Chictopia’s Everybody Is Ugly contributors Hope Adela (Pink_Champagne), Angie (angiekje), and Cris (fashionjuice) were the TOP 3 editors to win the trip to attend the prestigious Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in New York!
As you all should know, the top three contributors of Chictopia’s Everybody Is Ugly win an invitation to attend New York Fashion Week and get to report on the fashion shows with us! Attending New York Fashion Week is a highly coveted prize that many dream of being a part of. We were so pleased with the editors’ coverage of fashion week this season! Here’s what our lovely editors had to say about attending NYFW!
How did you pack for NYFW? Was it difficult figuring out what to wear?
Hope Adela – I basically sat down and came up with the most creative and Avant-Garde ensembles I could think of, jotting them down on the pages of my STYLIT. I had heard that most people at NYFW wore lots of neutrals and streamlined silhouettes. I stayed true to my flamboyant vintage-inspired style, and purposely crafted my outfits with lots of contrasting colors, unique accessories and full feminine skirts. This approach to NYFW dressing certainly paid off—-I had my picture taken several dozen times per day and was even featured on Vogue UK.com!
Cris – It wasn’t that difficult but I had to start packing a week ahead. Since I was traveling from Texas, making a stop at a relative’s house prior to NYC and take a bus from there, I had to make sure to pack light. So I had to plan my outfits in a way that I can use the same coats, cardigans, bags and shoes.
Angie – I found it extremely difficult to decide what to wear to NYFW. I figured most people would be in the fashion industry for a significant amount of years, while my interest in fashion is pretty new to me. I’ve always been someone who enjoyed shopping, but I only realized I really enjoyed fashion after being Nicolas Zavaliaris assistant. But then I read the comment of Hope’s friend David Uberti to go big or don’t go at all… and I figured he was right. Between all the people dressed in monochromatic basic garments, I am sure we stood out.
Was MBFW like you expected?
Hope Adela – When Amethyst messaged me with the news of my trip, I quickly did a lot of research on MBFW (random Googling, blog and YouTube exploration, etc.), so I was pretty well- prepared for the real life thing. (I would highly suggest doing similar research prior to attending MBFW.) However, upon arriving at the actual Lincoln Center, I was astounded at the huge number of freebies available. “All you can drink” Diet Pepsi, Figi Water, Starbucks Frappucinos, plus free daily Tresme hair products and Maybelline makeup. It was like Christmas!
Not to sound narcissistic, but I was also surprised at how many people took my picture each day. I was expecting maybe one or two requests for street style photos during the entire trip, so you can imagine my elation at getting asked to pose for pictures every 5 to 10 minutes. Once again, I urge you to dress creatively if you want this to happen!
Cris – Since I was fortunate to attend the previous MBFW last September 2010, I must say that it was still the same busy yet fabulous fashion week. Some of the men guarding the entrance were stricter than usual, asking to see the actual invitations to the shows. It wasn’t consistent though as some were pretty lenient. It may be a hassle to dig in your bag and see which invitation to show them but I actually prefer it that way. Last time I was there, the venue was a riot, making me think people were sneaking in their friends who weren’t actually invited to the shows. While it would be cool to have friends with you, we lose the exclusivity of Fashion Week and not in a good way.
Angie – I actually didn’t know what to expect, since I’ve never been to any fashion show before MBFW. There was a lot of waiting, but the waiting was always rewarded with interesting runway shows or the box experience. The experience of the box was my ultimate favorite, Binetti had the most gorgeous collection and I loved the fact that we could just walk around and take pictures up close.
What was your first impression of being inside the tents and attending the shows?
Hope Adela – I was overcome with a huge endorphin-inducing joy. It was like the ending scene of “The Breakfast Club” when Bender fistpumps the air after getting out of detention: feelings of pure accomplishment, excitement and freedom. (No, I didn’t actually break out a fistpump on the steps of Lincoln Center!) Not to sound flakey, but I could literally feel the tears of happiness and giddy joy welling up in my eyes. I DID IT. It almost felt like the first few moments at the Lincoln Center were carried out in movie-like slow motion.
