Why I Won’t Get Dressed Up For The Shows
It was a two or three years ago in Paris at one of my first big shows. Everyone’s attention was transfixed on the beautiful creations coming down the runway. Not me. Instead I remember sneakily taking my feet out of the stilettos I was wearing, hoping nobody would spot me rather embarrassingly trying to give them a rest, all the while trying to figure out how I was going to make it back the apartment my boyfriend and I were staying in right the other side of town.
I should explain. Before the show season began I invested in my first pair of Louboutins. Sexy, black and painfully high, they had all of the ingredients of the type of shoe I thought I should wear for fashion week. Ironically, though, looking back, there wasn’t much thinking going on. The Louboutin induced-pain, which, by the time I put them back on again after the show, had resulted in me losing all feeling in my baby toes, ended in me limping rather unsexily to the closest Metro to go home, missing the rest of the afternoon’s shows. Doubling up as a crutch to help me walk, let’s just say the boy wasn’t happy either.
Naturally I didn’t learn my lesson. Subsequent seasons I’ve done exactly the same thing, leaving all of most my uncomfortable clothes and footwear for the shows and all in the name of fashion. And each time and every time I make the mistake I ask myself why I put myself through it.
I think part it’s just the charm of fashion week. The majority of us spend most of our time running around in practical clothes all week due to work so fashion week often feels like the perfect time to try out the amazing new shoes you bagged at a recent sample sale or try that new trend you’re planning on championing for the season. If it doesn’t make sense in your every day life, among all of the characters at the shows, it certainly does.
But over the past few years I feel like that whole spirit has disappeared. When I started going to the shows, dressing up was more about being fun and feeling like part of the fashion tribe rather than what it has become today. Now, going to the shows has become more of a photo opportunity, whether that’s people trying way too hard to get snapped by the street style photographers or simply in order to selfie whatever it is they’re wearing, with a mention of the brands they’re wearing.
As dramatic as it sounds, the whole ‘look at me’ culture prevalent at the shows has made me feel a bit disheartened by it all and I guess experience has a little to do with it too. Now 16 seasons in to doing fashion week, the idea of wearing a tiny jacket flung over my shoulders in freezing weather or shoes that I can only take a few steps in no longer appeals. And besides, I’m there to work and feeling cold and uncomfortable doesn’t allow me to do that. Today you’re more likely to see me in a pair of brogues and a rucksack than a pair of killer heels and a clutch bag. Do I look back on those good ol’ days fondly? Of course but right now, my New Balance trainers are my best friend and I’m all the happier for it.
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