Love/Hate Fashion Week: I’m Blending Into The Background At Cynthia Rowley

At TheGloss NYFW is being covered by two opposing forces, fashion week first timer Alice Walker Wright, and long time veteran Julia Allison. They’ll be bringing you some insights into the week that promise to go beyond our standard “pretty dresses are fun” take on it.

Having never done anything Fashion Week related before, I was a little nervous to start showing up at receptions and shows. After all, I’m a nobody. I don’t have a closet full of attention grabbing designer clothes. I’m not tall and I’m certainly not thin. I couldn’t make a thoughtful comparison of a designer’s past collections against their current offerings if you gave me 20 years worth of VOGUE and a thesaurus.

After last night’s events I can now say that unless you are Somebody, nobody cares. In fact, I was nearly invisible and it served me well. When people don’t notice you or assume you’re part of the help they don’t seem threatened by you. That means they will say some really funny things.

People you later find out are on fashion reality shows will inform you jokingly that they are only there to “meet famous people”.

reality show guy

This is that reality show guy

The man you call “cool hair guy” will ask you for more gift bags after you take his picture. (Note – I was not handing out gift bags, I was just next to the tray.)

cool hair guy

Note the cool hair.

The beautiful, dark haired woman surrounded by people most of the night will inform you that she can’t wait for this to be over “so I can go get a drink”. Some guy covered in gold sequins will notice your black widow spider dress pin and go on for several minutes about his rampant fear of spiders.[Ed note: that man is Mickey Boardman, Creative Director of Paper Magazine, and you should exploit that weakness].

mickey boardman cynthia rowley

Spiders everywhere

The pretty girls running around with crimps and ringlets and perfect makeup will whisper to each other that they are terrified of falling down on the runway, and their worry that the hot lights and leather pants “will give me the sweaty butt – but the music is loud so I hope they won’t hear the pants squeak against my skin”. (Really? Models worry about stuff? But they’re, like, so pretty!)

Some people attend Fashion Week to get noticed. They want their picture taken with famous people, and they want to “network” in order to get invited to other places where they might get their picture taken. I was there for the free drinks and to check out the groovy clothes while trying wildly to avoid cameras at all costs (I don’t need a visual record of my Target dress, thank you.) I did both and wound up having a great time talking with some cool people that I will probably hang out with again.

By blending into the background rather than competing for attention, I was able to relax and just enjoy the carnival going on around me. I even found that I loved the social side of fashion, and I can see now why so many people want involved in the industry – because clothes, booze, and people are a pretty fun mix. The most important thing I discovered is that it is possible to enjoy gossip, fashion, and prosecco in a room full of cameras and people elbowing you out of the way to ask Cynthia Rowley “what was your inspiration!” for the 900th time while you make “wow original question” faces in the background.

I also learned that I hate cameras that catch me making “wow original question” faces.

Really original, guys.

Share This Post:
    • georgie

      ugh, Julia Allison is so boring. She’s been “over” for 2 or 3 yrs now.

    • Jackie

      Julia Allison???? What a joke.

    • Kevinie

      Really? Julia Allison? Is this 2007 when she was a funny joke? Now she’s just a sad tired joke that nobody gets.

      I’m looking forward to more articles like this one from Alice though!

      • Alice

        Aw thanks! I feel like I should admit I feel like a huge jackhole for not knowing who anyone is in the fashion industry. I just kind of say hi to people who seem like cool humans like Mr. Sequins up there (he was hilarious and friendly.) And Gorgeous Dark Haired Ladyd was really down to earth and nice to a nobody like me (then I found out she was Cynthia Rowley.)

        What I’m saying is, my ignorance is not bragworthy nor is it cute, and after reading this post I see that now. If I am going to go to this stuff I should at the very least attempt to not be an uneducated schlub about what I’m going there to report back on, just out of basic respect for the people in the industry. Anyway, hope you guys enjoy my posts this next week. Let me know if there’s anything in particular you’re curious about so I can try to tell you about it in future posts.

      • Alice

        UGH. “Lady” not “Ladyd”. Sorry my FASHUN NETBOOK keyboard is wonky after the great Diet Dr. Pepper spill of 2011.

    • A.

      Very cool hair! Are you inspired to do something the next time you go (hairstyle or dress-wise)?

