It makes me feel short
You could argue that this has less to do with fashion week and more to do with my own inability to maturely handle my perceived shortcomings in life; but why would I talk about emotional intelligence when I can blame my insecurities on the fashion industry’s weird fixation with height? I grew a whole (entire!) inch last year, taking me from the short height range into the average height range. I felt pretty good about it, too, until I made the decision to go to school at NYU, a mere month before fall fashion week began. Needless to say, being surrounded by Amazonian models and models-to-be kind of crushed my newfound confidence.
To be precise: people traffic in unexpected places. People traffic with an attitude. When NYFW comes around, all of the sudden there’s a bunch of good looking, preternaturally well-groomed people traveling to New York from all over the place to “prove” themselves (or to sell their clothes, or to get spontaneously photographed wearing other people’s clothes, or…something). That’s fine, except they all have the idea that they’re Anna Wintour so they walk around with scowls on their faces, showing their vats of green juice off like items to be coveted by the uninitiated, unfashionable people around them. It’s all kind of admirable until they bump into you, spill celery juice all over your clothes, berate you for being in their way, then teeter off into the night on their futuristic shoes. It’s not the worst kind of interaction you can have in New York, for sure, but it’s colored by the knowledge that they, with their green juice and Prada sunglasses, probably have a closet full of good shirts that they can rotate on the reg. I, on the other hand, have maybe four shirts that constitute “good,” and now one of them looks like Gwyneth Paltrow threw up all over it.
My fashion victim status
Remember so many years ago when bleached eyebrows were really, really in? No? That must be nice; I, however, don’t have the luxury of forgetting because that was the same year that I, unable to get my hands on the right bleach to do the deed, decided that shaving my eyebrows would give more or less the same effect. Of course, I was too young to be making such a big face decision and chickened out midway through, leaving me looking half like a Ziggy Stardust skin-walker, half like the disgruntled fourteen year old I was, and absolutely nothing like Abbey Lee Kershaw. Again, you could make the argument that this was all my fault, but where did this trend originate? Yeah, that’s right: fucking New York Fashion Week.
It’s not just the parties and public displays of glitz that we civilians are shut out from, but the trends that get publicized and pushed to the general populus are not only too expensive but usually far too impractical for the majority of us to take part in. Sure, Rihanna looks really cool and sexy when she goes out in her silk pajamas, but that’s because she’s famous and can get away with it. As with most of the other NYFW trends, if I were to wear silk pajamas to work I’d probably be fired. Similarly, if I were to purchase this on-trend type of silk pajamas, my bank account balance would also be left in a compromised position. So, why do magazines keep highlighting these trends, urging their readerships to participate when most of them cannot? It’s hard to say.
It’s inaccessible… and we pretend it isn’t
If you begin to complain about New York Fashion Week, you’re often politely reminded that it’s not for you and not about you, and that it’s really only meant for the fashion world, which I totally get. Fashion is an industry, so it only makes sense that there are events during which designers can showcase their brand and product to interested investors; but that’s not what fashion week is advertised as anymore. It’s treated like a big, fun event for celebrities and D-listers that we should all be paying attention to. Many of the shows are even streamed online for your viewing pleasure, to make you feel like you’re part of the fantasy. In spite of all of the public spectacle about the event, the prestige of it still depends on the rest of us not being allowed in, meanwhile the industry continues to dangle this clearly unobtainable thing in front of our eyes, acting like it’s for sale when it really isn’t. I don’t know about Karl or Donatella, but I was always told that teasing is bad manners.