I once had a blogger tell me she hated fashion week and always gives her invites away. "I'll go to a cute party to see my friends," she said, "But I avoid shows at all costs." At the time, I thought she was crazy. But this season, I'm also sitting out.
I've been a fashion girl for quite some time now. Aside from a just serious liking for it, I've worked jobs ranging from luxury sales girl to mass market merchandiser and currently as a writer and content creator. But last year this time was my first time "attending" New York fashion week, the S/S 15 season.
Attending is maybe the wrong word (I saw two shows and went backstage for a third). Working is the better word. During the week, I barely ate, never slept and my blood caffeine level was just this side of lethal. I could have made some extra money renting out my apartment because I was never there. I was consistently ripping and running Uptown, Downtown, Soho, in the heat and the rain. And nothing is more trying to your already fragile spirit than falling, in your heels, across from Lincoln Center, in front of your boss as you're rushing to a show.
I witnessed the circus that was Lincoln Center, saw the staged street style shots and experienced the tantrums thrown by celebs who were turned away at the door. I rubbed shoulders with the "you can't sit with us" bloggers and peeped the fast flats tucked away in rented purses.
But despite feeling like I was living out The Devil Wears Prada (minus the designer clothes and the free trip to Paris), I thought to myself: "Fashion week is the cornerstone of my dream... right? This is what I want... right?" Convinced this is the way to my "dream", I worked the next season, F/W 15, as well.
Including the pre-fashion week prep, I worked about 10 back to back days, averaging 12-16 hours. I worked about 20 shows and actually saw maybe a third of that. (You can read a day in the life story here).
Throughout the week, it snowed several times, and the wind chill easily dipped below zero degrees as I trekked the three avenues to the office at 5 am. Despite my mother's suggestion to quit two days in, I again, barely ate, never slept, but this go around I ended getting so sick I missed the final two days of the season quarantined in my room. And did I mention all of this was unpaid?
Simply put, working fashion week made me terribly unhappy. I get the concept of paying one's dues especially in a highly sought after industry like this one. But what exactly am I paying my dues for? Peeking behind the gilded facade had me questioning what my "dream" really looks like.
[embed]https://scontent.cdninstagram.com/hphotos-xpf1/t50.2886-16/11010896_666011190174198_901081489_n.mp4[/embed]My favorite show of the season: Carolina Herrera
Don't get me wrong. I love the creativity and artistry of fashion and still intended to be a part of the industry. I enjoy the actual fashion show / presentation part of fashion week (and after this break, I want to get right back to it). But the pretentiousness and fanfare that go into that 8-minute show? I need to step away from that this season. Simply put, I'm burnt out.
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