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The VICE Guide to Fashion Week 2015

We had some of our international contributors break down the world's biggest fashion weeks in an attempt to help you survive the madness.

VICE Staff

VICE Staff

Photo courtesy of MADE

Fashion week and the deluge of runway presentations and parties that come with it can be divided up into three clear sections: crap that's easy to get into, crap that's impossible to get into, and those truly amazing moments you'll be bragging about to your grandkids. ("Grammy, what's a Telfar and why do health goths sound so scary?")

To maximise the stuff in the last category, we hit up some of our international contributors to break down the keys to surviving fashion week in their hometowns. Surprisingly, there was a lot of overlap. It turns out Anna Wintour will be front row at all the shows that matter and nobody – from Milan all the way to New York –likes fashion bloggers.

New York Fashion week 2015 has been an gone, but here's how you can shutdown the European fashion weeks in 2015 with your dignity and your sanity intact.

London Fashion Week

What to wear?
I have a feeling that London fashion is returning to quite an "I buried this linen smock in my garden for four years" place. But if you didn't remember to do that in 2011, then literally anything with adidas trainers is fine.

What not to wear?
Definitely nothing 70s unless you want the bouncers to ask you for your LFW bloggers accreditation pass every time you walk through the holy gates.

Which shows to attend?
The ones that will actually be good: Claire Barrow, Marques'Almeida, Molly Goddard, Ashley Williams, Ryan Lo, Fashion East, Simone Rocha, Gareth Pugh, JW Anderson, Thomas Tait, and Christopher Kane. Good luck with that.

Who to hang out with?
Anyone who's willing to speak to you, otherwise you'll do a lot of hanging in the back of crowded rooms on your own wondering if a glass of champagne and the chance to see a dress with some plastic bits on it is really worth the stress. You can't be picky; past interns, your ex-boyfriend's new girlfriend's best friend, some people who once didn't give you a job—they are all suddenly your closest confidantes and yes you will eat lunch with them possibly every day if they'll allow it.

Who to stay away from?
Fashion breeds a specific type of maniac who appears really intimating and successful but actually wants to go to dinner with you, a stranger, tonight, and blabber at you for hours about their completely trivial problems because they have no actual friends.

What's the story with drugs?
If Paris is snow-white cocaine and sticky hash, London is a crumbly pill pulled out of someone's damp jeans and if you're lucky a bump of something that makes your tongue ache.

What to eat?
You would expect to dine on complimentary tiny burgers and tacos of salmon sashimi, but in reality, you will eat your next 15 meals at the Pret on the corner of the Strand and Waterloo bridge.

Which parties to crash?
The i-D party if there is one, a house party totally unrelated to fashion week if there isn't. London throws great parties, but they have nothing to do with the tradeshow applauded by the sociopaths who descend upon it twice a year.

Which invites to pass up on?
Any that you didn't explicitly ask/beg for.

Who'll be front row?
Me.

Photo by Conor Lamb

PARIS FASHION WEEK

What to wear?
The first thing to know about the Paris Fashion Week is that a proper French person would never prepare their outfit too far in advance. There is absolutely nothing worse than someone who overthinks things—just wear basic jeans, discreet sneakers, and a marine blue sweater.

What not to wear?
Please avoid manicures, elaborate hairdos, and leaky lipstick. These tacky things are characteristic of fashion bloggers and American people, and no one wants to be mistaken for either.

Which shows should one attend?
You don't really get to pick which shows you're going to attend: There are the events you can't avoid because someone paid you a lot of money to write about it, and there are the events that you would actually like to see but don't have time for. This year, the most exciting shows are Vêtements, Courrèges, Lea Peckre, and Paco Rabbanne—as well as shows from the big brands like Vuitton, Chanel, and Dior, mostly because they're never afraid to be excessive.

Who to hang out with?
If you really want to show off, try to go backstage and show how friendly you can be with designers, fashion journalists, and models. Tell them to meet you at the after-show, loud enough so that everyone around can hear, but quiet enough so that no one thinks you're a crazy street-style blogger.

Who to stay away from?
Make sure to stay away from the street-style bloggers who who seem to glue themselves in front of every show entrance. If you're not wearing the last multicoloured Prada jacket, they will probably shove you out of the way to get a good angle for their selfie with Anna Dello Russo. And if they actually want to take a picture of you, please try not to rattle off the brands you're wearing as if you were some sort of sandwich board man. Actually, you don't need to be seen with anyone at the Paris Fashion Week—French people are smug enough to be sufficient unto themselves, especially when they have an accreditation that allows them to do so. And you perhaps shouldn't bother to come if you weren't invited by anyone—mainly because each year, hundreds of people dress impeccably well and sometimes come from faraway countries to try their luck.

Where to get drugs?
If you want to score anything, you have to know loads of Parisian people. Contrary to what pretty much everyone thinks, there aren't any bowls of coke at the after-show—that died out in 2003. But there is an ecstasy revival in the fashion microcosm. People consider coke corny these days.

What to eat?
Obviously, like pretty much any other fashion week, people don't really eat. Instead, they take hard drugs and start drinking at around 10 AM. Sometimes you'll find people nibbling on a plethora of baby-sized portions of pretentious food—stuff like strawberry coulis, beans with ricotta, or basil pana cotta.

Which parties should one attend?
Any party that hasn't been organised by a brand is worth a look. The best one is definitely the Cicciolina at Folie's Pigalle—which is basically the Berghain of the Parisian Fashion Week. The music's great, people go nuts, and you have a good chance of meeting Alexander Wang, Shayne Oliver, and perhaps Xavier Dolan (if he manages to get in).

Which parties should one avoid?
Again, any party that has been organised by a brand, even though the freebies are tempting.

Who'll be sitting in the front row?
The same people who'v been sitting there for years—Anna Wintour, Emmanuelle Alt, and a bunch of rich people.

Photo by Koury Angelo for MADE

Milan Fashion Week

What to wear?
Wear your mom's vintage platforms. They're back in fashion, just like everything for the 70s: flared pants, vests, disco suits.

What not to wear?
Avoid heels, otherwise you'll end up getting stuck in the cobblestones. And please, leave your trainers and tracksuit at home. You don't look health goth, you look like you're going to the gym.

What shows to go to?
OK, let's face it: If you come to Milan for fashion week, it's not for the clothes, celebrities, or bloggers. Fashion shows are boring. But if you really want to go to some, pay a visit to Gucci (head of the 70s clothes revival) and Prada. Damir Doma is cool. Jill Sander if you're into minimalism fan.

Which shows to avoid?
Philipp Plein. We've had enough.

Who to hang out with?
Don't forget that your main obligation as a fashion enthusiast is to be seen with the right people and the right people to hang around with are artsy fartsy types. They are a particular breed of human beings, who are all working on "some projects" and attending the "showcases" of their "friends." Whatever happens, make sure to be there—you'll probably hate everyone, but the funny thing is they hate each other, too.

Who not to hang out with?
Philipp Plein aficionados—you definitely don't want to be seen with them.

What should you eat?
People don't really eat.

Is it hard to find drugs?
Drugs shouldn't be a problem, just ask the models.

Which parties should you be going to?
Every club is going to have a fashion week special night. If you miss one of these, beware: You are making a statement and everybody will notice it, so make sure you have a good blasé tone while saying "I remember when this was an exclusive party, now it's so overrated."

Which parties should you avoid?
At some point someone will try to convince you to attend Vogue Fashion's Night Out. "Everyone is going to be there!" they'll say. Yes, everyone. Probably even your mom.

Who'll be sitting in the front row?
Anna Wintour, who else?