Over the course of fashion week, we spend a lot of time sitting on very crowded benches with our industry pals, waiting for shows to start. This provides plenty of opportunity for small talk — or, if you're more of an introvert, some great eavesdropping.
This season, a few key themes have emerged. From social media woes to the street style circus, read on for our cheat seat on the hot topics of conversation so far this season. Don't worry, we'll be keeping our ears open for more all month long.
Kanye West. Yes, West is still the no. 1 topic of discussion at New York Fashion Week, even though his presentation for Adidas was one of the first shows on the schedule. This might be due to the fact that he's consistently been in the public eye since: Not only did he attend a number of shows over the weekend (Alexander Wang's most notably), but he also gave two lengthy, very quotable interviews — one to Complex, the other to Style.com — that have been passed around the web like wildfire. He was also a special guest on "Saturday Night Live"'s 40th anniversary special, debuting his new track "Wolves" with a highly conceptual performance. In one of her dispatches for The Cut this week, Cathy Horyn stated, in so many words, that West has Stockholm syndrome'd the fashion industry, leaving us hanging on his every move — whether or not it's any good. We're inclined to agree.
...and rappers in general. In other hip-hop news, Drake released a mixtape over the weekend that has become the unofficial soundtrack to New York Fashion Week. (I don't even think I can count how many screenshots of the "If You're Reading This It's Too Late" album art I've seen on Twitter over the past three days.) Jay Z, YG, ILoveMakonnen and Nicki Minaj have all been spotted at the shows thus far — even Drake was at Desigual! — and thanks to NBA All-Star Weekend, there was a free concert in Madison Square Park (the first annual Roc City Classic) that featured some of the genre's biggest talents last Thursday. Meanwhile, the big-name DJs we saw making the rounds last fashion week, like Diplo, Skrillex and Tiesto, are nowhere to be found this season.
The weather. Yep, it's cold out there. Even the most high-powered editors, bloggers and buyers who are #blessed with a car service to drop them off/pick them up just feet from a venue's entrance can't help but gripe about the frigid weather conditions. On Sunday, we dared to walk 10+ blocks on the West Side Highway between shows, and aside from arriving with tears streaming down our faces, it took the entire length of the show (including the 25 minutes we sat waiting for it to start) for us to regain feeling in our frozen toes. It's brutal.
How the street style set is willing to risk frostbite to get their pictures taken. Despite the single-digit temperatures, there are some people (who shall remain nameless) that still think it's a good idea to walk outside with no tights on or wearing an open knit because — let's be real — getting snapped by Phil Oh or Tommy Ton before entering a show is so worth it. However, we suppose seasonally inappropriate dressing is a pretty good indication of where you fall on the fashion food chain: If there's a sliver of a chance that you might have to wait for a taxi or in a line to enter a venue, there's no way you wouldn't be bundled up in your warmest parka — even if that means sacrificing your street style cred.
Snapchat. This one might be our favorite. It seems that every media outlet (Fashionista included. Follow us @fashionista_com!) has forced its editors to join Snapchat this season, and many of them are not having it. Whether they're chalking it up to being "too old" to get a grasp on yet another form of social media or they're bemoaning the subpar user experience, many fashion folks are straight-up protesting the platform. Remember last year when everyone tried to make Hyperlapse happen? Well, it didn't catch on, and we're wondering if dear ol' Snapchat will suffer the same fate.
An overall sense of social media fatigue. Even among the most active of social media-ing showgoers, there's a looming feeling of ennui in the front row this season — specifically when it comes to getting that perfect shot for Instagram. With an unspoken stigma attached to posting blurry runway images and shots from the back rows that mostly depict the tops of people's heads, it's beginning to feel a bit déclassé to have your iPhone out during an entire fashion show. Plus, very few of said posts actually add anything constructive to the conversation, other than serving as proof that you were, in fact, present. Personally, I've experienced some judge-y side eye while trying to shoot at the shows, and I have a feeling we're going to start moving in a less-is-more direction when it comes to capturing key moments during Fashion Week.
Fur making one hell of a comeback. We'd be hard pressed to name a major show so far this season that hasn't showed an excess of fur. In a time when our industry is more fitness-conscious than ever and veganism is becoming commonplace, it's interesting that fur is being embraced so fervently right now. According to a great piece by Racked on the topic, furriers often cut deals with designers in order to sway them into using the controversial material. Plus, the use of giant fur coats as statement pieces in a collection also seems like an easy way for designer to add a "wow" factor without actually doing anything innovative. But judging by all of the fuzzy street style looks we've seen this week, they're only going to grow in popularity.
Cathy Horyn's return to fashion week. Horyn, the former New York Times chief fashion critic, is back in action, writing daily dispatches from the front row for The Cut. No one serves up the truth bombs quite like she does, and we're beyond happy she's making the rounds this season. And, from the sounds of it (and chatter on Twitter), you guys are, too.
The rise of the famous kid sisters. As you probably heard, Kylie Jenner made her modeling debut at Kanye West's Adidas presentation (although, rumor has it that she was a last minute fill-in for her sister Kendall, who wasn't able to walk any shows prior to Alexander Wang's on Saturday, as per her contract). Plus, Gigi Hadid's younger sister, Bella, is making the NYFW rounds, although she's watching the action from the front rows with the rest of the current crop of "It" girls. But, the week isn't over yet, and we wouldn't be surprised if the new Hadid on the block makes an appearance on a runway before it's through. (Our money's on a show like Marc Jacobs.)
...and kids in the front row. Well, two children in particular — a long-haired Harper Beckham, who quietly sat on her father's lap during her mum's runway show, and Kim Kardashian's most adorable accessory, one-year-old North, who doesn't seem to like going to the shows as much as her parents enjoy dressing her up for them. Is there really a place for toddlers — who are often fussy and can be distracting to those in attendance who are just trying to do their jobs — at fashion week? That's a much bigger discussion for another day.