I always am).
Obv most stereotypes about groups of people are untrue (JK), but everything you’ve ever heard about fashion people is correct. Zoolander is pretty much a documentary.
At one show, I was stuck in a line behind two girls who had a 13-minute debate (I timed it) about whether or not to eat a free sample of yogurt covered pretzel (they decided to not eat the pretzel, but take a three mile run the next morning anyways, phew!).
Also, this is an actual conversation I overheard in another line:
Girl: You should have a theme party!
Boy: Eugh, I would love to, but I can’t really do parties.
Girl: Why not?
Boy: It’s just that I have too many friends. I couldn’t invite everyone, it would be impossible. And I hate excluding people.
Girl: That sucks.
Boy: Yeah, it really bums me out.
There’s something a little upsetting about being around fashion people, too. Does the thought of this kid staying up all night hot gluing feathers to his shoes make anyone else wanna cry?
Also, Mercedes sponsored the main event space, so this car was positioned at the entrance. Which made me think of some car crash pictures I saw on Reddit a few days ago (don’t click that link if you ever want to relax in a car ever again, btw), so I spent a lot of my time at fashion week thinking about being trapped inside that car as it burned and having panic attacks.
Anyway, Fascinating Fashion Week Fact: Over 100 percent of shows at NYFW used that one Grimes songas the soundtrack.
I had no idea it took so much equipment to play a Grimes song, though. Who knew DJing was so complicated!
If you’re lucky, the event you’re at will have free drinks. Usually made by a mixologist who has been hired to mask the taste of whatever, recently-launched-and-destined-to-fail booze brand is sponsoring the event.
Also, that is the tallest man in America. I’m not sure why he was at fashion week. Maybe he’d been hired to add some excitement to the crowd? At the show where I saw him, he was hanging with a high-fashion dwarf, a guy with 100s of facial piercings, and a furry. It was like being at a casting for a P!nk music video.
New York Fashion Week… on Acid!
This guy here is our buddy Tyler. And that white stuff on his tongue is partially chewed, acid-dosed Altoids mints.
This is him a little while later, waiting for a cab to take us to a fashion show that was happening as part of New York Fashion Week. At this point, Tyler told me that he was beginning to feel a “floaty floatiness” and had “upward swooshing” in his fingertips.
His trip began to kick in properly when he saw this building from the cab. Apparently it was “all swirly, with swirls swirling into the other swirls.”
The trip intensified when it was time for me to pay for our taxi, and it became apparent that our driver was unfamiliar with the concept of cabs.
As I was trying to pay him, he smiled at me and said “it’s free” before attempting to hand me a white business card with what appeared to be braille on it. When I insisted on paying, he just kept smiling and pointing toward my phone while saying, “No, no, no.”
This is the kind of bizarre exchange that only seems to happen when you’re too high to deal with it. Tyler was looking around nervously. When he saw the Matrix business card he started to cackle, before asking the cab driver, “What’s happening? Am I tripping?”
Eventually, the cab driver let me give him $15, and we headed to the show. It was held on this pier.
Outside the venue, there were a billion people rushing around. Mostly street-style photographers. You may already know this, but being in a crowd is pretty much the last thing you want to do when you’re on acid. Followed pretty closely by having your photo taken. Tyler looked as though he was beginning to panic. “Fucking street-fashion photographers… They’re everywhere… It’s like a street-style nightmare.” He said, before rushing us inside.
Like clothes or looking at people who take themselves super seriously? Great. You’ll love our New York Fashion Week photo blog.
Why I Hate Fashion Week
Like the swans returning to Capistrano or all your friends jumping off a bridge, it’s that annual ritual where a million fashion students parade around in public wearing all of their thrift store accessories at once. It’s New York Fashion Week, and it’s driving me a little bit crazy. That’s because Fashion Week is stupid.
I don’t believe the fashion industry is stupid. I thank it every morning when I put the clothes on my back, no matter if they’re real designer threads or some knockoff I got at Top Shop. But the growing idea that Fashion Week is a spectator sport that should be open to everyone with an Instagram account and a subscription to Vogue is baffling to me. Fashion Week is for fashion people, and that’s the way it should be. Unless you work for a department store, retail boutique, fashion magazine, or stylist, you have no business being in the front row.
MM6: The rare diffusion line that doesn’t suck
Guys, it is Girls and Fashion: Part Deux: The Fashioning! Guess why. No guess. No guess. Because it is Fashion Week, which is when a particular subset of the beautiful and the damned do not so much descend on New York as wiggle-wobble into and around it like very attractive gelatin steak-strips in Prada silkies and rough denim and mean jewelry. And, yeah, we did a “Girls and Fashion” part I like a month ago, but then I hit bottom, wrote a column called “Everything Is The Worst” and asked for two weeks off. So. Now it’s fall.
It is basically the funniest, always-guaranteed-100%, when “fashion” is applied to something unfashion, like, “Week.” Or, the “Fashion Café,” which was a project of the Supermodel Era (don’t even worry about it) and a precursor to models’ mid-to-late-career-diversification, which usually includes self-branded bedsheets, lotion, Kmart-y bras, “eco,” collaborations with whoever, photography careers, blogging, I dunno. My point is that while fashion is a legitimately important and huge-scale industry and responsible for a lot of beauty, art, commerce, and innovation it is still basically embarrassing.
Paper magazine just did this oral history of X-Girl, which was a clothing line so 90s-covetable (Ask me if I still have X-Girl stuff, even though my personal fashion philosophy is mostly a low hiss of “This is garbage, get it away from meeeeee” because yes I obviously do but you have to be rookie-card-careful with something like a shittily produced nylon X-Girl bag) that it lives on in the girl-institutional memory even more, maybe, than its co-founder Kim Gordon. Peeersonally I was always more about Milk Fed, a Coppola joint, and Tocca, which nobody ever talks about even though their dresses were the perfect shades of melting popsicles, all creamy blues and raspberries.
Anyway, this week Kim Gordon sold her clothes through some rando vintage store in Oakland (???), and not to be a traitor or whatever but I was more ew-ed out by on-stage sweat-grungies than I was really interested in buying one of her old Marni dresses, you know?
Last night was Fashion’s Night Out, which means that a zill fashion girls and boys and designers and models and then that number of people times infinity of PR interns do little thingers around New York like DJ while little bunny-rabbit girls buy limited edition t-shirts, or draw designs in their sidewalk dinner-barf with a stick, or whatever. So the good part of all of this is nothing, or nothing specific. The bad part of this is that we are subjected to the real-time reporting of Fashion’s Night Out via tweets that say “Victoria Beckham in a clementine dress. #FNO” as though it’s fine, as though it’s creative, as though it’s OK, to just verbatim-report something like that without a little basketball-spin. There are a lot of big eyes and big ideas in fashion, but are there big brains???
I spend a lot of time googling “+ heroin” but it seems like all that has been classified? WAIT, SHIT, IS THERE A FASHION ILLUMINATI TOO???