See the full article on Darling Magazine.
February New York Fashion Week is not for the faint of heart. This week the temperature in New York City is hovering between 5 and 15 degrees, which means the only place I want to be is at home in my yoga pants and Uggs, sipping hot tea.
But Fashion Week brings out the crazy, the committed, and the creative.
I am headed to my first show for this season’s New York Fashion Week. Being that it’s disgustingly cold outside the last thing I want to do is leave my warm apartment. But my love of creativity and fashion pushes me fervently out the door.
Although the streets are filled with black ice, I tentatively walk through the streets in my 3 inch heels, leather pants, and cute (but not warm) jacket. Three quarters of a miles and two trains later I arrive at Milk Studio for the Marissa Webb show.
The show starts at 3:00p.m. and it’s 2:45p.m. Shows never start on time, and there are always lines to get in so I try not to show up too early. Even so I head into the line, and wait for 30 minutes.
The line is packed with fashionable ladies wearing ridiculous clothes considering how cold it is outside. Very few people talk. Most are on their phones ferociously scrolling through instagram feeds or pretending to write a very important email. I stand there with a smile and a hello for anyone who looks up, and wonder why we are all waiting in this line. Is it even worth it?
Finally at 3:15p.m. they let us climb several flights of stairs before being checked again to ensure we have our tickets, and are ushered to our seats.
The runway is covered in plastic, and there is a swirl of energy. The photographers pit is exploding with photographers, and ladies file in, give cheek kisses to friends, and anxiously find their seats, and then we all just wait.
You know the show is about to start when security peels the plastic off of the perfectly white — and completely slippery — runway. I always feel scared for the models because I know I would fall flat on my face tromping down that runway in stiletto heels.
The lights go black, and someone from the pit yells for the ladies on the front row to uncross their legs. This happens at every show, because if legs are crossed then pointy heels are on the edges of all the photographers pictures. (I know because I’ve shot runway over a dozen times and have had the pleasure of photo-shopping out those expensive yet very annoying shoes).
All of a sudden the stage lights go up, music blasts, and the first model walks down the runway.
The camera shutters click rhythmically and like it’s a choreographed dance with each new look bloggers and editors hold up their phones to try and get a shot for instagram.
Most shows are over in ten minutes, and before you can take a breathe the room is in chaos again, and everyone runs out like they’re escaping a fire to catch the next show.
I sit in my seat quietly packing up my camera while there is a hurricane of movement around me, and even though I have been apart of Fashion Week for 6 years now I wonder is the madness worth it?
Why does this matter?
Why do I still come back season after season?
And I realize that I don’t come because of the shows. I come because of what they represent.
They represent commitment. They reveal the designer’s discipline to create.
Season after season the creative creates.
These designers along with their teams of hair and make-up artists, photographers, models, and stylists are some of the most hard working people I’ve encountered.
They are out-of-their-mind committed to creating art with persistence and excellence.
And those people are inspiring. Those are the types of people I want to be around.
The big moment isn’t the show; it’s the midnight runs to the fabric store, the last minute manicure for the model that was late, it’s the sketches on the 7:00 a.m. subway of a jacket for next season.
Same with athletes and anyone really who is committed to excellence in their craft. The big moment for the Olympian really isn’t the gold medal; it’s the 5:00 a.m. workouts, the eating healthy when no one else around her is, it’s showing up and giving her all at practice when the only place she wants to be is in bed.
So fashion week for me is so much more than fashion. It’s a twice a year reminder of what it looks like to create day in and day out. It challenges me to hone my craft.
To be excellent is to be disciplined and intentionally make movement towards my goals.
Because no one else is going to go do that for me.
Fashion Week matters to me because each person is committed to creating.
And creative people create with resolve and purpose and call forth excellence from anyone they come in contact with.
I think those are the types of people that are going to do big things in their lives and in the world.
All photos by me: Kat Harris of: Kate Spade | Alice + Olivia | Herve Leger