Last week, my friend Piper Weiss of the Yahoo blog Shine asked me if I’d join her in a crucial human experiment to determine whether it’s easier for a man or a woman to sneak into New York Fashion Week. Being the fashionphile and bold anarchist that I am (no words in this statement are true, including “that”), I immediately agreed.
Below is our triumphant story, along with some tips on how to go about sneaking into Fashion Week yourself, should you ever DAAAAAREEEEEEEE (the extra E’s stand for “it’s actually pretty Easy.”) You can read Piper’s recollection of the events here.
Before we embarked on our guerrilla assault to shake up the fashion galaxy this morning, we contacted an industry insider (who I think was either some girl Piper knew or the actual Anna Wintour, I forget), who gave us Three Quick Tips on how to make ourselves seem Fashionably legit:
Tip #1: Dress The Part
We were told to “Dress like we lost our minds.” I decided to take a more elementary approach, using one simple accessory to turn myself from “Blogger wearing an ok dress shirt because he hasn’t picked up his laundry which is full of his regular clothes” into Dr. Fashiono McLiterallyKarlLagerfeld:
Boom! Fashion’d. Piper took a more elaborate, vaginal approach:
Out of our way, New York City – we have a STYLE TRAIN to catch! Fortunately, a homeless dude was playing Facebook Scrabble with 9 uniformed rats across the street, so we didn’t attract any attention.
Tip #2: Write For A Fashion Blog
Rather than risk a security guard having actually read my BWE.tv nonsense and instantly ruin me with a pepper-spray-shooting taser, I was prepared to tell people I write for the prestigious FashionJizz.biz, and deride them for calling themselves fashion experts without having heard of our regular “Jizz The Biz!” feature. Unfortunately, this never came up.
Tip #3: Use An Accent
The only three accents I can reliably stick with are Cartoony-British, a vague European accent that turns into Bruno after three words, and a Pittsburgh accent (grounds for instant dismissal). I prayed it wouldn’t come to this, especially because FashionJizz.co.uk just sounds ridiculous.
Our initial excitement about mocking Fashion Week culture began to give way to common-blogger “oh yeah, we’re actually giant wusses” trepidation as we approached the massive stone monolith where Mercedes Chimps gather to hit things with bones:
We passed the first line of outdoor security with nary a “‘ello guvnah!” and entered the main Fashion Week hub, which was, ironically, a mundane and thoroughly unfashionable collection of assorted merch tables. We saw…
Skinny Pepsi Cans:
DHL, the most STYLISH way to send notarized legal documents to that forlorn lady:
And a display for the all-new Mercedes Horse:
It gets 1.2 horsepower! It’s a slightly strong horse.
Finally, after beating around the bush (brought to you by L’Oreal), Piper and I decided to make our move for the 11:00 Carlos Miele show. I decided I’d attempt to get in first, and chugged a free probiotic pomegranate container-of-too-many-words for liquid courage:
Here was my plan:
Back when I snuck into R-Rated movies in high school (behold my DARING history), my friend Jack and I would always walk up to the ticket seller and I’d open by asking “If my friend is 18, he can buy both of our tickets, right?” They’d invariably say yes, and Jack (who was much taller) would buy two tickets and they’d never ask to see his ID, since we’d thrown them off with a confident, peripherally-related side-question. We’d be seeing The Thin Red Line in no time (SCANDALOUS! Those shots of nature ravaged by war are like BOOBS!)
Applying that same principle of “ask unrelated question,” I just asked the Fashion Show pass-checker if I had to throw my Pepsi away before I entered the runway room, and he said “yeah,” and I proceeded past him towards a garbage can. He stopped me, though, and asked to see my credentials, which of course I didn’t have, but before I panicked and spat out “Bloody ‘ell! Never heard of FashionJ…” I simply told them that I was with VH1 (kind of true, and I did have a VH1 backpack) and that we only got three press credentials and the people from VH1 News had them, and I was supposed to go meet them inside.
The man then directed me to the security guard, and I told him the same story, and he responded “What show are they covering?” I instantly forgot the designer’s name, and all I could think of was “Carlos Mencia” (he’s designing what we’re all thinking!!!), but instead I responded “All of them.” I showed the guard my ID and he removed the rope so I could join the line entering the room, though he reminded me to throw away my skinny pepsi can so I wouldn’t whip it at the models or whatever.
I texted Piper to inform her of my relatively simple triumph, and a few minutes later, she texted back that she also managed to get in — she explained afterward that she just walked towards the pass-checker people while pretending to be on her cell phone and gave flustered, bitchy “you’re distracting me” looks to anyone who tried to get her attention on her way in. After all that planning and daily 8-hour, $50,000 sessions with Matt Damon’s diction coach from Invictus (which Piper tried to convince me was somewhat on the excess), we both simply managed to B.S. our way into the show without a single accent or flamboyant outburst (did I mention I had a glass of red wine cocked and ready this entire time? I should’ve.)
A hush fell over the crowd as Fashion Statler & Waldorf cleared the runway…
The show began, and as someone who’d never witnessed a fashion runway scene in person before, believe me when I tell you that it is more exactly what you’d expect than you’d ever expect. Technoey “this song was clearly only written for fashion runways” songs were blasting as nonchalant, sideways-Nano-thin models strolled down the catwalk, each one looking more the same than the one before her in some weird perpetual motion machine of sameness. They did courteously throw in one Asian girl, though, just so you could keep track of how many times the models repeated.
I initially felt selfconscious about taking flash photos of the models, until I realized (much like my similar experience at Comic-Con) that every person in the room was filming them with like seven cameras apiece. I think the models were even filming themselves, just like, holding huge DVX cams with boom mics sticking out of them pointed in front of their own faces while they walked. If al-Quaeda had set up a new headquarters ten feet above the runway in the middle of the show, no one in the room would’ve noticed (unless someone’s camera accidentally bumped someone else’s camera slightly upwards).
The entire thing couldn’t have lasted more than ten minutes, though the time went by quicker because I couldn’t stop singing “Fash-ion Week, Fash-ion Week” under my breath to the tune of the thumping techno.
Here’s some brief video proof of my triumph, as well as my elaborate but unused Plan B:
Conclusion: Basically, if you want to sneak into New York Fashion Week — especially the Carlos Mencia show — it’s not particularly difficult regardless of your gender. Just be confident, have a plan, and be ready to reference some sort of known publication or tv network or friends of yours who are already inside the room, and as long as you make it evident that not letting you in will be far more annoying for all parties concerned than just saying “whatever, enjoy the 10 minute fashion show that is every fashion show ever,” you should be fine.
Some of you may be thinking, “But Dan, this doesn’t prove anything – maybe they only let you and Piper in because you’re both so amazingly attractive and blindingly charming?” Hm. I suppose you people are correct, actually, it had to have been that. Disregard all tips. And thanks everyone for all definitely thinking that! I’m humbled.
Don’t forget to read Piper’s Triumphant Story. If any of her facts conflict with mine, just assume she made everything up.