Cris – The first time I attended MBFW was such an amazing experience. It was simply breath-taking. If someone told me back in school that I’ll get to attend the prestigious Mercedes-Benz Fashion Shows in New York or any other country for that matter, I wouldn’t believe it! And now, I’ve been to my second MBFW and it still is a dream come true for me! I will never get tired of attending MBFW shows and wouldn’t miss it for the world!
Angie – I would compare the tents and the booths in the first hall to the booths you would see at any type of fair. Not that special on their own, but knowing that these were fashion oriented made them “a girls best friend” at the Mercedes-Benz event. Attending the shows was a once in a lifetime experience. I hope to do more of them, but I think the first fashion shows you attend will always be in your heart for some reason. I loved being so close to all the creations on the runway instead of watching them on television.
What were your favorite (or least favorite) experiences at NYFW?
Hope Adela – One of my top experiences at NYFW was finally getting to meet my friend and fellow EIU editor, Angie. We shared a hotel room, walked to fashion venues, and bonded over meals. I was a little nervous about meeting her in person (what if we didn’t get along?) but we immediately clicked within the first 5 minutes. I think I need to find an excuse to visit Belgium one of these days!
Cris – My favorite experiences during NYFW is getting to see in person the designers, stylists, fashion icons, fellow fashion bloggers and fashion editors that I look up to. Seeing Emmanuelle Alt, Andre Leon Talley, Olivia Palermo, Brad Goreski and Kelly of TheGlamorai.com among others were indeed my most memorable moments of Fashion Week.
Angie – My favorite experience was the fact that I found out that we, as fashion bloggers, could really mean something in the world of fashion. For some reason most people were dressed in basic black outfits, with no creative expression at all. Being a fashion blogger and someone who takes in interest in street style pieces made us stand out from the crowd… often with either high street and/or vintage garments. Isn’t that just amazing, to be able to stand out in a crowd that wears mostly expensive designer pieces?
My least favorite experience was all the waiting in high heels, my feet have never been as swollen. But I do live by the rule: No pain, no gain.
Would you say that Fashion Week is as stressful as people say it is?
Hope Adela – YES. Fashion Week is most definitely stressful. Not only do you have to run around from your hotel to the other shows, but, as a Chictopia editor, Angie and I had to also take into account our 12 hour article turn arounds. Sometimes, we’d have to stay up till 2 or 3 in the morning writing our articles, only to have to wake up at 6 am the next morning to get ready for a 9 am show. On top of that, there was the issue of carting around a camera, laptop, and change of shoes. Not only did we have to carry all that junk around on the subway and downtown, but we also had to tote it around to the different shows at the Lincoln Center.
Cris – While Fashion Week is one glamorous event in the fashion industry, it tends to be stressful at times. If you’re not fortunate enough to have a chauffeur, chances are, you’re always running to catch the subway to your next event while carrying extra shoes, coats and what not. For me, the Fall NYFW is more tiring because of the extra coats you have to lug around – not to mention the boots in case we experience snow. It wouldn’t be a hassle if you had booked a hotel nearby. But we know how expensive NYC hotels can be. Nevertheless, all those subway rides and extra baggage are forgotten when you get inside and attend the fashion shows yourself.
Angie – Not really. If there was any stress at all, it was the fact that we needed to upload our articles within 12 hours. But 12 hours is not such a tight schedule when you bring your laptop to the event and write from there. I don’t think I have been stressed at all… I have been very tired instead.
What were some of the highlights of your time at Fashion Week?
Hope Adela – I enjoyed meeting my personal style icon, Tziporah Salamon (you may have seen her picture in my previous EIU article about the website Advanced Style). I was talking with a reporter, and she started hovering near me like she wanted to have a word or say something about my outfit. I started freaking out and managed to break away from the reporter’s conversation to gush over her ensemble. We talked for some time about fashion and style-it was an incredible experience!
Cris – Attending Tracy Reese and Rebecca Minkoff were the highlights and best moments of my Fashion Week! I personally love these two designers and being able to attend their shows are once in a lifetime experiences I’ll always remember!
