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

Now that the festivities are over and we've recovered from alcohol poisoning, here is our definitive breakdown of all the collections, trends, dickwads, and soul-sucking industry practices that we discovered during the fall/winter presentations at NYFW...

by VICE Staff
Feb 22 2013, 1:10pm

In the past, we’ve done extensive coverage of New York Fashion Week, posting daily summaries from staff members and friends of all the shows and presentations everyone attended over the week. But this season we grew tired of the hustle and decided to do things in a more compelling way. We realized there was no point in having writers blast designers and get us into trouble by saying mean things about shows they didn’t like or even want to be invited to in the first place for the sake of posting about happenings in fashion. Churning out verbal diarrhea about garment construction and patterns and anticlimactic presentations while suffering from alcohol poisoning and low self-esteem just didn’t seem like a good idea anymore. In order to properly cover these events, we needed to approach the week like we would any other major life decision: we needed to chill the eff out and take time to process all the trauma we had been through like adults. Now that the festivities are over and we’ve safely made it through the holiday weekend alive and caught up on sleep after our 10-day bender, we are proud to share with you “The A-Z's of New York Fashion Week Fall/Winter 2013” according to VICE.

A Is for "Asians"

Now before you get all offended that we’re targeting an entire race, you should know that this is a huge compliment. No matter how good you think you look or dress—you will never look as effortlessly cool as every Asian guy or girl who (unsurprisingly) shows up on all the photo blogs during the week. In fact, photographers will most likely scream at you to move the hell out of the way because your hobo garb and stupid puffy face are massacring their frame of the hot half-Japanese girl standing behind you with the rockabilly bangs and a Hello Kitty umbrella. But it’s not just kids on the streets who are owning the style blogs, designers are also stepping up their game. Take Alexander Wang who, for instance, happens to be one of the most stylish and beautiful boys in the world. We can’t even come up with one bad thing to say about him or his designs. Same goes for Kathleen Kye and Choi Bo Ko from Concept Korea, 10 Crosby, Derek Lam, and Jen Kao who all showed a number of great pieces this past week that we actually wouldn’t need one of our friends to bribe us to wear outside—seriously. Good taste is just in their genes.

B Is for "Boot Camp"

Boot-camp fashion was a huge trend this season with several designers incorporating military prints, colors, and their own takes on the traditional olive drab into their collections. There were furry camouflage jackets at Michael Kors, leather sweatpants at Rachel Comey and Charlotte Ronson, structured-leather, army-green trench coats at Calvin Klein, Realtree camo at Patrik Ervell, and even tailored jackets and cargo pants at Prabal Gurung. While it might not be out of character for one of the aforementioned designers to be heard shouting “You had best square your ass away and start shitting me Tiffany cufflinks, or I will fuck you up!” Full Metal Jacket-style, but judging by their interpretations of the military trend, it’s probably best they stick to fashion and leave the safety of our country to someone who can actually run and shoot a gun and doesn’t have to worry about breaking heels or being able to breathe.  

C Is for "Cockblockers" and "Capacity"

The letter C gets two words because they’re both tied to the same category: fashion PR lies. Cockblockers are all the press agents who handle invites to shows but don’t necessarily do PR for brands on a regular basis. Whatever connections you have with the designer don't mean a thing if someone at a PR agency is actually old enough to have seen your publication some 10-odd years ago when you used to dress heroin addicts and illegal immigrants in clothing and try to pass it off as fashion. If you request a spot at an event, you’re going to get some bullshit excuse about them being at capacity or whatever even though they’re showing at the Park Avenue Armory, which is the biggest goddamn venue at NYFW. If Tom Sachs can run his “Space Program” in the same building, I assure you that my tiny ass can fit in there, too. Fuckers!

D Is for "Diets" Because Everyone Was on One

There are a number of unfortunate souls who suffered through juice cleanses, starvation, and amphetamine binges until everything inside them turned to shit and leaked out of their butts—all in the name of fashion. Generally they were the people who were the most obnoxious at shows, fighting with showroom staffers over seating, blacking out, and puking behind planters at late-night parties. Throughout the week we hated on these retards and their friendly backhanded diet tips and weird chia seeds they tried to force on us during small talk as we waited in lines for shows. But now that we look back on things, we actually should be thanking them for all the free snacks we were able to ingest as a result of their body issues. We ate every type of cookie and drank most of the beer at Milk Studios. Stole nearly a case of coconut water at Industria. [Editor’s note: Nix the chocolate-flavored water next season. It sucks!] Ate a million french fries at the Wildfox Couture presentation at Capitale, and to top it all off, we got to stand right in front of the kitchen doors at Prabal Gurung for Target without having to push anyone out of the way. It was like we were VIPs, the first to put every tiny taco and baby rum and coke in our mouths before anyone else in the room. So hats off to the skinny bitches of NYFW—you guys really missed out on some good stuff.

