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How To Attend a Fashion Show

How To Attend a Fashion Show: Instagram/TommyTon


New York Fashion Week just wrapped up. It’s OK if you didn’t get invited to attend any shows this season. Don’t let your FOMO get the best of you. Another fashion week will be here before you know it, and another one hot on its heels.

As the global phenomenon that is Fashion Week has grown, we are almost at the point where, by the time all the Spring 2015 shows have run in New York, London, Milan, and Paris, it’s basically time for the Fall 2015 shows to start.

That means you don’t have much time to prepare for your chance to watch models walk in front of you in clothes. If you are a creature of the internet, constantly flipping through galleries of runways, presentations, backstage antics, and parties, the whole mishigoss can look pretty awesome. As with all things, and particularly, fashion, things are not always as they appear. This takes work. That’s why we put together this handy guide to help you learn how to attend a fashion show.

The Arrival



This might be the stressful part of the entire process. Your side-eye game needs to be on point because you want to recognize people before they do (or, more importantly, don’t) recognize you. There’s nothing more embarrassing than running over to give a dap to someone who has absolutely no friggin’ clue who you are.

Then there’s the street style photographers. Everybody wants the photogs to take their pictures, but no one wants to appear thirsty. So try and look busy. That’s the key. Smoke a cigarette. Talk on your phone. (This is WAY more appealing than looking at your phone because it implies that someone wants to talk to you as opposed to you hopelessly swiping through Tinder.) Should an actual live human join you on your way into the show, cover your mouth as you talk to him. That conveys the illusion of mystery. No one has to know that you’re whispering about “Keeping Up With The Kardashians.”

Once you get to the entrance, there will be a lovely lady there with an iPad. Once upon a time these women held clipboards with reams of paper on them. Even if you weren’t “on the list” you at least had the chance of spying someone else’s name and taking their identity as your own. The iPad changed all that (damn you, Steve Jobs). Heaven help you, if your name isn’t in that tablet. If it is, and you make it past the gauntlet, take a deep breath. You’ve made it this far. Now it’s time for…

The Waiting

Instagram/Tommy Ton

Instagram/Tommy Ton

The invite said the show would start at 2 p.m. That’s cute. Fashion shows start when they start, and by that I mean, they start late. If you have an assigned seat, scout it out, but don’t actually sit in it. Then it looks like you have no one to talk to, or perhaps scarier, no one wants to talk to you. If there is any one at all that you can talk to, do it. But keep that side-eye game strong, in case an opportunity to trade up arises. As a last resort, call your mom. She’ll be happy to hear from you.

If you see the lights start to change or new music start to come on. Hurry to your sit, because someone will definitely steal it, if you aren’t quick on the draw. Get comfy because it’s time for…

The Show



Most people are surprised to find out that fashion shows only take about 15 minutes. So make the most of your time. A few people take notes, others snap photos on their phones. Most just rotate their heads as the models pass by like their watching a volley at a tennis match. Quickly try to identify a favorite piece (that jacket with the thingy on it!) so that you can sound intelligent if anyone asks you about the experience, and you don’t get busted for being an idiot by Jimmy Kimmel. Then, get your fast-twitch muscles firing, because as soon as you clap for the designer, it’s time for…

The Exodus



Since most shows run late, it means most show attendees are subsequently late for whatever they have next. Even if you’re going home to change into your pajamas and eat Ben & Jerry’s, get out of dodge in a hurry so people think you have some place important to be. Then, and this is the really important part, get a drink. You deserve it.

Justin Tejada is a writer and editor based in New York City. Follow him on Twitter at @just_tejada

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