Friday, September 6, 2013

A Slow Day One of New York Fashion Week

fashion week sleaze glamour
Two ladies pose at Lincoln Center as some dude passes.
It was something of a slow Day One of New York Fashion Week yesterday. A feeling of lethargy hung in the air. There was a palpable lack of enthusiasm among many of the photographers. Few style stars were out, and the street style bloggers, usually all-dolled up behind their lenses, were noticeably dressed down. Even the personal style bloggers seemed like they were phoning it in. Whether Rosh Hashanah was to blame (as The New York Times claimed), or whether it had more to do with late summer malaise, or just a general feeling that Fashion Week, overrun by attention-seeking bloggers, just aint what it used to be is hard to say. But all the photographers I talked to agreed: today was not a great day at New York Fashion Week. It was not the day that "everyone would be talking about." These women up top may be disappointed to discover that. 
Day One photographers Kyle Anderson
The slow, but crowded scene outside Lincoln Center. Yes, that's Kyle Anderson being photographed in the background.
But don't think this means no one was out doing their thing. On the contrary, Lincoln Center was as crowded with bloggers, photographers, would-be stars and starlets, and fashion news outlets as I've seen it. And all the big name bloggers (Scott Schuman, Mr. Newton, Phil Oh, Tamu McPherson, etc) were out roaming the streets. It's just that they weren't finding a whole lot of what they were looking for. 

I have to admit that some of my reading of the mood of the first day of Fashion Week was projection. No doubt the novelty of Fashion Week has worn off for me. Last February I got caught up in the fervor. I felt a manic need to take pictures of anyone and everyone around me, meet all the photographers, get to as many shows as I could, experience everything. And I was near giddy every time I recognized a blogger, a model, an editor, or style star. This time I just couldn't bring myself to care. Maybe it was the three hours of sleep I got the night before. Maybe it was the general sense of malaise that permeated the atmosphere. Or maybe I've just been doing this a long time now.
Glamourai photographed Lincoln Center
Kelly Framel, The Glamourai, being photographed at Lincoln Center.
I spent the day sharing taxis with Dee of She had a Go Pro camera strapped to her head and, for a couple of hours, a film crew from Racked followed us around, all to capture the craziness of Fashion Week firsthand. Too bad there wasn't that much crazy to go around. No fights broke out. No pushing. Very little shoving (and that was just the paparazzi, going after the Jonas Brothers and some former Disney Stars or other), and no larger-than-life street style stars to light up the sidewalks. The Russians, I'm told, have not arrived yet. Nor, it would seem, has Anna Della Russo. 
Alexander Wang dress
There was, however, this woman, looking chic in an Alexander Wang dress.Look at me, acting like I know what designer she was wearing! I didn't. Dee did.
The itinerary for the day included BCBG at Lincoln Center at 10am, followed by Richard Chai. Dee and I then headed downtown to Pace Gallery for Creatures of the Wind. That's where all the big gun photographers were kicking it. But when that just never picked up we headed up to the backdoor of Todashi Shoji to capture some models leaving the runway (pictures for another day). Then we moved back around to the front of Lincoln Center, observed it was still dead, got a late lunch (3:30pm), headed back and got a few more shots before calling it a day.
Creatures of the Wind Day One Fashion Week
Outside Creatures of the Wind, Pace Gallery
Now that I'm no longer a Fashion Week virgin, I feel like I can stand back and get some distance. The whole experience can leave you feeling kinda icky, so it's necessary to set some parameters for yourself. Here are my Fashion Week New Rules: 

1) Don't be a dick. It sounds like it should go without saying, but seriously it's harder than you think. There are so many people busy being dicks at an event like this it's easy to forget yourself. But don't. Being a dick is not necessary. And it's never pleasant to suddenly become aware of yourself and think "Uh oh. I think I'm being a dick right now." What not being a dick means to me is to be polite and gracious towards all one's photo subjects. Don't shoot and run. Don't catch them unaware. When possible, ask their permission BEFORE you take their picture, and if they give you the time, tell them what you're shooting for and give them a card. No snapping away in peoples' faces while walking backwards. That's a prime dick move. Also, it means being nice to the other photographers. They're out here doing their job (or flagrantly self-promoting or something) and deserve to not have you shove them out of the way or step on their toes to get a shot.

2) Don't pay attention to what other people are shooting.I don't know that I need to elaborate more then this. But seriously, getting the same shots as everyone else is lame. And when their pics get put up on and yours don't, you're going to feel cheated, whether it's rational or not.

3) Talk to the other photographers. They are largely cool people and great sources of information. Standing around being awkward sucks. I'm not doing it this year.

4) Experiment with lots of different kinds of shots. You (or at least I) don't want to be taking the same pictures as everyone else this year. And more importantly, you don't want to be taking the same pictures as yourself. When you look through your photos on the bus ride home, you don't want to get that sinking feeling that you've seen all this before. Fashion Week is a visual feast. Take advantage.

5) Don't be intimidated by successful and/or famous people. Really there is no point. And by and large, when you are polite and respectful, people are polite and respectful right back. I had very nice interactions with Hamish Bowles, Lynn Yaeger, Kate Lanphear, and a bunch of well-known street style bloggers today. Why should I expect any less?

6) Remember to eat and/or drink lots of water. Easy to forget, but at least I remembered when it counts. I'm still alive after all. 
I think I posted this woman on Day One of last Fashion Week. I still don't know who she is, but I saw her in at least two separate outfits yesterday. She's entering into Mira Duma territory!
Enough about day one. Time to concentrate on day two. My best street style pictures from Day One, incidentally, I'm saving to use as separate posts. So stay tuned!


  1. I have never been to Fashion Week, and for a while thought that it was a "must see", but after looking at the coverage from various fashion bloggers for the past couple of years, it's the same people over and over and I lost interest so I can understand your lack of enthusiasm. Nice outfit captures though, especially the stripes and red accents in the first photo.

  2. BTW, "Don't Be a Dick" is advice that should be applicable to everyone, every day, not just during Fashion Week...

  3. the chick in the last one is "the global girl". she's a super fashion blogger! here's the link to her blog:


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