It’s Fashion Week in New York. I know, I’m a Fashion Blogger, but I hate Fashion Week. There are many reasons. First, in NYC, every week is fashion week. I don’t mean that hyperbolically, like “every week is fashion week because, fashion is all around us!” No. I mean it comes twice a year officially, and it is surrounded by menswear shows and other fashion-esque things such that it the week stretches out to a month which stretches out to a whole damn season of nonsense.
Of course, it being FW, I have to cover something. The thing about the Week is that it is a highly regimented, choreographed, stratified affair. I, being on the lowliest rung on the fashion ladder and barely worthy to un-do the sandle strap of Isaac Mizrahi, can at best hope to be invited to a ho-hum event. Of course, this isn’t to say that the high powered events are that profound — I mean, ultimately, the best fashion events take place inside of a tent. Mid-level events, like the one I attended over the weekend, can be exercises in elephant-in-the-room metaphysics as any. And so here I was, at Maison Martin Margiela X Opening Ceremony.
These events follow a careful script. You first show up, usually wearing some of your finest but none of your absolute finest lest you look like you are trying too hard, and submit your credentials to an overly-eager intern at the door. He or she will pretend to check your name against a list and then ultimately just wave you in or reject based purely on your outfit and if you have “the look”. Following this humiliating wringing, you will be led by another overly-eager intern to a space which, via the magic of white bedsheets and some catering, has been bootstrapped into looking like a proper fashion space.
The event will be attended, undoubtedly, by a clutch of usual suspects. You’ve got your assorted Italian buyers, long-faced and jaded, looking for anything that might save their dying boutique in Milan. You’ve got your scores of freelance photographers, carrying around enormous backpacks and photographic equipment. Of course, the most fashionable will be neither party, as they are merely trying to get by, but instead will be the various fashion bloggers (ahem) and fashion students. The former, will be in their finery and frantically taking pictures with their mobile devices, and the other will be those wearing something undoubtedly of their own make, coupled with footwear which will confess their journeyman status.
Finally, you will the Inner Circle, the designers and king makers from who everyone is trying to get a soundbite, or a word in edgewise, or is trying to butter-up. You can tell who they are because they are the only ones not taking advantage of the free alcohol, and instead are imbibing the complimentary coffee or sparkling water.
During your tenure at the event, which is typically 15-30 minutes, you will be subjected to a few iterations of the prearranged “show” — the dance the models have had to learn to showcase, oh yea, the actual clothes.
While we’re on the subject, I must say: the clothes were ugly. It was so long, and shapeless, and there was so much on the theme of protection. It reminded me of one of those butcher’s protective sleeves. I guess I don’t know what I’m talking about, since I’m just a low-level menswear blogger, but that’s like saying I can’t call something ugly because my face hasn’t been hit by a bus.
The one aspect I did like about MM6 X Opening Ceremony was that the various interns were wearing some long jackets, not unlike butchers actually wear.
The funny thing is that at a lot of these so-called fashion events, for all of their air of free artistic expression and liberte, there are an awful lot of rules to follow with decorum. For example, I wasn’t allowed to take pictures of the enthusiastic interns wearing butcher’s jackets. Let me say that again: at a fashion event wherein there were a dozen or so photographers there to record fashion, you are not allowed to take pictures of the fashion staff. It’s like going to a concert but being told the band who is playing will only allow you to listen to CDs of them playing, and not of them actually playing.
In the end, I managed to abscond with some free catered orange juice but none of my dignity. Here’s to the next Fashion Week.