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What We Wish You Knew About Fashion Week

Two weeks ago was New York Fashion Week, and for the first time I attended a fashion show.

Honestly, I really didn’t know what to expect. I had worked in fashion for a couple of years as a stylist dressing the everyday individual, but when it came to high fashion and couture I was a little out of my league.

I have, of course, seen pictures and had a grandiose idea of what the whole experience might entail: over-the-top back drops to set the mood, opulent pieces for the elite, and celebrities donning the seats of the front row; and while shows like this are mainly reserved for the bigger names, I realized how little I actually knew about what goes into each show.

So, I caught up with some industry experts to find out what they wish we, as outsiders, knew about Fashion Week.

The Designer: Elle Forgiatto

Elle Forgiatto.jpeg

What do you wish people knew about fashion week?

Everyone sees the finished product, how graceful the models are while strutting down the runway. How glamorous and prestigious fashion week is and looks, but they have no idea the extreme madness that goes on behind the scenes to accomplish the amazing end result.

What does your week look like?

My week consists of school full time as I am in my last year for Fashion and business. Additionally, I own a hair extensions company TEASED Hair Extensions as well as it’s charity component TEASED With Love, which keeps me extremely busy along with building my luxury shoe brand. In between those things, I try to find time to workout and just enjoy life, as balance is key.

How long does it take for you to complete a collection?

In terms of this 1st collection, it literally took me less than 2 weeks to design them all. I initially designed about 20 pairs and then I narrowed down to my top 12 to develop. I wanted to make sure that I had a good variety, furthermore, some of the other designs were way too elaborate and would take a longer time to develop. These first 12 pairs took the manufacturers about 2 months to develop into actual samples.

How much do the opinion of others influence the final product?

I am not influenced by opinions at all, I have an eye for design and I am very confident in my work, I know what I am capable of and I am aware that I cant please everyone. Nonetheless, I am very open to constructive criticism as I am constantly learning new things everyday. However, I do know the difference between constructive criticism vs an opinion.

Who do you hope to reach with your designs?

My shoe brand Forgiatto will be on the feet of major celebs such as Rihanna and on the red carpet at award shows such as the Golden Globes as well as retail stores such as Saks, I like to speak things into existence. However I do genuinely believe every bit of it.

The Editor: Alyssa Vingan KleinFashionista.com

Alyssa insta pic

What do you wish people knew about fashion week?

It’s definitely not as glamorous as it appears online, TV and on social media. Most people take the subway, don’t get their hair and makeup done to see the shows, don’t have time to eat full meals or sleep enough hours… that sort of thing. It’s a lot of running around — and waiting around.

What does your week look like?

Mostly running around between shows and my office, trying to observe trends, writing show reviews and editing stories at the computer.

How many of the shows that you attend are actually good?

“Good” is a very relative term. Some designers have good, inclusive model castings. Some have good, clever set design. Others have good, really memorable collections, but in regards to the latter, I’d say five or less.

What elements of a collection really strike a chord with you?

I love when a designer really “goes there” with the clothes, because everything is so commercial now it’s refreshing to see something dramatic on the runway. I also enjoy when a collection is a thoughtful commentary on culture and the current state of affairs.

Are the parties everything people expect?

There weren’t many parties this season, but only one or two are actually good — oftentimes it’s people standing around on their phones or posing for pictures. Alexander Wang’s parties are always good when he has them.

The Model: Dominique Spindler

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What do you wish people knew about fashion week?

I wish people knew how much effort it takes to “do a fashion week” countless hours of castings, training, and shows. It really is so much fun, but also takes more than looking pretty haha!

What does your week look like?

A typical week is pretty crazy, each night you are sent your schedule for the next day. I would say there could be 8-20 castings a day depending. There are also last minute castings sent during the day, I would leave the house at 7:30 am and sometimes get home at 8 pm.

What time do you have to get to the show?

Normally you are at a show for 4 hours, so you have time for hair, makeup, rehearsal and anything else. If you have a busy day coming from other shows, you just make it work and everyone teams up for your hair and makeup to get you ready on time even if you’re there an hour before the show.

What are designers usually like backstage?

The designers I have worked with personally have been amazing backstage. They are so friendly and love to see their show come to life.

Which show was your favorite to work?

My favorite show has been Veronica Beard. The looks are very much my style so I love wearing them. The whole team is so nice and fun to work with!

The Make Up Artist: Patrick Ta

patrick ta insta pic

What do you wish people knew about fashion week?

I wish everybody knew the all work that went on behind the scenes at fashion week, whether it’s putting on a show or getting an attendee ready for a show/event/afterparty. From makeup to hair, to the outfit, every piece  is an important component to the finished look!

What does your week look like?

A normal fashion week for me is running from three to four clients each day getting them ready for shows, events, or after party’s. If I’m not too tired at the end of the day, I may partake in some fashion festivities.

How long does it take you to do a model’s make up?

I tend to take 60-90 minutes to do a client, giving me time to really focus on skincare. Taking care of your skin is extremely vital to the finished look!

What is your thought process for creating a look for the designer?

Prior to, I always connect with my clients to see what show they are attending that day and I will create that look around the designers signature aesthetic.

What is the most stressful part of fashion week?

I’d have to say, running from one job to the next is definitely the most stressful part of fashion week for me because every client is the on a tight schedule.  But at the end of the day it’s always worth it when I see how my clients look sitting front row at the shows.

The Influencer: Summer Y.L.The NuWa

summer NYFW

What do you wish people knew about fashion week?

Most people think Fashion Week is fun and exciting, but as an influencer I think fashion week is very tiring and pressing. People might think fashion week is only one week, but it actually starts two or three weeks before for us; talking to PR agencies, and going in for fittings. During Fashion Week we are constantly networking at events and after parties, maintaining and expanding our relationships.

What does your week look like?

I’m constantly running around to different events, shows and parties, and between all of that I make a few outfit changes that are considerate of the designer I’m seeing. We are basically glued to our phones the whole week, under pressure to report on social media about what’s going on at each event which can be exhausting.

How much of what you’re styled in do you actually like?

I like all of the items I’m styled in! And since I have a great relationship with the designers I always get to choose a few pieces to keep.

How do you get invited to the shows that you attend?

I have an account on GPS Radar, so most of my invites are sent straight there. PR agencies and brands also have my outlet theNuWa.com as well as my personal influencer account on the guest list. For shows/presentations that I want to attend, but not yet been invited, I usually send a pitch email to the right contact.

What type of social coverage do the designers expect from you? 

It depends. If the designers outfit me they expect more coverage than the other shows, and they also expect highlights on the outfits they’ve dressed me in. During a presentation they may need a more detailed coverage since we get a closer of the collections. Sometimes I go backstage with the make up and hair sponsors, and they want some behind-the-scenes looks as well.

For more behind the scenes at fashion week make sure to follow these guys on their instagrams. Remember to catch up on my daily travels, and as always, safe travels!

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