I've worked in e-commerce for some time now, but that has never provided me with the insider status to nab a front row seat at any Fashion Week anywhere in the world (sigh). My longing to understand what happens in those magical, celeb and talent filled spaces has, although, had a very long history.
In my younger days in New York I would circle Bryant Park on my way to work in an effort to catch merely a small whiff of the excitement brewing around 'the tent'. From an even earlier age I would spend hours dissecting the pages of fashion magazines and covering my walls with photos of the collections.
But, of course, that's not unlike anyone watching from the proverbial stands. Once simply an industry trade event (albeit more glamorous than, say, a medical expo) Fashion Week has increasingly become an event that bring us celebrity preening and pap shots; curious new 'designers' (Christopher Ciccone?); gossip (OMG who is having dinner with who during Fashion Week!); and, especially in London, a fascinating array of new media and street style stars.
Which brings me back to the front row...Fashion is big business and our company had the good fortune of being able to sponsor, in part, the show of a fabulous young designer, Zoë Jordan, that allowed me my first ever front row spot. Here's the blow-by-blow:
9 a.m. Colleagues and I have a minor panic over what to wear - they are French so for them it was a non-issue really - for me, I was only saved by having bought a cute top designed by Zoë Jordan, so thereby absolving me of worry (although the fact that I bought it on sale did give me a fright - is that a faux pas?)
11.25 a.m. Well-dressed and very nice bouncers/security at show entrance. Felt we had to over-explain our reason for being allowed in. They just looked perplexed in the sort of 'of course you can go through' way.
11:30 a.m. Lots of stylish women with clipboards mulling about, looking very professional and crossing their fingers that the most illustrious of show guests arrive to take their predetermined spots (the holy grail of fashion shows these days - the celebrity front row photos). Otherwise deciding slightly on a case-by-case basis who sits where. A harrowing job these days (did you hear about the French editor who slapped the PR at the Zac Posen show?)
11:45 a.m. The room is filling up with some of the most amazing assortment of looks - this is where the blogger world has rocked fashion - bloggers tend to be the ones with the crazy street style. Big hair, spiky shoes, neon colours. It runs the gamut. Zoë loyalists could also be found wearing collection pieces (Me! Sort of!).
And then, the celebs...One section of the front row was a swarm (a massive swarm) of photographers. Having seen the images that later appeared in the media, I can't believe how many photos are taken to produce just a handful of good ones.
The front row was considered to be a success thanks to Kelly Brook, Poppy Delevingne and Jameela Jamil to name a few. We often hear celebrity horror stories, but I imagine the case is more often as I saw it - really good sports doing their part for the designer by sitting for endless shots, inside and outside of the venue.
12:05 p.m. The show starts (give or take a few minutes) the lights go, the music goes on, and very thin glamorous women with slightly curious model walks take the stage (you know the drill). I myself am trying to perfect the front row pretzel leg. Hoping my legs don't go to sleep before it's all over.
And then in a blink the show finishes, Zoë appears and the paps start again. Those who actually cover shows for a living bolt on to the next show; and for me, I'm bitten.
What will I wear next year?!