As I’m sitting here, exhausted and dehydrated, I’ve realized that I have writer’s block. I have writer’s block because I am in said condition, but I’m also being bombarded with thoughts about what I’ve just experienced over the past eight days. Let’s add to that a lot of news stories where people are making merciless fun of the rough eight days that I’ve just experienced, and, well, my brain is a bit stuck. So, in order to release my thoughts so I can get back to the business at hand, I wanted to share a few thoughts from my experience inside the tents.
Fashion Week, as I’ve said before, is non-stop. The event, from when I started attending at Bryant Park, has changed so greatly you’d barely recognize it. It’s behemoth. There are multiple tents, events, backstage calls, trips across the city and an exhausting amount of energy needed to take it all in. For those of us who work those events in earnest, we take the lack of sleep and serious amount of dedication seriously. We leave loved ones behind. We tell our boyfriends and husbands to pick up the slack and to rub our feet when we get home. We put our worlds on hold, we lose sleep, we hydrate while running for the subway, we live on backstage catering and energy bars and befriend the models who have the same schedules we do. Why? Because we love fashion and what it can do, we love beauty and we’re aware of its ability to transform the lives of the people who desire to look a little better every day. We want you to know about it, so we do our best to pack it all in and then make sense of it.
There’s a lot of backlash about bloggers attending Fashion Week. I had a conversation with an old guard journalist before the Naeem Khan show in the center courtyard over a cup of coffee, and he was spouting on and on about how bloggers don’t know anything about fashion, that we’re ignorant to the history of fashion and beauty. I let him go on, and then I suggested we have a conversation about how Naeem Khan got his start apprenticing for Halston, how Donna Karan began her illustrious career working for the legendary Anne Klein, how one of the reasons Nanette Lepore’s clothes are so well cut and flawless is that one of her seamstresses worked for the legendary Mainbocher, and about Rachel Zoe’s passion for 70’s bow-necked blouses and bishop sleeves. And then I introduced myself and gave him my card. “I’m Kristin, and I’m a blogger. It’s been great speaking with you.”
The dismissal of all of us who have online platforms simply because we’ve never worked at a major magazine is getting really old. I consistently research, read everything and talk to top experts on an near-daily basis to make sure that when you read something here, it’s the best advice you can get anywhere. I’ve written for top magazines and giant online publications, as have many of my fellow blogging brethren. You know what got us those opportunities? Blogging.
I’m getting this out of my system because I feel like we’re reached a potential watershed moment regarding FashionWeek. Attending the event itself is like running The Gauntlet of Self-Esteem Breakers. The sense of entitlement and the attitudes are crazy; you’re constantly being judged on how you’re dressed in an environment where you’re there to provide an opinion on how everyone else will be dressing in the future, and people are just downright MEAN. It’s like sorority hazing on a massive level, and if you get your photo on a street style post, you’re in.
There’s also a healthy dose of snark around the importance of covering makeup and hair backstage, which lip color will be the big thing for fall, and what skirt length you should add to your wardrobe. It’s all a bit much because we’re not there for each other; we’re supposed to be there for you, the consumers. The attitude, the circus animals, the insanity is fun (sometimes, it’s clearly not,) but at the end of the day, it’s about the clothes, people.
But, I’m not there for the people in the tents. I’m there for the designers and beauty brands who trust me to write about their wares, and I’m there for you guys.
I write about lipstick for the woman who just got dumped, who doesn’t want to leave her house and meet her friends for happy hour because she’s been crying for weeks.
I write about blush for my friend who’s recovering from breast cancer and she needs to know what blush looks best on her new skin palor, and won’t make her sick or irritated.
I write about whether or not 90’s Goth makeup is going to be back or not for the girl who secretly loves Goth, replays her Cure records over and over again in her car, who may have just lost her job and she needs something new in her life.
I run all those laps to look at all those dresses and spangles and pants and bathing suits because everyone deserves enough information about what’s out there to make an educated opinion about what works best for them. The fantasy of watching Ralph Lauren gowns walk the red carpet mixed with the jacket that will get your boss to notice you at work.
Even I can’t take it all too seriously, but I’m happy to defend what I love to do, and I reserve the right to become completely annoyed with the circus atmosphere that gets in the way of all that.
I love you guys. I want you to have the best information possible so you can live your best lives and adorn yourselves accordingly. And with that, I – the fashion and beauty blogger – will get back to doing what I should do: hopefully inspiring you to give what I’ve seen your own critical eye and making the best choices you can.