Every time I’m getting ready to cover the shows – FLARE covers the international circuit of fashion capital runway shows in New York, Milan and Paris (and London this season) – the same myths pop up through eager questioning. Here’s the truth:
Anyone can get in if they’re enthusiastic: Depends
The PR reps at the door – look for the stressed folks wearing a headset and clipboard – hold all the power. If you’re polite, persistent and well-dressed (or quirkly kitted out), chances are they’ll let you slip in just before the show starts. Once it starts, you can usually grab an open seat. (You’ll be ejected though if you dive for a front row seat.) Chances for success are high if it’s an up-and-comer’s show but slim to none if you’re begging for entry at Dior or Marc Jacobs.
That’s ok, I’ll just pretend that I work for a major magazine: False
Good PR people know – and remember – their contacts. I once saw a student try to pass himself off as a Vogue editor’s assistant. Trouble is, the furious editor with her indignant assistant was right behind me.
I’ll buy my way in to the show: True, sort of.
Tickets aren’t sold for legitimate designer shows. However, a deep pocketed client who always shops at Chanel for example could call the boutique manager well in advance and request an invitation. If they value your big business, they’ll get you in.
You have to wear the designer’s clothes to be taken seriously: False
While it’s always nice to show love for your host’s talent, few working editors and buyers have the time (or budget) to be changing between shows. The busiest adopt a simple yet chic black uniform and stash a few pairs of shoes in their waiting car to change it up.
It’s all parties dawn to dusk: False
Every Fashion Week has legendary parties. Viktor & Rolf’s 5th year anniversary bash for their fragrance Love Bomb was a smash hit in Paris this past season. Many major houses will host intimate dinners or larger parties after their show but cost cutting has turned down the volume – and in some cases – canceled the fun. Most editors don’t care – especially when they have a 9am invitation to Stella McCartney’s latest collection, and a list of five showrooms to visit.
I’ll just act important – everyone knows the fashion industry is all about attitude: False
That old saying that bees are attracted to honey is especially true in the fashion industry. Be patient and pleasant to the PR people at the door and those seating their guests inside. Treat them like a servant and they’ll remember you when they’ve landed a bigger more important job. Jerks always stand out – don’t be one.
I’ll be back again next week. In the meantime, you can follow me on Twitter