NYFW: Years in the Making
I grew up seeing images of my mother posing glamorously in her "book"--a model's personal collection of work he or she shows to potential clients. So from the time I was five I had a keen sense of what fashion and modeling were.
My obsession grew with age, and I read every magazine I could get my hands on from cover to cover. I adored the designers and the models so much that I'd test my knowledge of each. I studied each editorial, guessed which designer the model was wearing and who the model was, and fact-checked my work by only then reading the tiny description in the bottom right corner.
Growing up in Ohio, I didn't have tons of access to ready-to-wear designer clothing, but my mom made sure that we had our own special experiences. Every now and then, she drove us 30 minutes to Saks Fifth Avenue in downtown Cincinnati. We marveled at the Manolo Blahniks and Carolina Herrera dresses-- seeing it in person took my breath away. It all felt precious, like I couldn't touch anything but that the only way to know I was seeing it in front of me was to do just that.
Attending New York Fashion Week is something I still can barely believe I've been able to do now, twice. It's as though the older I've gotten, layers between myself and the thing I admire have been removed. At first, the only way to experience fashion was to observe it on the page. When I was a bit older, I saw it in stores. And then finally, I was able to experience the magic in person. And it is magic.
Putting on a fashion show is a bit like putting on a production of Rent. You can rehearse as much as humanly possible. You can have the perfect cast, perfect costumes and perfect pitches. But once the house goes quiet and the lights come on, who knows what's going to happen next. THAT is riveting.
Watching the shows, music shook me to the core. I was probably the only person watching the show with a ridiculous, toothy smile on my face. But I just can't help it. There it all was-- everything I've ever admired-- off the page and in real life, right in front of my face.
Backstage, supermodels roamed around, sat for makeup and scrolled through their phones as if to say, "Oh, this again." In their full hair, makeup, outfit and shoes, I've never felt shorter. But it was all fantastic.
I saw fashion icons, supermodels, celebrities, designers; I saw insane backstages and sat front row. I'm not saying any of this to brag, I'm simply writing it here so I remember forever. Hell, I was even turned away from shows. And at one point, I tried to go on a walk in the icy snow, my phone froze and I was lost walking around the city almost in tears for an hour. It's glamorous and unglamorous--that's NYC for you.
I'm incredibly thankful to everyone who's helped make it possible for me to experience a dream up close and personal. I'm particularly thankful to my mother, who has always showed me a glamorous life and who always believes in magic.