(Photo via Vogue.com)
If you’re anything like me, you have followed New York Fashion Week through the eyes of your favorite editors, influencers, and bloggers via their sites and social media every season. You’ve seen the glamorous shots of them in the front row, at the after-parties, and behind the scenes. It all looks so magical and elite. I guess it is really special when you’re hopping in and out of taxis and Ubers, changing outfits to go all of these fabulous dinners, shows, and parties.
Working the Shows at New York Fashion Week
I worked backstage for 3 shows and 1 presentation and I was so grateful to see the hard work that goes into producing these events. I watched how all sides come together to produce the show, everything from hair, makeup, and nails to dressing the models. I loved seeing the editors come backstage to chat with the designers, lead makeup artists, lead hairstylists, and lead manicurists, to talk about the inspiration behind the fashion and beauty looks and what trends they predict for the season ahead.
I realized that I really want to be amongst the group of editors and journalists that get the inside look and preview of what’s to come and be able to share it with the world. Fashion editing is so much more than dressing up and giving an opinion on a certain look or product. It’s about foreseeing trends and where fashion (or beauty) is going and putting it into context.
Aside from re-realizing what I really want to do with my life, I got a glimpse into how New York Fashion Week really works, at least from the production side. To find out what happened this fashion week, keep reading.
Backstage Action at New York Fashion Week
For my first fashion week, I had the opportunity to work closely with a huge manicurist. I won’t disclose any names for the sake of their privacy and my own since I was working and not there to cover the events. My duties included taking the attendance of the models and making sure they all got their manicures done before the show started and also checking press into the backstage area to speak with the manicurist pre-show. Everyone working in pre-show production had to be at the venue 2 hours (sometimes more) earlier than show time to prep the models. The energy backstage is very busy with hairstylists, manicurists, and makeup artists trying to get the models ready and bloggers and photographers trying to capture all of the behind the scenes moments. It was crazy to be in a room with all of these gorgeous, long-legged models. Some were really sweet and the others could not care less about what was happening.
What surprised me the most was how sweet/not nasty most people working were. There is a wide-known belief that everyone in the fashion industry is mean. That was not the truth about the people I worked around during my first fashion week. Everyone was willing to help if I didn’t know what to do. It was a pleasant surprise. Lesson #1: don’t be afraid of fashion people.
Sitting at New York Fashion Week
Another thing that I wasn’t aware of is that if there aren’t enough people to fill a particular venue, some of the people that are working backstage get to stay for the show to fill in space. Even though the second show I worked was full, I got to sit for it and it was so interesting to see the show prep and the actual show. There’s so much work that goes into producing a show that may only last about 10 minutes. I didn’t see any familiar celebrities or influencers in the front row but the show was amazing. The energy, the clothes, and the music all played a part in the experience. The last show and presentation I worked on were the biggest and coolest. I was in the room with major designers, models, and a huge makeup artist. This is also when I saw the fashion and beauty editors in action.
My first experience at New York Fashion Week was a really good and inspirational one. Ultimately, I learned that fashion week is not as glamorous as it seems on social media. A lot of hard work goes into producing those shows. If attending, know that you will do a lot of standing/walking, and you rarely have time to eat. However, it is a cool experience if you want to get some career inspiration and network with people in the fashion industry or you just have a true love of fashion.