      • Alice

        There were SO MANY TOP KNOTS. This was actually my third attempt with a flat iron (my hair is wavy like whoa). Also my brown hair dye is washing out and the red is starting to come through again. I think before my stuff Sunday I am going to freshen up that Nice n Easy for sure. Maybe I’ll try a top knot so I blend in even more! (I hope you know I’m the one with bitchface in the center there, and not one of the cool looking fashion girls on the left…)

      • A.

        Dare to be different! Corn rows! I see you in the middle, that’s definitely a “I can’t believe you asked that question AGAIN” face.

      • A.

        Also, I meant to tell you, try to talk to Tim Gunn! My sister says he is SUCH a genuinely nice man.

      • Alice

        Ah Tim Gunn. Thanks to a couple of months of unemployment filled with Project Runway marathons I actually DO know who that is. If he deigns to talk to me I will certainly ask him where he got his tie. Or ya know, something actually interesting.

    • Tulip

      Alice, don’t worry about your Target dress. All the girls you see in designer clothes don’t have closets full of them either, they just borrow from the fashion closet to look the part. At least you own your dress because I ASSURE you 95% of those bitches don’t own anything they have on or are carrying. There are plenty of girls like you -and me- who are there in the same Target, H&M or Zara dress we already wore 500 times just trying to get our job done. You did a great job and sounds like you had a great time doing it, so, YOU WIN FASHION WEEK.

      • Alice

        Dude Target has some cute little black dresses. They are actually GREAT for going to things where you want to hang out and drink because you don’t care about spilling anything on them. Meaning, it’s not a $500 dollar designer omg something that you spent a month’s rent on so no worries if you knock a drink into your lap after the show. (That happened.)

        But really my idea of fashion is wear something you don’t have to THINK about all night, you know? I’d rather wear a black dress from Target and some purse from ebay that doesn’t distract me, something that I’m not “how do I look, how is this hanging on me” all night, so I can talk to people who seem cool and interesting, so I can concentrate on other people and the interesting things they say. And have them NOT notice what I’m wearing really and just talk to me like a person. I was only ‘worried’ about it being a Target dress because I kind of thought OMG FASHUN! people would care about labels. (Give me a break, it was my first FASHUN! thing ever.) Turns out if you are just yourself and treat people like people, they couldn’t care less what is on your back.

        I was emailed after this event that Cynthia Rowley apparently did something for Target? I’m googling more on that, but all I can find are diapers which won’t be useful to me personally. Something I didn’t have time to include in this post was that I found out via a close friend of hers at the show that she’s supposedly really into the FUNCTIONAL and REALISTIC side of fashion. Knowing nothing about her or, ya know fashion in general, this makes me really want to see what she does in the future. I want her to do some LBD’s for Target because I would buy the HECK out of those.

        *cough* Cynthia Rowley if you’re reading this design some LBD’s for Target *cough*

        And thank you for your awesome internets high five. I do not think I “win fashion week”, I’m just a normal person being a normal person and treating these folks like normal people and not objects to get information from or fawn over, and talking to you all about it. Let me know if you want me to do a top knot and the other Target black dress I’m wearing for Tommy Hilfi..ger right? Yeah. I’ll take pics of that for ya guys.

      • Alice

        Wow wall of comment text. Sorry.

    • A.

      My vote is for a top knot and big earrings.

    • Concha

      Cynthia Rowley sold at Target under the Swell label. I still have a Swell duvet cover in the package.

    • chris

      Cool hair guy is Cynthia Rowley’s husband, Bill Powers. He is a gallerist and you might know him from Bravo’s Work of Art.

    • SA

      Love this article! But not a mention of the famous “Olivia Palermo” Isn’t she the true inspiration of fashion week?

    • Josephine

      So WHERE IS Julia Allison’s coverage? Not that I am in any rush to read it, but we’re on Day 4, and not a word has appeared despite the promotion of it here?

      • Dawn Keypuncher

        Oh come on, you know there will be no coverage, this is The Donk and she won’t be doing any real work. You KNOW that.

    • Rachel

      where is this coverage of which you speak? I don’t see any?

    • Josh Anderson

      Yeah i agree, Julia Allison is def not out there anymore, to be honest I think she should change her own style, it always seems dated!

      Nicola Chapman