This past weekend I had the amazing privilege of attending several shows during New York’s Fashion Week. All I ever knew of fashion week is what I had seen in various media outlets so I was BEYOND excited that I would have the opportunity to actually attend. Thankfully one of my friends up here works in fashion and beauty, so she was able to get me into a few shows.
That Saturday I woke up, not sure what I would wear. I knew I would be attending Vivienne Tam’s show first. I visited Tam’s site to get a feel for her-I noticed she had many simple, flowy pieces that weren’t too dramatic. I looked at my own clothes and noticed an outfit that Shelby and I had considered just a couple of days earlier. I realized this was my time to wear it, so I did.
Upon arriving at the venue, people were everywhere! Most of the people didn’t have tickets to actual shows, so they were hanging around outside to see and be seen (back home it’s commonly referred to as “parking lot pimpin”). Tons of photographers were posted as well and while majority were fashion bloggers who wanted to capture the moment, a few were connected to some bigger media outlets. The entire scene was a bit chaotic-so much was going on at one time. As I struggled to find the entrance to present my email invitation, I was pulled aside by an Essence photographer who wanted to snap a pic. I was SO flattered! I posed as he instructed, smiled on command and prayed I didn’t look like a deer caught in headlights (because that’s exactly how it felt).
Immediately after I rushed into the venue and quickly found my seat in the audience at Vivienne Tam’s Spring 2012 show. The seats were filling up quickly and I was bubbling over with tons of nervous energy because I couldn’t believe I was actually there, in that moment. Next to me was a beautiful blonde woman who seemed nearly as awestruck as I was because she kept asking me who “important-looking” people were. At one point she motioned towards a tall, Black woman. “Who is that? She looks really important.” My mouth dropped open as I looked at who she was motioning towards. “That’s Wendy Williams.” I then looked at the woman. “Who are you? What do you do?” She smiled. “I’m Miss Teen USA. I just won the crown in July.” I just smiled back as I shook my head incredulously. Only in NYC.
It was both of our’s first fashion show ever, so it was a relief to be able to look at the different looks and comment on them with her. I didn’t have to act like I’d seen it all before and knew what to expect-neither did she. The runway was a white piece of paper that was taped to the grown while a projector that was filming the show was aimed at the wall towards the back of the runway. This made it so that f you were far away, you could still see the details. Each model that walked was tall, beautiful and SKINNY. I saw no major blemishes or bloopers (beyond the fact that the models were bra-less wearing extremely sheer tops/blouses…). My heart especially leaped out of my chest when I noticed one, Black model among the sea of White and Asian ones. Her walk was fierce, strong and determined-it was so inspiring to see.
The next show I saw was Venexiana later that night. Venexiana specializes in coutoure gowns which was a completely different demographic from Tam’s. I was able to attend with my friend which was nice, since she was able to give me insider tips/info since she’d been to several fashion shows before. We sorted through our gift bags before the show started (which included an SPF for your hair and silver illuminating dust for eyes) and settled comfortably into our seats. The show opened with really nice models rocking really nice gowns…then it had more nice models with prom-looking gowns…then more models, with more gowns, and then again, more models and gowns. It was so repetitive that it got boring. There must’ve been 50 dresses (way too many to hold the audience’s attention that long) and the models were freakishly thin-I was counting the vertebrae on their backs (seriously). It wasn’t long before the models were stumbling over the trains of the gowns or swishing their bony pelvises too hard as they walked. By the end of the show, I was laughing hysterically. Was that show even real? Lol. Overall though, the gowns were beautiful-there’s no denying that.
The final show I saw was Sunday’s Custo Barcelona. I’d heard that his style is a bit “out there,” “extra” and “fantastical,” and figured it’d be a fun show to see. The buzz surrounding it was that his would be a 3D show (whatever that meant). After arriving I realized I didn’t have a seat-I’d have to stand in the far back and watch. While I was kind of salty about that, I was still appreciative because in reality, I could’ve been stuck outside and not even been granted standing room. I don’t remember much about the clothes other than I found them to be ridiculous. All of the models (male and female) looked alike and it wasn’t long before everyone looked androgynous. Finally, the models were again TOO skinny. It was disturbing.
After experiencing NY’s fashion week, I’m left with the feeling that I’ve crossed something else off of my NYC Bucket List. It’s nothing that I see myself breaking my neck to attend in the future, mainly because my interest in coutoure fashion doesn’t run that deep. Truth be told, when Spring 2012 actually hits, I will definitely be picking up magazines to discover what the trends will be despite the fact that I attended the shows for the season. I’m still as clueless as I was before I saw any of the shows.
And lastly, remember when I mentioned that an Essence photgrapher photographed my outfit? Those photos have now been published on Essence.com