E Is for "Exposed Ankles"

We love the cropped-pants look that fashion guys have been jumpin’ on lately. Thom Browne kind of sparked the movement, and it’s fresh. It gives dudes an opportunity to show off their shoes and their socks. But in the wintertime, in the middle of a fucking blizzard named NEMO, that shit isn’t fresh—it’s retarded. You can’t be trudging through the doo-doo-brown snow of New York City, like men were this fashion week, with your ankles exposed to the elements. Even the schizo bums who talk to themselves and shit in plastic bags have enough sense to bundle up when it’s cold outside. They do it in the summer too, but that's beside the point.

F Is for "Famous People"

Being famous at Fashion Week is tight. You get to sit front row, cut all the lines, go to all the best parties, get free clothing from the most sought-after designers, and hang out with other famous people. If you’re extra lucky, sometimes you even get to design your own clothing line and start out right at the top; then the best magazines kiss your ass and say they love your designs, which are actually pretty basic. Privileges like these are a few of the reasons why we don’t take celebrity-run lines seriously, but we decided to suck up our pride and try to do something no one would ever expect: say one nice thing about each of them. Bono’s fashion house Edun surprisingly put on a good show this season because, thankfully, he has nothing to do with any of their designs. Victoria Beckham used a pleasant shade of yellow as well as some head-swallowing beanies in both collections, even though we don’t think she should be allowed to have two fashion lines. Katie Holmes made a nice oversized plaid jacket for Holmes & Yang that hopefully is the only item in the collection she can be held accountable for. And lastly, the Olsen twins, those two adorable tiny sweet girls, made some furry slippers that we would not be mad at if they were on our feet. Congrats, you guys accomplished something!

G Is for "Grills"

Grills are slowly but surely becoming a staple during fashion week. Random kids on the street, the ATL Twins, and even designers like Hood By Air all flashed their sets this season or incorporated them into their shows to the amusement of white people everywhere. At HBA, word got out pretty early that A$AP Rocky, the most stylish grill-sporting rapper these days, was walking in the designer’s show, so naturally everyone lost their shit and wouldn’t shut up about it for days. All the hype was well worth it though as the presentation was a 40-minute long mindfuck with thugged-out identical twins, a hyperactive smoke machine, and hoodies with blond weave—all set to drum and bass music mixed with the type of demonic sounds you’d hear on a bad acid trip... but in a good way? Aside from Rocky’s mouth full of gold, there was also an appearance from a small strange creature by the name of Boychild who convulsed down the runway like a zombie wearing what through the smoke and lasers appeared to be LED grills that flashed uncontrollably. WTF is right—but it was great to see a local designer excite a bunch of stuffy old rich fashion geeks by making ghetto style something to be desired.

H is for "Hangovers"

The severity of a hangover can tell you a lot about the night before. While you often wake up with a really bad one because you had the worst night of your life, normally it’s due to the fact that you did something that was ridiculously fun. This fashion week there was no shortage of parties to attend or hangovers to suffer—so many that we 100 percent definitely wouldn’t be alive writing this right now if we actually tried to brave them all. There are a lot we have no recollection of for bad reasons (i.e., they were lame), but there are a few good ones that we can remember, but barely...  We think the VFiles party the first night of shows was good—Le1f DJed, they had free piña coladas, and everyone in the room was dressed like a teenager on Tumblr. ØDD's pre–fashion show after-party at Le Baron was probably worth the pain—it was Chinese New Year and even though it was packed and everyone was crammed up against walls, we vaguely recall copping feels on some babes trying to “get to the bathroom.” The purple magazine party was probably full of cool French people and as impossible to get into as it is every season; we know it was good because they always are. But as usual our party was by far the best of all—Juelz Santana performed, the ATL Twins hosted, half of the office didn’t show up to work the next day, AND we got a mention in “Page Six.” Boom! The New York Post never lies.

