Never in a million years did I expect that my first time would be in Milan.
It was hard enough to try and conceive of the idea of skipping a few days of class in Virginia in order to try and attend New York Fashion Week– and when I say “attend” I mean, “stand outside the entrance, gawking at all of the attendees and watch as photographers snap photos of their outfits that, inevitably, no matter how hard I tried to look on point, would always outshine my Zara tops and Marshall’s ankle boots.” While I never muscled up the balls to skip those classes in order to wait outside fashion week, it was somehow slightly easier to miss a lesson or two to help out a few names in the industry– and actually attend a few shows, ticket in hand.
No, I didn’t get an invite to Moschino–YET. Mark my words, I will be there sandwiched between RhiRhi and Kimye one day– but I did get to attend a few others. From what I got to experience, fashion week is everything you’d expect, with a few reality checks thrown in. For one, I always assumed that there was one or two large show venues that were fairly close to each other, and attendees would simply walk from one to the other; In this time, the top street style photographers like Tommy Ton and Adam Katz would snag their golden shots.False. At least in Milan, the shows are all over the place, take place at every hour, and sometimes half hour, leaving little to no room for people to get across town. This leads me to my other slight shock, that fashion shows never start on time. When the start time is 2:00 pm, that means people start arriving at 1:50, and the later it gets, the more important the people are that arrive. In an industry that seems to thrive off (albeit forced and fabricated) punctuality, no one seemed to think much of the fact that models wouldn’t truly hit the runway until about 30 mins past. Go figure.
This is something I learned while working as one of those people who stand around outside the shows
forcing people to take politely handing out fashion news reports. Knowing the supposed start time, I would rush there a half hour early only to wait around for 45 minutes for the crowd to come. Sometimes it was difficult to tell who was arriving for the show and who was arriving to watch the street style. But once the front-row worthy attendees arrived, you’d know immediately.
Take the ever so lovely miss Karlie Kloss, for example. All attention turns to the oncoming blogger, editor, model, whathaveyou– dressed to the nines in the designer’s previous season show stoppers– and a million cameras start going off. Once they have posed enough to please the crowd (because no, those mid-step-phone-in-hand pics are often not candid), they make their way inside and there’s a calm before the next paparazzi storm.
But I never let my favorite blogger Chiara Ferragni get away without a selfie. Chiara, if you’re reading this, I swear I didn’t stalk you. Also, if you’re actually reading this, thank you so much for gracing this page with your eyeballs.
I will admit that being on the other side of the paparazzi cameras can be quite thrilling. I lucked out with a ticket to the Missoni show, where I took full advantage of getting dressed up, and I got my 15 seconds of fame as I approached the entrance. That’s the other thing I learned: you want your picture taken at fashion week? Wear something you would never wear on a normal basis, add one extra outlandish touch, and you’re guaranteed to be stopped on the street, no matter what you’re name is or isn’t. Which is kinda cool.
By the way, I am still on the Internet hunt for where my picture ended up being posted, so if you ever come across it, help a sister out.
As fun a spectacle as fashion week was, I don’t know how people survive all four (New York, London, Milan, Paris), let alone one entirely full week. What I got was only a glimpse of it all, and i have to say it is exhausting. I have a newfound appreciation for everyone who shows up to show after show with the energy and put-togetherness that they do. But then again, I think I could look pretty good 24/7 too if I had a driver and personal hair and makeup team. Maybe next Christmas…
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<p>My name is Meredith, and I am a 3rd year Media Studies major from UVA. I love bananas, yoga, and traveling the world. I am also a fashion blogger and pursuing a career in fashion, so I hope to record how my experiences in Milan, one of the fashion capitals of the world, shapes my future! </p>