Angie – The Betsey Johnson runway show and Binetti at the box. Betsey Johnson was, as expected, a great experience. She was the only designer who took the time to come out, do a little dance, give a bit of love and ended with a fantastic cartwheel followed by gorgeous giraffe-legged models with enormous flowers in their hands. (their legs came up to her waist… okay Betsey isn’t the tallest out there, but still… up to her waist) And I will admit that the show made me emotional at that point. I loved every bit.
What are some tips you have for people planning to attend the next MBFW?
Hope Adela – Bring along a comfortable, yet stylish pair of shoes. You want to wear something that will look fine with your super-fashionable outfit, because you might not always have room in your bag to bring along an extra pair of shoes (how weird would sneakers look with a silk dress?) but that are also good for walking multiple miles. Carry around a small makeup kit. You never know when you’ll be needing a makeup retouch! Pack your powder, nail file lipliner, and lipstick into a small zippered pouch and carry with you at all times. Wear comfortable underwear. There is nothing more un-elegant than de-wedigfying yourself in front of Ms. Jay. Also, bring along business cards. It’s much easier than writing down all your info to give to street style photographers. Make sure to bring A LOT of business cards (several hundred); I ran out of mine the first two days.
Cris – If you are planning to attend MBFW without the stress of it all, save up for a chic hotel near the venue. While there are different venues during Fashion Week, most of the shows are held at the Lincoln Center. If most of your shows are there, then choose a hotel close to Lincoln Center to save you time from commuting and will allow you to go back to your room in between shows. When it comes to dressing up, don’t hold back and don’t be afraid to wear something bold, too matchy-matchy or something mis-matched! This is the perfect time to go all out so make sure to wear that over-the-top piece and be ready to get snapped! But don’t forget to pack classic pieces too that will match every outfit you have to save some luggage space.
Angie – If you are traveling from outside the US make sure you get your passport and/or visa on time. If you are afraid that it might not be on time, contact the correct facilities… if you are not sure whom to contact— just contact them all. If you like having your picture taken by fellow street style bloggers, make sure to go bold. Don’t change your style completely, just make those adjustments needed to make you stand out from the crowd. Color is very popular and if you are going in winter, you might want to bring that faux fur coat/stole/hat. Bring any statement pieces you own, in order to differentiate yourself. It is a very good idea to bring your largest purse, because you might want to bring flats/comfortable shoes, so you can change around the corner, or if your feet are very sore you can change before or after the shows. MBFW is very easily accessible by tube, so invest in a seven days MTA-pass, even if you are only going up to five days.
What are your overall thoughts about your experience at NYFW? Did you learn anything that will affect you in the long run?
Hope Adela – Honestly, I was super proud of myself for attending NYFW. This was my first time traveling by myself, and I was super nervous about getting on the wrong train, losing my luggage, etc. (Plus, I had to get a camera, laptop, and cell phone, and figure out how to use them, days before the trip. Imagine the stress!) On top of that, I felt a huge accomplishment that little old me from a small town in Amish-country Pennsylvania who had been homeschooled K-12 and had come from a conservative Christian family, had worked hard enough to be asked to attend one of the world’s biggest fashion events in the city that never sleeps. Attending NYFW has HUGELY boosted my self-confidence, not only in my prospective career as a fashion journalist, but as an overall person. Thank you, Chictopia, for giving me the opportunity to make my dreams come true!
Cris – On this most recent MBFW experience, I learned to not be too shy to approach people. Take for example, I personally went up to Kelly of TheGlamorai.com, introduced myself, took photos with her and chatted a little bit. Same goes with the people sitting next to you at shows. Don’t forget to network because in this industry, it’s important to make connections!
Angie – I didn’t learn something in particular in the sense of styling, but it did change me as a person. I realize that I need to do something with my interest in the fashion industry, preferably something that has to do with writing. But that dream is still a work in progress.
Congrats again ladies! You guys did a wonderful job and we’re happy you guys had such a blast in NY!
For more information on becoming an EIU Contributor, and for a chance to win a trip to NY for Fashion Week, please e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org or message Cheri!