I is for "Idiots Who Post Indecipherable Photos of Fashion Shows on Instagram"

NEWSFLASH: Instagram recently saw its most embarrassing week in post-history when suddenly everyone in New York City became a “photographer” and began posting photos of the most bizarre and unflattering things no one would ever care about or want to see ever. Instagrammers posted image after image of indecipherable photos with the hashtag #NYFW. Sources who have viewed the subpar posts whose subjects were even further masked by shitty photo filters like Hudson and Valencia have had several guesses as to what the nature of these horrendous pictures could be. Some say these grainy blurs of light are models midstrut during one of the many runway shows during New York Fashion Week. Others say they are mirror “selfies” that are so poorly shot due to the intense hand shaking of the photographers who might have been grappling with alcohol withdrawal or cocaine jitters while trying to take a successful image of their clothing. However, the most shocking of these reports comes from an exclusive inside source who claims these images are all just a series of  “dick pics.” More on the overwhelming evidence leading to this conclusion after the break…

J is for "Jewel Tones"

To be a successful trend forecaster or blogger who reviews shows for the masses, you have to get creative with your lingo and be able to verbally sell a garment or idea to someone who normally might not give a shit about what you’re writing. Calling colors by their literal terms is uninteresting: writing that a dress is “mustard” is vile, “maroon” as a word is so overdone, and nobody really knows how to spell "fuchsia" without googling it (I'm gong to start pronouncing it "fuck-sia"). But  a “jewel tone”? Now that sounds way more luxurious and whoever began using that phrase first in correlation with fashion is a freaking genius. Nobody gives a rat’s ass about a show that featured a “blue dress.” Screw that! That sounds like something for poor people! But if you tell them about a show that featured a jewel-toned sapphire dress, chicks are going to be clawing at their computer screens and frantically clicking “Read More.” Take the designs from this past season for instance. Think about their literal colors, now think about them in terms of emeralds, rubies, and amethyst jewel tones. Your flowery use of the English language just scored your bloggin’ ass a seat at a bunch of shows next season.

K is for "Air Kissing"

What is it with French and Italian people always wanting to air kiss you on the face? No matter if you’re a complete stranger or not, they want to get your oily sweaty cheek pressed up against their cakey makeuped face, and they want you to pretend to be happy about it—and twice, once on each side! God forbid you even try to get off by only kissing one cheek, they won’t let you go. They make you do the other side or they give you some offended look like you just called their mother a whore or smacked them in the face. They even force their customs onto people they don’t even genuinely like—it’s such an invasion of personal space. Listen, it’s cute and all that you wanna get up in my face and act like we’re besties even though we just met, but this is AMERICA. A limp-dick handshake will do, we work in fashion—we’re just going to all turn around and talk shit on each other in a second anyway, so let’s not put too much effort into this.

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?

T is for "Take My Picture"
Watching the attention whores in clown costumes who stand outside of shows begging to have their pictures taken is one of the most soul-crushing aspects of fashion week. We’re all for a more egalitarian fashion scene where people from different backgrounds can take part in the culture of clothes, but this whole fashion-photo-blog shit has gone too far in giving obnoxious weirdos a reason to live. Fashion is a big enough joke as it is, it doesn't need a bunch of self-serious dudes in Pope-inspired capes made of Saran wrap to take it into sideshow territory. If you wanna wear oddball shit and have people take your picture, join the Coney Island freak show—at least that's a real job. As opposed your current gig, which is basically being a professional at ruining otherwise nice things that sane people enjoy.   

U Is for "Ultraviolet"
For those of you who've forgotten what you learned in elementary school science class, fluorescent lights emit high levels of UV radiation. Even though disposing of these lights can be totally hazardous (does fashion REALLY need another excuse to be wasteful?), they crept up in the backdrops for a bunch of different shows including Rodarte, ØDD, Ohne Titel, and Milly—who, along with Nanette Lepore, also had some trippy technicolor fabrics. In other news, purple was definitely having a moment, from the makeup at Jason Wu to the violet, geometric dresses at Lisa Perry and the plum Common Projects sneakers at Robert Geller. With all of the bright colors and and abstract shapes, we can’t help but wonder if there is some direct relationship between the fashion industry and the recent resurgence of MDMA on the streets as everyone's new drug of choice this season. Coke is SO passé.

