As we all know by now, I have my ways of finagling into the tents at New York Fashion Week (which we initiates know are not actually tents anymore, BUT I DIGRESS.) This was my fourth season on the scene, and my connections have definitely moved up in the world, because I was more VIP than ever – I had seats and everything! Guys, I sat behind RACHEL ZOE at one show. This can go to the head of a person such as I, and I could physically feel myself growing more pompous as I prognosticated on the topic in the breakroom at work to a lesser suburban paean. For that reason, it is important to keep oneself grounded; this is how I kept my head.
1. Wear flats. There is a lot of temptation to wear heels in order to belong, but in reality you will be standing for hours upon hours, and unless you are one of the models, your normal life didn’t prepare your beleaguered feet for that sort of torture. By staying comfortable, you make a smart and bold choice, but you also keep yourself down a peg. Also never forget that no matter how cute you think you look in your Forever 21 top and Urban Outfitters headband, nearly everyone you see (and this is only in the audience!) will look like a goddess. So don’t get carried away.
2. Bump gracelessly into people of minor notoriety. At one show I sat behind a group of writers from Glamour, which I only know because I like to frequent their website and their writers have a habit of inserting themselves into pieces often… whatever, judge me. Anyway, this was a moderately cool occurrence, until the ubiquitous frenzied PR girls asked my row to fill in the row in front of us. Being in the middle and not wanting to bust past half a dozen people, I simply opted to step over the bench into the next row. However, I was wearing my wonderful favorite new boots with the spikes all over them and understandably didn’t want to stab anyone. In a tediously careful attempt to step daintily over the bench, I gently smacked my purse into the back of the head of a certain Glamour writer. I launched immediately into a sincere apology, which I summarily concluded when I received a heady dose of bitchface in return. When you start to believe you are Someone, you lose touch. Never drink the punch.
3. Exhaust yourself trying to look casual. At the beginning of this post I dropped a name that I’ll now pick up. During something called the Supima Design Competition – which I only went to because I was waiting for my sister to get out of work and I was already there – I sat in the second row (because I am Somebody!) (I am nobody.) The front row of my section remained empty and heavily guarded right up until the show was about to begin, during which interim the PR girls on several occasions referred to “Rachel” coming. I knew it. I just knew it. You know it too: it was Rachel Zoe. She sat right in front of me, with Roger; her assistant/friend Joey sat next to me. I had to work extra hard to maintain my I-don’t-care fashionable look of nonchalance, but I can’t remember the last time my facial muscles grinned that much. Eek! What’s more, across the runway was a camera crew pointing in our direction: they were filming for The Rachel Zoe Project. Assuming that I (or at least my elbow) was about to skyrocket to fame, I did what anyone who is not actually glamorous would do: I spent the entire show holding my stomach in, my back straight as a board, my chin out and down (one can NOT show double-chin in Rachel Zoe’s presence!), with periodic calculated displays of interest, approval, or disdain as I deemed appropriate. This was all, of course, ridiculous. (Watch out for my big break next season on Bravo!)
4. Sweat so much that you feel prohibited from soliciting a photo with Tyson Beckford when he stands four feet away from you at a party.
My group and I wound up at Tory Burch for the bulk of Fashion’s Night Out, and of the many stops on our journey that night, it was by far the best. The champagne flowed endlessly, the music was to-die-for 80s nostalgia, and did I mention that Tyson Beckford stood four feet away from me?! Unfortunately this was a balmy late summer evening in a tiny shop overcrowded past prudent capacity limits, and my bangs were plastered to my face in a way I would not want to remember next to such a god. Instead, I will look back on a revised memory that features me looking perfectly airbrushed and styled. But we all know the truth…
5. Meet the designer but don’t recognize her. I said I was at Tory Burch, the store. What I didn’t say was that mere moments after Tyson Beckford arrived, I turned back around to see my sister clink glasses with a blond woman I didn’t know. The same woman then smiled beatifically at me and clinked my own glass. I returned the clink with a baffled smile and some white girl bopping dance moves. That very moment, someone behind me said on cue, “Look, it’s Tory!” Of course it was.
6. Take the last train home to New Jersey, lest you ever forget where you came from. Make sure to work at 7 am the next morning. At the mall.