NEW YORK: Meatpacking District
The truth about New York Fashion Week is based on mood and content which form the ambiance that in turn lead to the “stories” being told the following day (unless there is an abundance of social media and followers tuned in real time). About 70% of the followers who come to New York or already living in the area have little to no direct involvement in the fashion industry. The core are the shows to present as a collection previewing what the next season will reflect. This becomes publicized and copied whereby people are commenting woo, waa or yay, nay (that’s fashion talk). This 70% of the non fashion market is participating in probably close to 80% of the night time events and parties. In the end, the night parties or events often in the media become just as important as the designers shows if not more important. It has always been the shows and the after parties, 1 and 2, left hand and right hand, toast with butter – you understand the picture.
With budgets on lock down or razor thin for shows (although they have always been this way like any true art form) the after parties were always the center piece and traditionally were a-m-a-z-i-n-g for lack of a better word. Multiple liquor sponsors, sponsors donating from every product to t-shirts to cosmetics to watches to key chains to lotions, etc. all inside gift bags. Coordinators would even be PAID by sponsors on TOP of the gifts or other sponsorship items that was donated. Cash and free product was the name of the game. Now one is lucky to have a decent vodka brand, a few soft drink sponsors and providing some sort of live entertainment at a discount. And the crowd? Much of that seems as if it is also at a discount Discount for style, looks, elegance and most of all – attitude. It has become a mosh posh of people looking to party, meet someone for sex and talk about (or tweet) that they are in the best party ever. Of course, they MUST tell others they are in fact in the best because THEY GOT IN. Otherwise it would just be another standard party.
The door at Interview Magazine was the most impressive thing about the party with nearly 200 people outside in a massive crowd whilst about 400 inside. Yes it is true one can tell how the event is by watching the crowd outside go in for a bit. It had pockets of FASHION people, especially the models from various shows. But it didn’t match the eager “I must get in” energy on the outside once entering the inside. Leonardo DiCaprio was there but dressed in some sort of 1920’s golf hat with a beard. He certainly wasn’t attracting the crowd or Cipriani downtown would have been the same energy where he had dined just before. The nightlife industry alongside with some of the fashion or entertainment specialists have teamed up to create the ILLUSION of fabulous. The reality is far more in line with day to day America.
The Lou Reed performance at the Boom Boom Room was a far cry from “spectacular” to say the least. However, most of the publications will HYPE IT UP to generate more positive press from all parties involved producing the event. With the exception of two lovely models who we rode up with in the elevator and various colleagues we know from London and New York, it was an average night. To be honest, if one could bring the two stunning and perfectly dressed models anywhere in the city (dive bar, burger joint, night club, etc.), that would be the best party in itself. Fashion week has become over publicized, over populated, under sponsored and reported with prejudice or manipulation favoring brands, venues and self journalistic glory.
The whole fashion week myth should be beautiful people, beautiful wardrobes, beautiful parties, beautiful drinks and beautiful moods. It’s hit or miss and when friends text their other friends saying “it’s amazing”, don’t be surprised if it’s nothing more than a “night club scene” with a few fashionistas peppered in to justify it as a “fashion party” thereby giving the venue some free liquor to give away and increase their own visibility for those with heavy wallets next time.
In conclusion, don’t believe the fashion week hype. The bark is much stronger than the bite. There are a few exceptions, perhaps 5 or 6 at most. But the legacy of it has changed drastically the wrong way. Put it this way, when Southwest airlines starts hauling the crowd in from Phoenix and Oregon just to party for NYFW (New York Fashion Week). There is something a bit off to say the least. On that note, let’s bring back the Concord!