V Is for "Vine"
If you have an iPhone and haven’t downloaded Vine yet, do yourself a solid and get on that as soon as you finish reading this. Vine is free, it works like Instagram for video (minus the horrendous filters), and is a SUPREMELY better way to view fashion in real time. Another great feature is that you don't have to record all six seconds of video at once either. You hold your finger on the screen to record, so you can capture all the nuances of your favorite model strutting half naked down the runway, or capture the collection in succession during a show's finale. Brilliant. OH, and the app's technically NC-17, so obviously we also like it for NSFW purposes like making your own porno.

W  Is for "Wheat Timberlands"
Traditionally, nubuck Timberlands are the footwear of choice for the gangster-ass clan of MCs straight from Shaolin, construction workers, and overweight white dudes who hunt pheasants. But this fashion week, sartorial culture appropriators adopted the honey-colored boots with a force that hasn't been seen since white folks stole rock ‘n' roll. Standing in line for shows at Milk was like being in a cypher in the early '90s. We're all for reinterpreting culture and mixing it up and making it something new, but we're not sure Timbs go well with avant-garde ninja dresses. But then again, Rocky just rocked a dress and some Timbs on 106th and Park, so what the hell do we know.

X is for "XIV" or "the 14th: The Last Most Depressing Day of Fashion Week"
Fashion week is always kind of a bummer, but this year was especially shitty considering the festivities bled into Valentine’s Day. Even if you had plans with your significant other, you were probably too tired from dealing with dicks, assholes, and pussies all week at NYFW to play with real dicks, assholes, and pussies on Valentine's Day. But we weren't the only ones who were stressed out—Marc Jacobs had a really rough week. The blizzard delayed the arrival of important fashion editors and journalists from attending his Marc by Marc show earlier in the week. Then the traditional Monday timeslot for Marc Jacobs ended up being pushed to Thursday due to missing show samples. Since Thursday was the beginning of London Fashion Week, another large number of people he really wanted to show his collection off to had already skipped town. Awws! Sorry, buddy, your collections were really really great—we kinda feel bad for you. But also not that bad ‘cause we still, like all the other alternative publications, didn’t get invited. We sympathize because we can identify with the young punk “I don’t give a fuck”  version of you. Why you acting so fancy these days that the kind of guys and girls you started designing for can’t come chill? This is the biggest bummer of NYFW that breaks the cool kids’ hearts every single fashion week.

Y is "Young People Wearing Fur"
Fur wasn’t seen that much on the runway this NYFW, and designer Patrik Ervell even told us that he thought that real fur was “gross.” But, it seems to be coming back in a major way on the street. Guys and girls alike were rocking coats made of the hair and skin of dead animals all over Fashion Week. Some had floor-length coats they undoubtedly pulled from their grandmothers' closets, while others were rocking shearling pelts and cropped jackets with fur lining and hoods. Hopefully this trend will build up enough steam that PETA will start bukkaking assholes with paint again. That would make the next NYFW so much more interesting.

Z is for "Zero Fucks Given"
We love making fun of the freaks and weirdos who play dress up on the streets and the designers who push boundaries with their shows during fashion week. But at the end of the day, we have to give the oddballs props for being themselves and not giving a flying fuck if people hate on it or not. It takes balls for someone with balls to wear a dress or someone with a vag to cut all their hair off and dress like 50 Cent. As long as you’re doing that because that’s who you are and it’s not some scheme to get famous on a fashion blog, then we are a 100 percent behind it. The world would be a much shittier, dismal place if it weren’t for weirdos like Oliver Shayne, Chromat, Jeremy Scott, and Phillipe Blond making things sexy, fun, and fierce while the rest of us hump the bed alone on a Saturday night after drinking a six pack of Coors and eating a burrito. Someone has to be creative and make a difference, so please keep doing just that.

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And check out some of our favorite pieces from New York Fashion Week FW2013:

New York Fashion Week... On Acid!

Black Man in a Dress

VICE's New York Fashion Week Photo Blog

ATL Twins
Alexander Wang
Rachel Comey
chloe sevigny
Opening Ceremony
tommy hilfiger
marc jacobs
Juelz Santana
Derek Lam
Calvin Klein
Vice Blog
Charlotte Ronson
Prabal Gurung
Concept Korea
Thom Brown
Holmes & Yang
Rag & Bone
Patrik Erve