I remember when New York Fashion Week was held at Lincoln Center and I’d stand in line for hours to get into fashion shows. I didn’t have a seat. I’d stand in the back craning my neck to see the beautiful garments glide down crisp white runways as the bass of the music shook the seats. I’m grateful to have had that experience. I just wanted to be in the room. To feel the anticipation of what the next look would be. To hear the reaction of the audience and people around me to what we were all seeing. There is nothing quite like it, especially when you love fashion. To some it may seem trivial, but to me, for a very long time, fashion was an escape. It was a way for me to imagine the life I wanted to live and the life I aspired to. I once brought a leather briefcase that I have to this day because it served the life as a writer in New York City, that I longed to live. Well, I made it and a large part of me making it, I’m certain, had to do with the fact that I dressed the part whenever I could.
I still love fashion. There’s something about it that sparks joy in me. The creativity of the designers. Being able to see the garments that will be on the shelves with my own eyes and in some cases feel with my own hands still makes me feel like I’m in some exclusive fashion club. Things are different for me now when it comes to my relationship with fashion. I’m don’t use fashion to escape anymore. I use it to amplify and express myself without having to say anything. For me, getting dressed for this New York Fashion Week, was more about going into my wardrobe and wearing things I’ve always had in different ways. It was about me staying true my style while being comfortable. After 10 years of going to fashion shows I’m more concerned with the fashion on the runway and connecting with friends and brands. I find myself less inclined to peacock, or go to shows solely for press and photos. Maybe, I’m a little jaded or maybe I’ve just outgrown that stage in my career but I’d rather show up as I show up in life. I do love to see what people wear to the shows. That often sparks new ideas for me of how to wear things in my wardrobe and also realize what’s missing from it as well.
The word on the internet is that New York Fashion Week has lost its allure. The word on the street is that New York Fashion Week is dead. There are think pieces on the very subject of certain people ruining New York Fashion Week, namely Influencers and TikTokers. There was a time when there was no access for the public to witness these events. Nothing was streamed. You had to find the photos online or follow a blog or website that would publish the looks. Fashion Bloggers back then, were the gateway to let other fashion enthusiast into a space where the public wasn’t allowed. New York Fashion Week was very much exclusive 10 years ago. There is definitely a change and shift that I have seen and can feel. New York Fashion Week is getting younger, or perhaps I’m just getting older. It seems it’s less about the fashion and more about personal press. It’s a lot more inclusive which I personally believe is a great thing. This is was OG Fashion Bloggers fought for. But when it seems that many people have the ability or the access do something, like attend fashion week, it has the tendency to make some people want it less. Or in other words, since anyone can attend fashion week now (they do sell tickets online), the event losses it’s value. It’s the same with influencers. The more there are, the less people are inclined to try to be one because of fear that there’s already too many.
I must admit from a personal stand point that New York Fashion Week when it was aligned with Mercedes Benz was thee era to experience Fashion Week. It was so much fun and it was a lot more grandiose. Everything was centered around the fashion and the designers and the art of it all. I miss that aspect of New York Fashion Week but I’d trade that for the inclusivity that we have today. Whether that’s increasing designers of color on the schedule or providing ways to highlight them. It’s not just the designers either but the people who attend the shows too. I see a lot more people in the audience and in the front row, that look like me. We were few and far between 10 years ago. That’s progress and certainly something I’d rather have versus keeping the exclusivity of it alive. There is still a long way to go but I like where it’s headed. I do miss the good ole Lincoln Center days though. That will always be a special time in my life when I was just dipping my toe into the wondrous world of fashion blogging. But then again…there’s always Paris.