In which our intrepid contributor Michelle infiltrates New York Fashion Week and lives to tell.
Sunday, Feb. 14, at Bryant Park — by SF Indie Fashion Contributor Michelle Ruiz
It’s Valentine’s day and, lucky for me, love (ok sparkly runway clothing) is sitting waiting in the Bryant Park tents. After some shopping in SOHO this afternoon, I am trying to find my way back to 42nd and 6th and having a difficult time at that. A twinge of guilt tickles my hands holding a Madewell as I think maybe I didn’t have time to shop during Fashion Week. Nonsense, it’s 4:30 p.m., and I can make it to that 5:00 p.m. Tony Cohen show.
5:15 pm: At the tents, no more room at Tony Cohen even with my invitation in hand. Drats!!!! All of that rushing from SOHO (no cabs around, it is Valentine’s Day, after all), first taking the 3 in the wrong direction, then the 6, finally to arrive on the F. Subways, they are not a girl’s best friend.
5:45 pm: I try to find the right people to see if I can snag standing room for Custo Barcelona. I get an email from Jenn, (she has a Valentine’s dinner date) and passes along her invite. Score!!! The show starts at 8 p.m., and if I go to it, I will certainly not be able to get in line for Vassilios Kostetsos at 9. Decision time. I chose Vassilios.
6:00 pm: I decide to take up date offer from boy I met last night at Rachel Zoe party. He is nice, not in fashion, a medical resident. It’s a nice change of pace. We go to a place called Jacks, and it is yummy.
7:30 pm: I’m back inside the Bryant Park tents with my Vassilios invite. The show starts at 9 p.m., so I hit up the “Rum of Puerto Rico” counter for some kind of rum strawberry mixture that tastes like sugar. It’s free. No food at NYFW, but tons of free alcohol. Hmmmm.
8:00 pm: I meet a photographer. He encourages me to join him in the media pit. I do not have a pass, but he says they will not notice, and it’s the best seat in the house, he says. I am scared, but have made friends with many of the security guards anyway, so I doubt they will club me if found.
8:15-8:45pm: In the photographer line outside the Salon where Vassilios show will be. All of the photographers look absolutely exhausted and are living off of Power Bars, speaking different languages and barely notice me. It’s roped off in the section right outside the tents, not where the public waits in line. The photographers get in first.
8:45-9:15 pm: I am in the media pit. Rad. We are at the end of the runway on risers. I’m on the second step. I’m a little scared with all of the big cameras surrounding me, accents, Red Bull cans. I see the whole tent before the audience is being let in. They start letting the important people like Anna Wintour in, and she’s sitting front row center. Everyone is so well-dressed. Lots of fur coats. My stuff is being stepped on but I don’t care because the show is about to start.
9:20 pm: The show starts, the lights go on, the music is very much like I’m in a European club, the whole thing feels very foreign, but Vassilios is from Greece. The models start to head out one at a time. They are all so tall. Something about them feels retro, but the clothes are very reminiscent of that film the Fifth Element. Men in red leather jackets, women in sparkly numbers with Princess Leia hair. A very interesting sight to see, especially with my little point and shoot, and the clothes two feet away from me. I get smiles from the photographer to my left. He’s from Argentina, and shows me his last shot of the shoes. I’m still stuck on the runway that slowly begins to turn dark after all of the models do their second walk and head back behind where we can’t see. Vassilios steps out briefly and then is flooded with press headed back stage. I fall over.
[Photo by Michelle Ruiz]
Read part 1 of Michelle’s adventures here…