Recently, I joined the press corps that was covering the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show in London. I’m still not quite sure what I was doing there. I am a journalist, but I generally cover stuff like sports and technology. Also, I am a dude, and I very rarely wear lingerie. I know nearly nothing about supermodels — except that I thought it might be fun to hang out with them.
In the end, I learned a few things about covering fashion events, and I've detailed them below.
First, the swag bags on these gigs are not exactly geared toward male reporters. The gifts generously provided by Victoria’s Secret included a silk women’s robe, a sweatshirt with a big heart on it (sized women’s small) and a bright pink passport case. Yes, yes, it’s the thought that counts. But I am pretty unlikely to ever need or use any of these. The resulting winner: my sister, who received a huge haul upon my return. My note to VS: Next time, maybe throw a bone to the guys. Try some unisex items.
Secondly, many models, up close, are not actually hot. I know that sounds crazy. But in person, a lot of the VS models were more freakish than sexy. [Ed. note: We'll have to agree to disagree on this one, Seth.] I am an average-sized fellow, so they all loomed over me in an intimidating fashion. Their limbs were like toothpicks, seemingly in danger of snapping at any given moment. They moved like gangly baby horses that were too leggy for their own bodies. And while some of these ladies indeed had lovely faces, many among them had mugs of such extreme angles and proportions that they ceased to be attractive — cheekbones cantilevering so far afield that they almost seemed like face-wings. I shudder picturing it now. I’m more attracted to regular, cute gals who are 5’4” and have round, apple cheeks. Somehow, under the lights and in front of the camera, it all works for the supermodels. But up close, under flourescents, not so much.
I enjoyed hanging out with the fashion journalists, almost all of whom were women. But most of the time I had zero idea what they were talking about. They kept referring to teenage bloggers who make millions of dollars reviewing face creams. They noticed stylish people in London wearing clothes from next season — not this season, next season — and acted like I would notice, too. What?! I’m supposed to recognize clothes that don’t even exist yet? I can barely tell Converse from Keds.
Finally, everyone, including the super-famous models like Karlie Kloss and Lily Aldridge (I didn’t know who they were before this trip, but now I recognize them when they show up in grainy photos kissing Taylor Swift), was incredibly nice. I guess VS trains their Angels to be sweet. But the Angels are incredibly talented at making their sweetness look natural.
All in all, I’d happily rejoin the fashion world press pack anytime — if the fashion world press pack will have me.