February 8, 2011

Fashion Week Survival Kit

My first-ever Fashion Week was 7 years ago this week. I was 18 years old, a freshman at Parsons, and along with my partner-in-crime Jordan, we ventured up to Bryant Park and somehow managed to get a hold of coveted seats at Anna Sui and Cynthia Rowley, John Varvatos, and later, to Marc by Marc Jacobs and smaller shows of independent designers. We found ourselves in the middle of model-studded after parties in the Meatpacking District and basically fawning over the reality of our lives in NYC.

Some years later, getting real, physical invitations to fashion shows - from Burberry Prorsum to Christopher Kane to Catherine Malandrino, still doesn't seem entirely real. That said, I've had a few seasons under my belt to know to come prepared. Fully charged batteries, a between-show snack, and an organized calendar are absolute necessities, as are super-tall-yet-comfortable shoes.

Bag: Miu Miu, Bag Charm: Laduree via Colette (for a little levity), Notebook: Moleskine, Planner: Kate Spade, Sunglasses: ASOS, Hand Creme: Bliss, Lip Gloss: NARS

1. A huge bag! A little sequined clutch might be cuter, but how are you going to lug everything around in one of those? Where will your barcode print-outs go?
2. Media Tools - I'd be lost during NYFW without my iPhone, Leica point-and-shoot, and my Flip camera.
3. Notebook and Organizer: I keep my dates and appointments meticulously in my trust planner, and love to take notes during shows in one of my moleskine notebooks (this season: pink). The notes come in handy when I'm doing write-ups for Vogue.it or my blog later.
4. No time for makeup touch-ups, but a nice bright lip gloss or stain (NARS Bougianville is my go-to, right now) and a hand creme are necessary - it's cold out, and if you're like me, you're making lots of introductions and shaking hands during fashion week.
5. Snack. My snack of choice is raw almonds, they're full of protein and keep me going when I'm running from Lincoln Center to Milk Studios downtown.
6. Business Cards! You never know who you're going to meet. I developed a correspondence with a Vanity Fair Italy editor after meeting at London Fashion Week, and have even gotten freelance gigs by making friendly conversation at shows.
7. Chewing gum and/or breath mints. This should be self-explanatory.
8. A spare pair of black stockings and/or clear nail polish. I'm a strictly skirts & dresses type of girl, and last season I got a pretty tragic run in my tights. Not good looks!

But really, the most important thing you can have in your NYFW arsenal? HUMILITY & APPRECIATION. You might be tired and stressed out, but remember that the people who are producing these shows and presentations - from designers to public relations people to models to interns, have been preparing for this week for months, and foregone nights of sleep and social outings to make sure everything is perfect so you can enjoy their events. I've seen people throw little tantrums at shows, and trust me, that's something that is NEVER in style. Thank you goes a long way.


  1. Great post!!these PR agencies do work very hard, and stressing about small things is not worth it... on another note: I think I may have over packed! On my way to NYC, see you in the Tents!! :)

  2. What do you think about trading lives with me? Just during FW? I can be you, and you can be me, in grey, dull Swedish winter. No? Didn't think so...

  3. Being nice should be at the top of everyones list...my bag is just a camera, lens, extra cards, flash I never use [lololol], credit card/cash, blackberry/charger, and a piece of paper in case I need to write something down. I never have business cards on me, this season won't change. 4ever semi prepared. lol.

  4. Great post!! Love it!! I wish I could go to NYFW but I'm not used to the wintry weather so I'll try to save for September. Have a great time!!

  5. i love this post even though i hated working during fashion weeks. also your bag charm is as adorable as the miu miu is itself.

  6. Am growing increasingly anxious for just HOW I'm going to survive back-to-back shows at LFW next week! But yes, an arsenal of essentials, a pair of flats, a stack of business cards and notebooks, and an endless supply of smiles and 'thank you' notes are my essentials. That and a supply of fabulous heels/bags to distract from the fact that I have NO idea what to wear still!

    Briony xx

  7. An extra pair of tights - good idea.

    I walked through town with a huge gap in my tights over my knee yesterday. Had I been anywhere near a fashion week I would have had to tear them up some more and declare it fashionable :) Alas, I was simply in Härnösand, which currently - unfortunately, for snow haters like myself - has the greatest snow depth in Sweden. Yippiiie.


  8. Are you coming over for Burberry Prorsum and Christopher Kane then? Let me know if you are! xx

  9. as a person who probably will never go to a fashion week ever...this is really interesting. It is always very enlightening to see how it all works through eyes like yours... cant wait to see your fashion week posts!

  10. Love your list. Wish I was at fashion week, but the pics will be my way to daydream about going to the shows. Your bag and bag chars are adorable by the way!

  11. I don't think I will have the chance to go Fashion Weeks, quite far away from where I am but I still LOVE to read your tips to lug around. They are very interesting!

  12. Wow, I've read so many of these guides, but this one was actually interesting and really, really useful too! I've decided to blow off LFW this year, but I'll keep this bookmarked to refer to in the future!

  13. When I went to fashion shows, my bag contained most of these things. according to your guide I probably had the right things, yay me!!! really love your sunglasses! :)

  14. You can never go wrong with a big black Miu Miu bag. (I have a similar one in jeans). I love the sunglasses, adore the round shape. Nuts is a very nutritious snack, it will keep you going (and it’s easy to eat, fruit can be so sticky). I always have a bag charm, so I love this one: the macarons and the Eiffel tower, so cute. I’ve noticed you are taking a small camera with you, is this pocket size so it can fit into your bag??? Oh and I love the Kartell Victoria Ghost chair

  15. Thanks all!! Glad you found this interesting and helpful :)

    Julia: I agree with this 100%, but some people are DIVAS. Not sure why!

    Vanessa: I quite like my life! But I'd also love to visit Sweden... Hmmm.

    Absolutely Mrs. K: I'm actually one of those crazy people who ALSO carries around a big digital SLR, in addition to the point-and-shoot. Depending on the lighting conditions sometimes one works better than the other :)

  16. Amazing idea for a post - will I see you at LFW? x

  17. You have really good working I like it, I have also some information of Fashion

  18. I always have almonds on me, my boyfriend thinks I'm a squirrel.. :/

  19. Wow...your life truly is exciting! :)

    Love the bag with all it's content!



  20. I so agree with you humility and appreciation are very important and go a long way.

    Hard work should be aknowledged and respected.

    Love your blog.


  21. Ms. Nicolette, I will be waiting patiently by my twitter app to see your updates!


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