Fashion week has started up again. That magical week in New York when the streets are filled with the best dressed, exhausted models and obnoxious celebrities. As a photographer, work usually slows down around this week because models and bookers are too busy running around like crazy. There is no time for any other talk aside from fashion week. So, for about two weeks a person is left to hang around and sneak into fabulous parties or sit home and curse at your twitter and instagram page at everyone who is at the shows.
The one option that I never explored before is working fashion week.
This week I've been hired by a magazine to run around creating a "fashion week scrapbook"
They asked that I start on Fashion's Night Out and go on until it's over. I was thrilled! I've never really worked fashion week before so it was a great new an exciting opportunity. I was giddy and excited when it hit me: They want me to work Fashion's Night Out.
I was torn. It was one night of pain to deal with a week a awesomeness but I really, really don't like FNO. I think it's for a great cause and should be recognized for that but the crowd that comes out to celebrate is a mess. The first time I went to "celebrate" FNO was about two years ago. It was strange. There were lines that snaked around all of the fabulous clothes in the store just to get a small cup of cheap champagne. People pushed and shoved to get two seconds with a Gossip Girl hunk and threw fits when they couldn't get a photo of him. I've been a New Yorker for 21 years now. I've gone to most of the parades and events and I can say that although I don't really like big crowds, I can handle them. FNO was one of the first times I was truly overwhelmed by a crowd. We trapped in Saks with people doing anything to get free things. I was stepped on, shoved and cursed at. I met two celebs (while hiding in parts of the store that weren't as crowded) and decided to find another place to go.
Outside, a man was standing outside asking girls for lighters when they would come out for a smoke. He announced himself to be a Tommy Hilfiger model and Adrian Grenier's favorite cousin.
We asked if he was serious and he swore up and down that he was. We found this hard to believe.
He followed us from store to store for about an hour until we asked him to get us all drinks and we ran away. I ended the night in a bar in little Korea and swore off FNO forever.
Or so I thought.
I decided to go but I couldn't possibly go alone. I texted people but everyone was working or doing school work and I feared I'd have to brave the crowd alone. Then I remembered there was someone I knew who would enjoy it and would love to come with me:
I called her up and she was happy to come along. She never really does things like this and was fascinated that so many people came out to pretend to be fashionistas for a night. We got dinner beforehand I changed into a cute little outfit and my most comfortable heels and started exploring. We started at the Forever 21 on Broadway. It didn't seem to crowded at first. As we walked in a checked it out the speaker from the DJ by the door blew out.
At that moment I became aware of the volume of people's voices and realized it really was crowded. I have to give them credit though, it was a control crowded. There weren't any women trying to beat each other over the rock candy mocktails (although I thought about it because the line for the sweet drinks was about 70 people long and the rock candy looked so good)
We then moved to Desigual where they handed out giant bags that came in handy for my scrapbook items. The store was pretty empty and they insisted that everyone who come in take a coconut water (which is what water would taste like if water could expire. I kindly passed.)
We decided to go back down Broadway. My mother suggested we go to Zara but I hesitated knowing that the Zara in Soho is a mess without there being a special event happening. We passed by anyway to check it out when I saw these signs.
The girl became feisty with me because I did not want to take a picture with the bag.
We made our way over to Ivanka Trump's store where we were met with jewelry to die for and model who looked less than enthusiastic.
There were tons of people when we went back outside. All with bags filled with free goodies from stores. It reminded me of a sort of Halloween. People dressed in silly clothes going from place to place asking for treats.
There were lots of live models in windows. They looked blankly out the window while people took photos. This model in particular shook with each new pose she took. I couldn't tell if she was cold or nervous but almost immediately after I walked over, she got up and walked out of the window.
At a store near Marc Jacobs they handed out free comic books a fashionable superhero. It was crowded so I moved over to the Marc Jacobs store to see my boyfriend who was working that night.
It was there I faced my worst FNO nightmare.
The store was packed. People everywhere sipping champagne out small bottles with straws. A large crowd stood by the counter and everyone had their iPhone out. I spotted my boyfriend behind the counter and tried to get his attention without going into the crowd. My very curious mother decided if I wasn't going to move closer to see who people were climbing over each other to see, I would surely follow her if she did. We ended up close to the counter near my boyfriend (who was wearing the FNO shirt with the rest of his coworkers that read "Don't just stay for the free drinks." It was a pretty good shirt) I went on my tiptoes and peaked over to see who was there. I should have known. It was Marc Jacobs himself signing perfume bottles and taking photos. I looked back at the crowd and noticed how crazy people were going to see this man. People were climbing on the table and the back of the couches to get a photo of a man who was simply writing his name on something. I think he's a brilliant designer and has some pretty interesting views on things but people were shoving and getting mean. I grabbed my mother and left. We decided it was time to go.
Later on my boyfriend sent me a picture of what the madness at Marc Jacobs looked like to him as he was working. He got this:
So, here I am again. Another FNO under my belt. I'm happy I survived it and I didn't strangle anyone. It was an interesting night and I had a great time with my mother but 'm swearing off Fashion's Night Off for the rest of my life (or until I have to work it again).