For a few minutes, as models strut down the runway in the season’s most glamorous creations, a fashion show becomes a scene of breathtaking perfection. But those who call Fashion Week work will tell you that the lead-up and aftermath can be chaotic, mundane, and downright absurd. We’ve asked industry pros, from a front-row photographer to a fashion house intern, exactly what the week is like for them.
Here, InStyle’s Fashion News Director Eric Wilson details his typical NYFW day. Come back all week for more insider perspectives.
6 a.m. I read the news first thing every morning, and this one is fairly depressing. Irma, earthquake, Pierre Bergé. I have a feeling this is going to be a very newsy fashion week, and I’m already overwhelmed. I drink a glass of sparkling water with two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar to start the day–good for the digestion and it wakes me up faster than caffeine.
6:45 a.m. I head to the High Line Equinox for Wil Ashley’s 7 a.m. spin class. His pace-based method is a little intense for me right now and I’m feeling sluggish after staying up to write a Calvin Klein review last night, so not sure this is a great idea. Until, that is, he plays an awesomely corny dance remix of “Waving Through a Window” from the Broadway musical Dear Evan Hansen, which I happened to finally see on Tuesday night, and now I’m fully in it. Dear me, this day is going to be great! Sixteen miles and 653 calories later, I say hi to Brian Phillips from Black Frame and wave to the accessories god Philip Crangi on the way out.
8:30 a.m. Normally I drink a protein shake for breakfast but today I am craving a bacon, egg, and cheese on a roll with hot sauce, and I earned those carbs, although I question my choice when I arrive home just at the moment my obscenely hot interior decorator neighbor is answering his door with just a towel wrapped around his waist to accept his laundry delivery. Oh well. I add a whole tomato from my garden upstate to make my BEC healthy-ish. The tomato is overripe so I have to eat the sandwich over the sink, with two cups of coffee to wash it down. I check the weather–sunny, not too hot, cool tonight–so I opt for a thin cotton sweater with a speckled pattern (cheap, from J.Crew’s outlet store) and a lightweight gray windowpane checked suit (expensive, from Lanvin). It’s my fashion week uniform.
9:20 a.m. This season, InStyle has partnered with Lyft to support a video series I produce during Fashion Week, filming interviews in a car between shows, so I meet a Lyft driver to head from my apartment in Chelsea to Tory Burch’s show on the Upper East Side. I left myself plenty of time, but traffic is terrible and I’m still not through Central Park as the show is scheduled to start.
10:15 a.m. I get out of the car and speed walk the last six blocks, and I’m among the last to arrive at Tory’s gorgeous garden show–so glad I made it—but it’s mortifying to dash in so late. Hope Emily Blunt didn’t notice! The show is terrific, too, with funny dresses and totes made from beach towels, and slides that look like they’re made from plastic lawn chair materials.
10:45 a.m. Jerel, the awesome Lyft driver, and I head downtown to see the new Faith Connexion store in SoHo, and traffic is so bad it takes about 45 minutes. I catch up on e-mails, Instagram, two phone calls and read everyone’s Calvin reviews.
11:30 a.m. The Faith Connexion store on Mercer Street is wild. It’s the first in the world for this insider streetwear brand, which started as a diffusion line of Balmain but became its own mysteriously cool thing after the owners separated. So there are lots of really ripped up jeans, gold sequin track pants, and shaggy sweaters that look devastated but in fact are designed to be that way. It’s evidently the best quality shredding you can find, and Alexandre Allard, the owner, introduces me to an in-house destroyer–a slight kid from Los Angeles–who will custom rip your clothes for you. Alex keeps saying he can bedazzle or put holes in my Lanvin suit if I want, and the way he looks at my blazer is starting to make me nervous.
12:40 p.m. Traffic, traffic, traffic. It’s so bad, I head straight to Jason Wu’s show near South Street Seaport and get there with just enough time to order a lobster roll from the Ambrose food truck around the corner, and scarf it outside as Eva Chen teeters by in heels on the cobblestones. I grab a Fiji water on the way into Wu.
2:15 p.m. I stop by the office at Brookfield Place to deal with print deadlines. Jeffrey, our production director, looms ominously, asking for an ETA on that feature that’s way overdue. How’s next week for you? Sam, the market director, walks by with a bag of Maltesers, some kind of malted chocolate balls that arrived in a large box last week as if it were Halloween. I hijack a handful and chase them with a coffee from Black Seed Bagels, then review layouts for our November best-dressed feature, which needs some work. Ali, the style director, offers a watermelon Jolly Rancher but I pass. Sugar, during fashion week, is the enemy.
4:30 p.m. We are headed uptown to Monse and I wish I had that Jolly Rancher.
5:45 p.m. Monse, on a basketball court in a new luxury rental building near the entrance to the Lincoln Tunnel, starts 45 minutes late after waiting for Nicki Minaj to arrive, as if Paris and Nicky Hilton and Minnie Mouse, who are punctual, are not famous enough. Traffic finally seems to be lightening up.
6:15 p.m. While my colleagues take an early-bird dinner break, I press on to see the runway debut of Matthew Adams Dolan, a rising star who’s got all the early buzz this fashion week. I only suffer from FOMO when it comes to meals, but I really did want to see his show, so I zip down to Chelsea to a very, very hot gallery, where I strip down to my increasingly sweaty T-shirt. Casey Spooner, dressed in what appears to be a pink organza jumpsuit, has it much worse. (The show is worth it, by the way.)
7:10 p.m. We drive all the way back up to 59th Street for Brandon Maxwell at the Doubles Club for a show that’s a real hoot. I’m so hungry I forgo the champagne for fear of becoming sloppy.
8 p.m. There’s a one hour break before Jeremy Scott, the final show of the night, at Spring Studios in TriBeCa, so as we drive down Fifth Avenue, Sarah, our executive features director, and I frantically think of places we can grab a quick bite. But it’s Friday night, so every restaurant is packed, and the minutes are ticking by as we travel downtown. Then she thinks of Lucky Strike, the SoHo institution that happens to be a block away from Jeremy’s show, so I book a reservation on OpenTable and somehow we get there with 15 minutes to spare. It’s risky, but we’re starving and manage to get a chicken salad on the table by 9 p.m.
9:05 p.m. Check please! Even in fashion time, when shows normally run at least 20 minutes late, we’re anxious to dash and leave our plates half finished.
9:30 p.m. In our seats. And, shocker, this show ain’t starting any time soon. But there’s Lionel Richie!!! Best celebrity sighting at fashion week yet! I start singing The Commodores’ “Oh No” to my seatmates who remind me I can’t sing.
10:45 p.m. Home. Would rather be going to the Calvin Klein party but I need to organize my notes, start tomorrow’s review, reply to 1,000 emails, and search for “Dear Evan Hansen” remixes online while finishing a pint of blueberry chocolate ice cream from Morgenstern’s.
12 p.m. Goodnight.