#MBFW: THE SECRETS OF PREPARATION.
Every year, no matter the extent of prep that goes into Fashion Week, things always manage to go slightly (or wildly) different than planned. What begins as an invitation to view collections and to curate content, as of the moment the lights dim, develops into something quite a lot more.
I’m sure that the very unexpectedness of it all, actually reasons why I enjoy the week so much. While you couldn’t possibly determine what’s on the cards for 2018, you can be assured of several, exciting things: that you WILL meet a bunch of crazy, creative and inspiring folk. And that your schedule (if it even warrants the label by Day 2) WILL be thrown in the same pile as third row goodie bags. This is, without a doubt, for the best on every occasion.
Crazy as the week itself, I’m also in part, accountable for my own stress. When you’ve got a track record of posting once a month (trust me, I’m working on this), suddenly assuming you’ll whip up two posts a day, on TOP of a full timetable of shows, several after parties and just plain networking, is quite simply nuts. Indeed, there have been occasions in which I’ve surprised myself. Through late nights and early mornings, I’ve managed to achieve the impossible. But this can and has only lasted so long.
I’ve fallen head over heels into Fashion Week before. But to my first Australia Fashion Week (eep!), I’m trying to take a somewhat smarter approach. Broken down into 3 stages – weeks before, days before and during – here’s how I’m tackling my first Fashion Week of 2018. This post ought to act as a reminder for me as well as a guide for any first time goers and purely curious human beings (don’t deny that we’re not like that because we totally are).
Disclaimer: this does not include my posting schedule (partly because I believe this’d be a boring read, and I figure that you’ll find out; also very potentially because I don’t wish to hold myself accountable to unrealistic expectations. I’m trying to be smart about this, remember?).
WEEKS BEFORE FASHION WEEK
This period is what I like to consider the initial building block to effective networking, and more broadly, to reaping the most out of your attendance at Fashion Week. It involves a surprisingly great deal of time, effort, organisation and communication. After all, this is about making contact.. before you’ve even made contact.
I begin with reaching out to labels, designers, PR and media agencies. Opportunity may knock on your door, but all the same, you shouldn’t wait at home for it to do so. You should spend (a substantial part of) these weeks getting your name out there. If no one knows that you’re going, how are they supposed to offer the potential for collaboration while you’re there?
What’s more, it’s not solely the responsibility of others to direct this. You’re the pioneer behind your own platform, after all. You’re the creative. So go get creative. Don’t be afraid to make proposals. And even more so, don’t be afraid of getting no response. It’s the only way we learn, the only way we grow and the only way we eventually get a yes too.
Fashion Week, at least to me, is not solely about forming business networks. It’s about meeting like-minded people and curating inspired content. So I’ll reach out to photographers and bloggers during this time as well. Sometimes it’ll be to express interest in collaboration; other times, to simply express that “hey, I really look forward to seeing you there!”. No matter how big or small the individual you’re approaching, this is undoubtedly touching. I’ve received similar messages myself and made further effort to meet these people during the week as a result.
Finally, weeks before Fashion Week is a time to tick off any admin-related tasks: booking flights, organising accommodation, guaranteeing transport, etc, etc. Some may find this part dull. For myself, it’s an equal reminder of the fun (and the unknown) that’s ahead. It makes the trip real and definite, after all!
DAYS BEFORE FASHION WEEK (or where I’m at now).
Majority of the external prep should be finalised by now — though if it’s not, don’t freak out. Some designers don’t even send out their invitations until days before. For this sake, it’s impossible to be completely on top of things.
What you can be on top of, however, is yourself. That sounds far more weird written than it did in my head — but you know what I mean. This is a time to ready your outfits and your own personal schedule (in the case you have people to see; appointments or meetings to attend in addition). I personally love an all-encompassing itinerary, outlining when I should check in, to when I’m set to fly, to when I ought to schedule the Uber when I land. It’s how I maintain any sort of structure amid a week of foreseeable chaos.
Being personally prepared also entails a few other tasks — those more strongly related to self care. Not only is it important to get a few good nights’ sleep close to Fashion Week, it also pays to put time aside to complete a meaningful beauty regimen. Fashion Week is a time where we ought to feel our most confident. We’re more likely to put ourselves out there; to represent our own brand in a way that makes us proud, trusting that we look and feel our best.
I don’t know about you, but I don’t feel so sexy and self-governing when I can’t lift my arms in a dress, or, when I’m speaking beneath the shade of my upper lip hair. If it sounds dramatic, that’s because usually the effect of unwanted hair is very similar. It feels like the focal point of everyone’s attention — even if in reality, it is only that of your own.
