The A-Z's of New York Fashion Week Fall/Winter 2013

By VICE Staff

L is for "Lying Your Way into Everything"

Lying is the most important skill to possess during fashion week. It’s an art that everyone must master if you ever dream of seeing top shows or attending cool parties you would never ever normally be invited to. While a lot of press agents and door guys are actually rude SOBs, if you say “please” and “thank you” with strong enough conviction, you can crack the surface of the cold shell that protects what is left of their barely beating hearts. Once you’ve been identified in their eyes as a charming helpless invitee who is not trying to give them a hard time or be a bitch about them not being able to find your name on their guest list (because they never wanted you there / you didn’t RSVP), they’ll usually warm up to you enough and let you in. But you have to truly believe your own story before you go off spouting a bunch of horse shit and stumbling over your own words about you losing your phone in a cab or your email crashed, etc. As highly trained professional liars, press people can tell when you’re full of it. You need to practice your monologue to beat them at their own game.

M is for "Music at Shows"

Fashion shows are unbelievably boring. You wait in insane lines for 45 minutes just to listen to a DJ hit shuffle on their iTunes for three minutes while a bunch of human mannequins walk around looking confused on a stage. What the hell are we supposed to write about that? Why couldn’t we just watch that crap on our computer in the morning? All of these questions and more came to mind after a lot of the shows we saw this year. Which is why we commend the designers who actually took a more interesting approach by hiring musical acts to set the tone for their collections. Rachel Comey, who designs classically pretty women’s apparel, suddenly became someone we give a shit about when we were treated to a live performance by Blonde Redhead during her show. We were engaged, we fanned out; sure we also stared at Kazu Makino for a bit and thought about how good she looks for having a horse stomp all over her face, but still, we paid attention to the clothing and were happy to be there. Chloë Sevigny, who is already cool as hell, somehow became even cooler by staging her Opening Ceremony show in the really cool St. Mark’s Church. She even had cool bands I.U.D., Bleached, Lissy Trullie, Light Asylum, and even cooler, the coolest woman on Earth, Kim Gordon, perform. We even got down with some Opera during Fashion Week thanks to Tara Subkoff not boring the hell out of us with a very nice operatic performance at her Imitation of Christ presentation.

N is for "Never Wear Those Hats"

There were a lot of great hats on the runway this season, from the peculiar-brimmed baseball caps of Patrik Ervell to the tall wide-brim fedoras of Robert Geller. But off the runway, people had some awful headgear. Everyone was either wearing those neo-colored skullies that look like condoms with a reservoir tip or those played-out baseball caps that try to cleverly mock high fashion. We get it, you saw Rocky get props for wearing the Comme Des Fuck Down hat last year and you thought you’d one-up him with a Kenzo-baiting “Bimbo” hat. Well, we’re sorry, but that shit is played. Take your own advice and calm down. We do, however, want to give a shout-out to pricks who wore hats with curse words on them. We saw a lot of offensive guys and gals with flat-brimmed snap backs that had the word “pussy” embroidered on them—pussy being something we can always get behind in fashion and anywhere else.

O Is for "Old People Style"
Since there is nothing new to create because everything has already been created, a lot of designers draw inspiration for their collections from past decades, over and over and over again, and then sell it for insanely high prices and make money off of other people's ideas. This fall/winter season you once again can expect to see a lot of things you’ve already seen before but this time they’re items you tried to cop from Grandmom and Pop Pop’s closet. It’s not necessarily a bad thing that the designs aren’t entirely original, since according to photos you’ve seen of your grandparents they used to be cool and and look fine as hell. It’s great that designers like Tommy Hilfiger, Rag & Bone, N. Hoolywood, Michael Kors, and Trina Turk are taking a page out of their book by making updated versions of their wardrobe so you get all the good things about old peoples clothing without the freaky smells that comes with them. If you can stop eating long enough to afford anything from these collections, you’ll make your grandparents happy, and maybe they’ll quit asking “why you no dress nice?” in broken English every goddamn time they see you.

P Is for "Promotional Items"
Every year, there will be some kind of item that is an official sponsor of fashion week, and you will be able to get an unlimited supply of it for free everywhere you go. And every year, without exception, the item is some kind of bullshit that nobody wants, no matter how free it is. I think they do it just to fuck with people. This year, it was Fiber One bars, which were in bins around the venues and in goodie bags and being thrust into your hands by promo girls. It must cost them so much money, and I have no idea why they do it. I guess to get their products into the hands of the fashion press in the hopes that they’ll include them in their coverage? So. Fiber One bars taste exactly halfway between a granola bar I found down the back of a seat in a rented minivan one time and a copy of the Bible. I'd say that everyone at fashion week has been having really regular bowel movements because of all these Fiber One bars, but as we previously explained, nobody eats shit at fashion week. 

Q Is for "Questions We’d Like You to Answer"
Since no one seems to know anything about the way things are run during fashion week, we figured our best way of getting answers to our burning questions below would be to include them in our post. Things we’d really like to know:

1) What jerk is responsible for scheduling all of the good shows during the week in the same time slots on opposite sides of town?

2) Does anyone actually make any money off of these dramatic shows and awkward presentations?

3) How would you feel if all designers decided to skip out on traditional shows and just went digital so the only way you could view their designs was through a computer screen or a TV?

4) What mastermind is the brains behind the epic stoner-dorm-room Highland presentation we spent an entire hour at last week?

5)  Who do you think was the most slammin’ model babe this fashion week?

6) And most important of all: Was Leonardo DiCaprio REALLY seen at Milk Studios/who was he with/who was he there to see/is he still hot enough to be considered bone worthy? Pics or it didn’t happen. Google isn’t telling us anything.

R is for "Reading Press Releases"
I recently found out that press releases for fashion shows are written by an external company that just does that. Sometimes, when I'm not feeling too good about my life, I think about the people whose job it is to write them. And how often they must cry tears of regret for majoring in creative writing. And the mental process they must go through to be able to look at a fucking T-shirt, and write something like this (which is taken from an actual press release) about it:

"Carlotta's designing is always political in direction and focused on true social matters. This collection is based on the fight against racism, particularly on the deportation of Africans to America before the 1865 civil war. As Carlotta states as boldly as her powerful designs: ‘I protest against racism! This is my message, this is my fashion.’"

And then I don't feel too bad about things anymore. Keep on fighting the good fight, person who's name is CARLOTTA.

S is for "Science"
Several designers this year found some form of inspiration in the sciences for their collections. Jeremy Scott’s monster-themed pieces were a cross between the trippy party-kid style in Gregg Araki’s Nowhere, Where the Wild Things Are, and The Fifth Element. Lindsay Degen created a tribute to her geneticist parents called “Doctor’s Degen” by knitting sweaters featuring their faces and through her epic use of brightly colored appliqué on leggings in odd shapes that resemble the kind of crap you’d normally find growing inside a petri dish. Asher Levine inserted some insane futuristic Bluetooth technology watchamacallits into his garments to ensure their wearers don’t lose track off their personal belongings, Most impressive was a ridiculous Batmanesque jacket that contained the same tracker-app capabilities. Adi, Gabi, and Ange at ThreeAsFour made all of their models look like extraterrestrials... again. Even though we enjoyed the spacey atmosphere of the shows at this year's NYFW, we're still waiting for a designer to debut his kid's collection by having a tiny baby alien with razor-sharp teeth explode out of a model's chest during a show. What's NYFW if it isn't entertaining?