Peter’s fashion week story:
To be front row at fashion week is truly unlike anything in the world–it is an experience within itself separate from the actual show. Amid the chaos that precedes the moment when the runway comes to life it seems a daunting enough task just to locate ones seat among the mob of press and media elite. Your assigned place, nestled among Gossip Girl guest stars and notable fashion editors does not only provide a better view of the new collection, it also validates your own self importance.
Around a half an hour after the show was scheduled to start the ocean of press on the runway subsides almost suddenly, and the runway’s protective shroud is pulled back to reveal the smooth and pristine path beneath. The lights dim, and the clicking of cameras is drowned out by a blaring techno beat. Despite being positioned physically below the rows behind, you are emotionally higher than the rest of the room. Time stands still everywhere but the runway, and as the show concludes the models march out onto the runway like a battalion of beauty queens, followed by their leader (a sweaty and most often a shabbily dressed designer) who darts off the stage with barely enough time to blow a kiss in Robbie Myers’ direction. The tranquility you felt during the show is rather odd considering how much you had to drink at Bagatelle earlier but don’t worry–rushing to plow through the throngs of fashionistas blocking the entrance backstage leaves you appropriately nauseous.
I had always thought that the most difficult part of sitting in the front row was actually getting seated there in the first place, but this season I learned that even after you’ve secured that coveted spot, holding onto it can prove to be almost as much of a challenge. At Alexander Wang, my seat (a few down from Kanye’s I was pleased to note) was adjacent to a pair of Asian reporters wearing press passes from a magazine whose name I couldn’t quite make out. After settling in I went to mingle with a few friends, but when I turned back to my seat I found that it was now occupied by an abnormally tall Asian woman in a silver sequin bolero jacket and knee high Louboutins. A wall of photographers surrounded her, egged on by one particularly pushy publicist. I explained my dilemma to the least intimidating usher I could find, and she told me that the woman was apparently a popular Asian TV star of some sort who had been placed in the second row and sought to rectify the situation by sitting in an empty seat next to some reporters that she knew (that the seat she chose happened to be mine was just bad luck). The stressed usher offered me another spot further down the row, but instead I sat next to Derek Blasberg, who suggested that I simply share a seat with him and one of his editors in the second row.
Wang’s fashion forward fall collection achieved a simplistic yet glamorous look, synchronizing his love for monochromatic color palettes with a myriad of shimmering textures, all offset by mink accents. For me the most exemplary pieces were the metallic neon stilettos that accompanied each look–if only I had been able to see them better from the second row.