A Lesson in Details

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Ask anyone in our business what one of the most common questions is and they'll probably answer: "What does it take to make it in fashion?" There's no single answer. How do you define a process that's not at all a meritocracy? The issue's been beaten to death right here on the site, and still there are no concrete conclusions, just ambiguous traits that no one can put their fingers on. Basically, you're either in or you're out. But there's one itty-bitty piece of the puzzle I've worked out: having a totally unforgiving sense of attention to detail in your appearance, in your work, in everything. All of those little things, perfectly attended to, add up. Even Diane Pernet's personal presentation, which may be unorthodox, is completely seamless. Take these shots from the instruction cards for the dressers backstage at Gaspard Yurkeviech as a tutorial. They illustrate how anal this business is. Notice how everything, from the alignment of the socks to the level of the ankle straps of the shoes, had to be absolutely perfect before it hit the runway. Because while you might not notice they're perfection, you'd absolutely realize if something was missing. So that's your Fashion 101 lesson for the day: be anal. But I'm guessing you guys already know that? —REBECCA SUHRAWARDI AUSTIN