I like to avoid the potential for shock and mishap as much as I possibly can. What’s more, I’ll take any opportunity for a self-love session. Who doesn’t love it when they finally get around to having that “everything” shower (need I expand on the concept, ladies? I trust that you know exactly what I’m talking about).
Definitely on the same wavelength in regards to self-care and adequate preparation are the team at Veet. As if to save the day (*week), I was very recently approached to trial and review the Veet Sensitive Precision Beauty Styler Expert, a waterproof styler for removing hair from our more delicate body parts.
With just a couple of days remaining until Fashion Week, I must say, I couldn’t be more ready to slip from outfit to outfit; from shoot to show. This styler does its job much like its name: with attention to detail. The newly waterproof tool has provided the perfect addition to my “everything” shower routine. It’s as if before, the term really was only colloquial. And now? It could be trade-marked; better yet, sealed with a bow and sold as an ideal kit.
There are two features of the Waterproof Styler which make me particularly sure of its place in this kit. Firstly, it comes with interchangeable heads, which allow us to alternate between two specifically designed razors, according to the area we wish to trim and style. For someone with eyebrows like mine, this is great news. I now have a razor which caters to this fine area, and what’s more, I don’t have to risk shaving off my whole eyebrow in order to maintain them. In the past, this has honestly made me less inclined to bother at all. While I’m aaall for an “everything” shower, I’m far less calmed by the concept of an “everything” razor.
The second feature worthy of note comes down to the blade design. Don’t ask me how it works, but they don’t actually touch your skin! This allows for a delicate and genuinely enjoyable shaving session (whether 10 minutes or 20 seconds in length). I’m using the Veet Beauty Styler at the moment (just two days before Fashion Week), and because it’s so compact, I’m most definitely taking it with me to Sydney too (you never know what desperate times may call for.. and I’m trusting Veet as a means for avoiding desperate measures).
DURING FASHION WEEK
While preparation is key, I’ll reiterate again that not even the most prepared candidate will ride their way down Runway Lane without a glitch. My advice? Bring snacks. Because hard work, problem solving, little sleep and lots and lots of running WILL make you starving. My favourite go-to snack at the moment is the Keep It Cleaner bliss balls — specifically, the caramelised fig and walnut flavour. It’s pleasant to know that with these treats, I’m both satisfying my hunger and nourishing myself with beneficial superfoods at the same time.
Other accessories I like to keep handy while I’m running around: nail polish (if I’m wearing it), because let’s be honest, chips are frustrating as hell. As is faded lipstick (so make sure this is always in your bag too). As I said before, a planner or timetable is crucial. I’ve been loving to hand-write my schedule lately. There’s something way more satisfying and easy to follow about a tangible timetable. That being said, this is no help if you don’t have it on you 24/7. So carry this with you everywhere. If it’s on your phone, you can probably ignore this point entirely — duh, you’ll be storying the whole thing anyway.
If you can integrate it into your outfit, wear a watch. Otherwise, your phone will do also do the job. Make sure to check the time often. It flies during Fashion Week, specifically when you need it most (whilst your creating content). Always having it handy ensures you know exactly when to leave for shows, appointments and that you stick to your schedule as best you can.
Bring chargers EVERYWHERE. What’s the single worst thing that can happen for media personnel during Fashion Week? Other than losing all their files or footage, it’s the death of the very tool on which they rely to capture, compile or edit content. This is usually the catalyst to a ruined schedule and a summary post that goes live a week after Fashion Week. You want to avoid this at all costs.
Last but not least, don’t forget who you’re representing! If it’s yourself, have your business cards on hand wherever you go. You never know who you might meet.. and who you may wish to remember you too.
Other than that, enjoy the rush, the fashion, the culture and most importantly, the champagne! It makes the stress slightly more manageable (oh, and glamorous).
I’ll see you at Fashion Week! Otherwise, keep up with my journey on my Instagram (@currentlylovingblog) or on my Youtube Channel (I’ll be vlogging my experience from my accomodation to runway shows, to shoots)!
I’d say expect a post soon, but who knows what will happen, right?!
Wearing: Missee Stockholm Dress (use the code mckenziecollins15 for 15% off), Zara blazer, Witchery boots, The Horse watch, Marc Jacobs i-pad case, Asos sunglasses.
Other accessories: Chanel lipstick (Rouge Allure – Captivante), Ruby nail polish (baby blue).
Photographed by Adrian Jackson