TOP 3 MISCONCEPTIONS ABOUT #NYFW FASHION BLOGGERS
Prior to becoming a blogger myself, I used to scroll through photos of New York Fashion week through Instagram, each perfect image increasing the envy within me. I had this effortless and glamorous idea reminiscent to the front row experiences depicted in Sex and the City. Fast forward to today as a full-time fashion blogger and I find myself on the other side of the lens. And it is just as charmed and emasculate as the story social media tells.
The celebrity-like fantasy surrounding the famed #NYFW couldn't be further from the truth. And now more than ever I am unapologetically dedicated to celebrating TRUTH and exposing lies in the fashion industry. Only then can we enjoy and respect the art of dress for what it was designed to be: a means for women (and men of course!) to have an authentic conversation with the world. So forget the fluff and join me as I trump the top 3 misconceptions about #NYFW fashion bloggers.
Misconception #1: Fashion bloggers have an endless supply of expensive clothing due to a bottomless budget for shopping.
TRUTH BOMB: HECK NO. While there are definitely those blessed to have a bigger allowance to appreciate and purchase beautiful fashion pieces, the reality is most of us are on a budget that feels a lot like a tight leash that just won't loosen. So I am speaking for the majority when I say that the variety of clothing worn are the result of weeks and even months of brand outreach for potential collaborations. And in those many, many days prepping for NYFW, less than half of the endless emails and messages you've sent with a business proposal and press kit attached won't even be answered. And if you're like me, a snow storm will spontaneously hit New York delaying all last minute packages from reaching you in time, spiraling you into a styling frenzy, consequently resulting in the debris of your closet and taking over your whole home. (I thought about revising this massively long run on sentence but decided the chaos was apropos.) And when the night before fashion week the score is Monster Closet = 1 and Nika = 0, it is nearly impossible to confidently add that "#bosschic" hashtag to your next Instagram caption.
Misconception #2: All photos are effortlessly and spontaneously taken in between shows.
TRUTH BOMB: I have too many feelings about this one, so I will instead start with a short story. As February approaches I beg God to please, oh PLEASE send me sun and warm-ish temperatures around NFYW so I can dress to my heart's desire sans the fear of contracting pneumonia. Well apparently Mother Nature was on her period because she PMS'd all over NYC with a snow storm the night before the first shows. The following morning, my photographer and I frantically texted back and forth discussing whether or not we were ready to die today on the sinking Titanic that was our frozen city. But because we were so determined (that or straight crazy!) we decided to proceed with shooting. Due to inclement weather, we relocated our shoot to the indoor Oculus in the World Trade Center. We weren't sure if we would even be allowed to shoot inside but as it was our best option at the time, we chose a corner and worked as quickly as possible. In a matter of fifteen minutes the following series of unfortunate events commenced: I got tangled several times in the balloons I used as props. Mid shoot one of the balloons popped resulting in a horrifying shot gun sound as we sprinted away, fearing an arrest before the Tadashi Shoji show. After attempting to shoot in the snow outside, the balloons ganged up on me causing major static hair while simultaneously pulling me away like a helpless puppy being walked against her will. Kind of ironic since the point of the balloons was to evoke a whimsical, childlike wonder. Point being... absolutely, wholeheartedly NO to effortless and NO to spontaneous.
Misconception #3: Fashion Shows are a seamlessly chic and relaxing time to sit back and get a first look view at the latest collections.
TRUTH BOMB: Since the "Bryant Park era" the fashion shows are now more or less sporadically scattered throughout the city. Nonetheless the lack of time in between shows is a guarantee you will be late, causing inevitable drawn out anxiety attacks throughout the day. As soon as one show ends you frantically call an Uber in a sea of equally frantic fashionistas (Thank God for Uber Pool in this case at least!). After finally arriving at your new destination, there is a 93% chance your show will start 15-30 minutes late, regardless of the fact that you've spent your lunch money on your Uber. There is also a solid 7% chance that the show was overbooked and if you are at the back of the line towards the door (VIP or not) you simply won't get in due to "over capacity". And if you do get in, your job is to be the access point for your followers through social media. What your followers don't realize is you haven't been eating, drinking, or going to the bathroom and as soon as that Instagram story catching the final look is posted, you're off to desperately catch another overpriced Uber and continue with the madness for the rest of the week.
PHEW; I feel like I just ran a couple miles recounting all of the above! Chances are half of you nodding with full conviction at these truths shouting, "Amen sister!" The other half are probably unsure what to do about the magical illusion bubble that has just popped right in front of you! I think it is important to note that I do not share these truths to gripe for the sake of griping or feel sorry for myself in the hopes that you'll join me.
Let it be known first and foremost that amidst the unpredictable whirlwind that is New York Fashion Week, it is still undoubtedly one of my favorite times of the year to celebrate the fashion industry in its fullness. And just like any other, this field comes with it's fair share of ups and downs.
I believe part of my responsibility as a fashion influencer is to break down the barrier between unattainable goals vs. reality. As I get to know and love myself more and more, I become more willing and able to put down the flawless facade and bare myself #nofilter before you. Part of fully appreciating something, in this case New York Fashion Week and the world of blogging, is taking the good with the bad. Understanding that no one is perfect but that each of us are far more valuable than the number in our bank account, designer labels in our closet, or Instagram following.
There is undeniable power in promoting truth over lies as you stand in your story. Remember that your story is a one of a kind treasure. Your sharing with the world is like giving away free gems in the form of lessons learned and encouragement to empower generations to come. Your reality matters, regardless of your goals. So will you join me in collectively laying down our masks in exchange for vulnerability? This kind of rawness requires both boldness and security, all of which is sourced from a God who knows you to the bottom and loves you to the skies. This is the biggest truth of all my friends! My prayer is that by being emboldened to stand in your truth, you grant others permission to do the same.
Xoxo, Diwa Doll
Photography: Laurel Creative