The Ultimate Fashion Month Survival Guide by Christine Göös
If you’re reading this, chances are that you (much like yours truly) obsess over all things fashion. As seen on Devil Wears Prada, street style blogs, and your Instagram feed, fashion is an invite-only club that most of us only ever glare at from the outside. Much less snag an invite to the shows of the season. I certainly have not.
Fashion week is like that toxic lover we’ve all dated at one point in our lives. It’s overwhelming, hints you’re fat, and constantly demands you overhaul your style.
“Sorry babe, you’re not on the guestlist.”, the lover sighs while zipping up a next season McQueen creation while you silently pour a single tear into your half-empty Ben & Jerry’s.
Yet, you’re still left yearning for acceptance and attention. What’s even worse, you’ll go through this emotional rollercoaster four times a year, excluding Resort and Couture. If you got the last reference, jump directly to section three.
So what’s a girl (a man, a woman, a person) to do?
To tame the monster, try approaching it like dating. From fun and casual to ring shopping, there’s a plan in (a flagship) store for every kind of situation. Happy swiping.
Commitment Level 1: Netflix and chill
You just met on vogue.com. It’s nothing serious; a glance at a collection here, a like on a designer’s runway post there. You like to hang out but don’t quite know where or how often.
You’re not ready to make it public at the shows or at after party entrances, but rather keep it low key from the comfort of your laptop or phone screen. In GAP pajamas, adorned by Doritos crumbles. (Editor’s note: eww).
You’re easily overwhelmed by the sheer volume of presentations flooding the front pages of the style sites. Think of your mission like Netflix: stick to recommendations. Don’t spend time on the specifics, but observe the big picture: colors, textures, silhouettes. Take note of what you like and march to the nearest Zara within the next three weeks. You’re guaranteed to find the replicas neatly stacked on the racks.
Commitment Level 2: dating exclusively
Dresscode: vintage designer mixed in with high street
At this point, you’ve been dating for a while. You can tell your Puccis from the Guccis. You’re either a small-scale Insta-influencer (20,000 followers or less), or you work a junior position in the industry. The style month leaves you nothing but a tad dehydrated and ashamed you’re sitting last row – if you managed to scheme yourself in.
Your style is a happy concoction of 80s Saint Laurent and DSTLD denim (a fashion editor favorite, you’ve been told). Your poor Instagram husband/wife/mother is lured into obscure neighborhoods in the hopes of snagging that perfect morning light shot in front of an abandoned hardware factory.
At this level, you should have at least five go-to designers from each major fashion city and feel comfortable talking about their collections in-depth. Note that large houses rarely change directions drastically from one season to the next (unless they change the head designer), so you may get away with pointers from previous seasons’ shows.
Commitment Level 3: show that ring, baby
Dresscode: whatever’s on the runway
This is not for the faint of heart or faint of wallet. You’ve either earned the status as a trust fund baby, editor-in-chief, social media starlet, or as the offspring of pretty much any 60s rock band.
You’re on first name terms with the designer. Hell, they even fly you in for fittings well before the collection hits the runways. Mistake not, this level of engagement demands your full attention.
It’s either front row or a no-go; you would not be caught dead sitting behind any of the Jaggers. You live from Uber to Uber and perform quick changes between the shows. Five outfits a day is the bare minimum. Shoot for seven.
During the fashion month, your schedule resembles that of a marine-in-training. Sometimes you look into your Kanebo compact and ask yourself philosophically: “What’s the point of this madness?”
Then, just as you’re ready to ditch your Loubs and hide away in your Architectural Digest model pad, your eyes fixate on that Isabel Marant show invite. You perk up, throw on that neon fur jacket and Fendi cat eyes. You’re just one Vitamin Water away from completely conquering the fash-o-sphere.
Words by Christine Göös
Photos courtesy of kelseybkb featuring Karlie Kloss