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I started my 'morning after' as anyone should, chatting and joking about what happened the night before with my best friend and having a good meal- boiled sweet potato and cooked up mackerel with plantain. I then sat down to watch the Calvin Klein show, the very show I stood outside of just yesterday afternoon. Only I could barely watch the show since all I wanted to do was stare out the entire audience to see who I got a glimpse of (and who I didn’t) pre show. “Anna was there? She must have taken the back entrance.” “Oh there’s Grace! I got a good shot of her entering the show.” See that’s what they call the the ‘gawker' mentality. They’re always there season after season (and I suspect very few even make it to the inside of a show) with little to no real clue as to why they’re actually there. They thirst, but are never quenched. They can look, but can't touch. Yesterday I felt not only distanced from the people privileged enough to enter the show ticket in hand, but even more distanced from the very people I stood with outside of the shows. 

I asked but a few photographers: Why are you here? “Well, it’s Fashion Week and..” “A friend told me about it…” "Uhh, I don't know.."
It wasn't until I bumped into a young lad I went to high school with (who is actively becoming a pretty great fashion photographer) fresh off the plane from FL to NYC that gave me the answer I was so desperately seeking to validate my own presence: “I wanted to get a feel of what it’s like.” Those simple words put my heart at home. That’s why this person was there. They knew they’d come back one day with a proper invitation, appreciatively walking their way into a Francisco Costa show. He was like me. We were alike in that moment. This future aspiration was only sealed off and sent to the heavens when I softly uttered Tamu’s name... in somewhat of a high scream and she said: “Hi.”

What I realized to a great degree at NYFW, is that so many people are far outside of comprehending the scope of fashion so they occupy a very physical difference. But it isn’t the physical difference that really matters, it’s a mental one. Why do you love fashion? I don’t know what they’re answer would be, but it would probably sound very much about the people, and not so much about the fashion. They’d be like I was when watching the video online, spotting the big ticket people in the crowd, and not giving a damn about the actual clothes walking down the actual runway.

This limited approach to fashion and focus on the attendees more than the product is a mentality not only possessed by the physical outsiders at fashion week, but even by the designers. NYFW is composed of an upwards of 90 shows over an 8 day span. Alex Fury of The Independent said it best: “This FW could have been done in 4 days,” a bit frustrated at the reality of finishing up at NY Fashion Week only a day before London’s began. It makes no sense, but NYFW seems to have still given room for those people in fashion who still think fashion doesn’t have to make sense. Those elitists, who still think fashion should be a horse race show with everyone walking on eggshells and flipping their wig at the drop of a hat just to seem "in" on something everyone else is not. When will those people just peacefully go extinct? Thank heavens, there are people in the industry who don’t buy into that mentality. The veterans (and soon-to-be veterans) respect fashion enough to plan ahead and make sure all the details are readily in place well before the day of the show so chickens can keep their heads on their bodies. Designers like Zac Posen respect the industry (and have enough access within) to be well ahead of the game come show day. Posen and his team simply look for little flaws  on the day of since they are resident perfectionists. And superstar designer  Carolina Herrera knows that when conflict arises, you return to the creative space that got you thus far. 

Herrera is the reputable designer I had the pleasure of falling in-love with whilst reading a beautiful article exuding much of her personality, the morning just before the shows. Herrera spoke specifically on putting together her SS15 collection for Fashion Week, and how much the industry fails to realize that the product is what is actually being produced. Despite the production that a runway show can become, the clothing after all are why people are there. Or so it should be. 

Now there is nothing wrong with creating spectacle. It is rather beautiful to witness the coming together of numerous elements that went into the creation of a mere ten minute show. I don’t doubt for one second the power of all that consumable visual information all at once. Fashion is a visual experience, one that increases in power depending on how much we are willing to engage with it. The ‘gawkers’ must have missed that lesson. Does it really matter who the person is behind the clothes? Are we not meant to focus on the reflection of an ensemble because of the way one sports it? I don’t want to delve too far in this underworld of legitimate justifications of fashion and how it should be defined, but when we have a dog hanging around outside fashion week in ostrich feathers and fake bling get more air time than the fly ass sister in the corner working a printed tool skirt, vintage frames, and a matching headpiece, I'm bound to ask a few questions:

1) Is NY Fashion week on the verge of a similar identity crisis the city is under? 
2) Can we not starve and have food trucks outside Lincoln Center be an actual thing?
3) How many shows can we afford to not show at fashion week?
4) Should I give you my permanent or temporary address for the all-access press pass to next seasons shows?

...But seriously the dog owner hadn't even been to a single show. Ms. Interviewer lady maybe that should't have been your closing question? Dog owner milked those fifteen minutes of fame. 
The thirst dies hard. Dies hard, but the well shall run-eth dry. 


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