I’m currently in the throes of a love/hate relationship with life in general, and fashion in particular. Due in no small part to the fact that I’ve just moved house, had little access to internet and been spending my entire life on the phone with incompetent staff at Time Warner, Con Edison and the National Grid (internet, power and gas), I haven’t been enjoying New York much the past week. The gas still hasn’t been switched on which leaves my apartment as cold inside as it is out, my attitude has been terrible and my workload has suffered. As a result, I didn’t really muster the initiative to request invitations to the shows. I take full responsibility, it was a silly mistake. In a last ditch attempt to make something of a bad situation, I’ve just spent the best part of the morning frantically calling PR agencies in the hopes that they’ll take pity on a foolish lad and let him stand at their shows. So far, I’m not doing too badly.
Last year I must have gone to at least 100 fashion shows, probably more, at seven fashion weeks across four different cities – two seasons in Milan and Paris, two in New York, one in Sydney plus various random catwalk events scattered throughout. Compared to many, like Tim Blanks, Bryan Boy and Tommy Ton, that’s a tiny fraction of their year – add the womenswear circuit on top of what I did and those guys are in shows more often than they’re not. I have a huge amount of respect for them; not only do they work tirelessly, but they love what they do.
Bryan Boy was profiled by my friend Jenna Sauers for the New York Observer today – it’s a bloody good rags to riches story, brilliantly captured by an incredible writer – and she paid him one of the highest compliments someone in this job could ever hope to get: “What makes Bryan palatable to major brands is… his ability to remind fashion’s most established figures of the sense of soaring wonder great fashion can move certain very young people to feel. Every top designer was a kid poring over the pages of Vogue in a childhood bedroom, once. BryanBoy, who will turn 30 this month, takes them back there.”
When I started going to fashion weeks it wasn’t about writing clever reviews, or taking great photos, it was about sneaking into shows, experiencing the spectacle and the hype, and translating that onto paper (or screen) for an audience that might never get the chance to see it all for themselves. This fashion week I’m going to try to get back there – I’ll sneak into a few shows, I’ll run backstage, I’ll tell a few anecdotes and I’ll try to catch up with a few people who inspire or intrigue me along the way. It’s time to get back to my roots (cue sweeping movie-of-the-week music).
Happy New York Fashion Week, everybody!
p.s. To read the story of how I managed to snap that insane photograph of Magdalena Frackowiak backstage at the Christian Dior Haute Couture show in 2009 – with my Blackberry!!! – click here.
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