This season of New York Fashion Week, I was lucky enough to assist the production team at an anonymous (shh!) designer label in a two-day, get-shit-done conquest leading up to their fall winter 2017 show. Here’s how it went down, in real time.
Day Before Show
2:03 p.m.: My room key is MIA, my shoes are soaked and I just spent an entire 30 minutes next to Kyle Mooney on the train without saying a word.
Craziest street style of the day has to go to my man, Winter Storm Niko. He’s wound up in every single photo, for better or worse. Look out, Vogue.com! I start my unpaid job at 3. Hopefully no one at the showroom is bothered by my discolored Nike combat boots.
4:21 p.m.: At Starbucks (again) on a break after working for an hour — grueling. The showroom is incredible, all glitz and gilded. Everyone is terribly nice. I organized expensive underwear for the expensive fashion show, took inventory of more nice things and stripped models of their less expensive clothes, stuffing their limbs into colorful, avant-garde confections. One model told me all about the laser eye surgery she had in Australia. This coffee tastes like chorizo. I can’t find my water bottle. Sad!
Two of my fellow interns just walked in. Have you guys seen a blue water bottle? No? I’m about to walk into a world-class showroom just to search for a half-broken water bottle. At least they’ll know that I mean business. I’m already bored here and I’m praying I will have some incredibly time-consuming task to go back to. That showroom is the bedroom my 12-year-old self so desperately wanted. Come to think of it, this life is all my 12-year-old self could have asked for. She would be so proud.
9:04 p.m.: All right, now it’s really over for the day. I run around town in search of a FedEx, only to find it hidden in the basement of a Sheraton (a Sheraton?), down the street from the showroom. I accidentally walk in on the designer’s model fittings. I helped make the executive decision of what pants Kylie will wear to the show tomorrow. Full disclosure: She doesn’t own half of the merch in her Instagram photos. The designer loan is an age-old trick of the trade.
My boss seems to like me, and I’m liking her more and more by the minute — if corporate love really does exist, I think I’ve found it. On my way out for the night, she gave me a shirt to wear to the show tomorrow: A politically charged plain white tee, listing the phone numbers of every state’s Congressional representatives. Tell me again how “frivolous” fashion is, Jake Tapper. Tell me again.
9:54 p.m.: I’ve been working since 10 a.m. Can’t talk. Too much. After-party in a few.
The Morning After
9:38 a.m.: I’m feeling so many things — my legs are jelly and my stomach is growling. I’m proud and scared for the team all at once. Speaking only in terms of the 20-minute span in which models paraded the runway, everything was perfect. Beautiful, kitschy pieces that hugged the body like a supermodel’s second skin.
Logistically, though, last night was a textbook example of how one powerful person can foil an entire company’s expertly-planned production. I won’t go into detail, but imagine a GSI stepping into your semester-long group project only to swap out its most reliable members in favor of his or her friends. That would never happen (read: Leaders and the Best), but you get the picture.
Last night taught me that what’s out of my control may suck, but that it will never take away from what is in my hands. Those seat cards I made? Mad awesome — Arial bold has never looked better. Gossip session with Fern Mallis? She’ll probably remember my name for three whole days.
In all seriousness, I’m so proud of what I accomplished alongside the rest of my team. Their free Moët at the after-party was well, well deserved.