Fashion week is the best of times and the worst of times. On one hand, you get to see awesome clothes before anyone else, go to cool parties with even cooler free booze, and be really ridiculously sleep deprived for like two weeks straight (ok fine, that part's not so great). But as with most things, fashion week has its downsides--one of those being that there's something about going to fashion shows that seems to make it really easy for people to be jerks.
Maybe it has something to do with everyone running around like extremely well-dressed headless-chickens, bumping into each other, stealing front row seats (and gift bags) willy nilly, giving fake names to get into exclusive events, and trying your hardest to find your second of fame on The Sartorialist's landing page. Happily, most fashion week faux-pas are pretty easy to avoid. So with these snafus in mind, we've put together a semi-comprehensive guide on how not to be a dick during fashion week. Because, as much as we hate to admit it, most of us have done some of these don'ts.
• DON'T take photos during runway shows with you iPad or similarly massive LED screened gadget. It's one thing to snap an iPhone pic for Instagram, but it's just impossible to look graceful while fumbling to take photos with a comparatively enormous 10-inch piece of hardware. You'll block the view of everyone behind you and everyone will stare at you, thinking, "what an asshole." It just isn't necessary.
• DON'T stand around "looking lost" right in front of the photographers. You're not fooling anyone. There's no reasonable excuse for hanging around the Lincoln Center fountain for an hour. If you have a job, you might want to go do something more productive, and if not, go have a nice lunch or something! Unless getting photographed is actually part of your job, in which case, well, don't hate the player hate the game, we guess.
• DON'T sit in someone else's seat at a show. Sit in the seat that was assigned to you. Or at the very least wait until the show's about to start to grab a better seat. You're going to feel like an idiot getting asked to move repeatedly--at least we would. Also, seats are overrated: a lot of times, you can see the clothes better standing. And after all, isn't that why you're actually there?
On the other hand, don't throw a hissy fit if someone else happens to be sitting in your designated seat--especially if it's a bench situation. We're all going to a zillion shows a day and it's easy to get confused. Kindly explain to the person you've been assigned that seat; we're sure it can all be cleared up with out the 'tude.
• DON'T be a "season pusher." (Credit to John Jannuzzi via Mister Mort for that awesome phrase.) Yeah, yeah, we're just as excited about fall fashion as the next person--but wearing a fur coat when it's 85 degrees out is simply impractical. It just isn't cold, and you look sweaty and miserable. Just savor the last days of warmth with the rest of the world. We know you want to.
• DON'T bitch loudly about how "soooooo busy" you are. We admit it--we're guilty of this, too. Cuz like OMG we are soooooo busy. But that doesn't change the fact that your job is going to fashion shows. It's not that hard or serious. You're not saving lives. In the words of designer/songstress Santino Rice, lighten up; it's just fashion.
• DON'T tweet/Instagram/selfie on the stairs or doorway leading out of a show. You're blocking everyone's way who's trying to get out! Granted, most of them really don't need to be in as big of a hurry as they're pretending to be, but still. They're soooo busy.
• DON'T be mean to PRs. Even if they mess up. Their lives are infinitely worse/busier than yours during fashion week and you need to be respectful of that. They're also the ones who invited you to that show, so be grateful. They didn't have to.
(Also, if you slap one, she'll slap you right back with a lawsuit. Then your fashion week hell will last a lot longer than the eight-or-so days it already does.)
• DON'T complain loudly about your coworkers at an event. Better yet, don't complain about them quietly, either. Ok, so your boss threw a salad in your face--BIG DEAL. You may be surrounded by hundreds of ridiculously tall, thin, good looking people everyday during fashion week, but it's still a small industry--and you're only hurting your own reputation (and your pool of potential colleagues) when you talk shit.
• DON'T be an entitled celebrity. Every season, a troupe of semi-obscure C-list celebrities crawl out of the woodwork and into the front rows of fashion week. And more often than not, when approached by reporters and/or iPhone-wielding bloggers, these people--who are often getting paid big bucks to sit there and do nothing but keep their eyes open for 10 minutes, deem you unworthy of hearing their voices IRL. Cue their "handler" telling you they're "not giving interviews."