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What an Editor and Stylist Actually Wears to Fashion Week

Mecca James-Williams shares how she got dressed for five days of shows.
Mecca James Williams New York Fashion Week Spring 2023 Outfit Diary 14

New York Fashion Week is like back to school every year. It's on the tail end of Labor Day, and always greets my birthday week. I've worked in the fashion industry for more than a decade, and it has always been a signal of newness, a creative awakening for the industry, an opportunity to see friends and past colleagues. NYFW has been a part of my life since I was a bustling student at fashion school. I've journeyed through it as an intern working her first show, an assistant eager to learn all the market, a stylist keying her own show for designers like Fe Noel and Chromat and an editor looking for the next trends and looks to style each season.

Each year, fashion week in September is a reminder of how much I've grown as a woman and creative in the industry. It shirttails my birthday, and always makes me deeply retrospective. This year felt no different: After almost three years being apart, the air felt refreshing again, the strong urge to see bright and bold silhouettes for next summer back in full action. I journeyed through the shows very differently this year, though. My goal was to take in the art of fashion, less than the chaos of the industry. Instead of a jam-packed editor calendar, I went to shows that sparked joy, thinking of my schedule through the lens of a creative excitement for inspiration.

During the pandemic, I prioritized approaching my life with a key desire for work/life balance. I went full-time freelance, traveled a lot to find myself and really carved a way of life that caters to creativity more than the hustle and bustle of fashion. One thing remained, though, through the time away from the catwalks and shows: my love for getting dressed. It truly is an art form.

As a stylist, editor and creative consultant, I work with brands and retailers to dress up for shows, and showcase the latest pieces and trends. This season, I borrowed pieces from Net-a-Porter and Shopbop, plus pulled from my own closet, and put looks together that resonated with the woman I am today, sans my big eye-catching Afro and with new adult curves. Ahead, see all my outfits from the week and read about how I brought them together.

Day One

Proenza Schouler bodysuit and short via Shopbop, Celine M Pendant necklace, Bottega Veneta sunglasses, Mansur Gavriel pouch, Mateo x Macy's shoes.

Proenza Schouler bodysuit and short via Shopbop, Celine M Pendant necklace, Bottega Veneta sunglasses, Mansur Gavriel pouch, Mateo x Macy's shoes.

For my first day of NYFW, I threw on a simple knit set from the Proenza Schouler Spring 2022 collection, paired with my favorite pop of green pouch and my birthday strappy sandals. I was heading to the Lionne show; I've had the privilege of watching the brand grow and blossom since its last show in LA. After sitting in traffic on the Brooklyn Bridge for an hour, I unfortunately missed it, but made it to the beautiful finale, where designer Latoia Fitzgerald was proposed to on the runway.

Day Two

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Proenza Schouler dress via Net-a-Porter, Fendi Baguette bag, Proenza Schouler shoes, Christian Dior earrings.

Proenza Schouler dress via Net-a-Porter, Fendi Baguette bag, Proenza Schouler shoes, Christian Dior earrings.

Heading to the Proenza Schouler show, I knew I wanted to wear a dress from the current collection. It's one of my favorite brands, and I love its modern, simplistic shows each season. This season, it was at Hall de Lumieres, a former bank that served as a beautiful backdrop. I wore an eye-catching yellow dress that matched my vintage Fendi Baguette, and a classic yellow boot to compliment my look.

Day Three

Vintage Jean Paul Gaultier top via What Goes Around Comes Around, Philosophy di Lorenzo skirt via Net-a-Porter, ASHYA bag, vintage Manolo Blahnik shoes.

Vintage Jean Paul Gaultier top via What Goes Around Comes Around, Philosophy di Lorenzo skirt via Net-a-Porter, ASHYA bag, vintage Manolo Blahnik shoes.

Day three was a whirlwind. I started at the Eckhaus Latta show, which had the most beautiful backdrop: a garden in Alphabet City. Shortly after, I had a quick lunch with my friend, editor Naomi Elizee, before heading to Dion Lee — my absolute favorite. The collection has such a '90s feel, with statement silhouettes that speak to the brand's heritage.

Day Four

Vintage Robert Cavalli corset via What Goes Around Comes Around, 3.1 Philip Lim skirt,undefinedMerlette NYC bag, Schutz boots.

Vintage Robert Cavalli corset via What Goes Around Comes Around, 3.1 Philip Lim skirt,undefinedMerlette NYC bag, Schutz boots.

On Sunday, I missed most of the shows (I took a trip to D.C. for a Roy Ayers concert), so I got dressed up for the evening festivities: LaQuan Smith at the Air & Space Museum. I wanted to wear a look that felt sexy and eye-catching. I found this amazing vintage Robert Cavalli corset at What Goes Around Comes Around, and knew it was perfect. I paired it with all black pieces to ensure it was the focal point.

Day Five

Wales Bonner top via Net-a-Porter, Carhatt jeans, vintage Gucci bag via What Goes Around Comes Around, Bottega Veneta heels.

Wales Bonner top via Net-a-Porter, Carhatt jeans, vintage Gucci bag via What Goes Around Comes Around, Bottega Veneta heels.

On my final day of the whirlwind of a week, I headed to the Tory Burch show on the pier. Just as the sun set, I dashed over in a look that spoke to fall: my favorite denim trousers and an orange knit from Wales Bonner, paired with brown accented accessories. 

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