A Lifestyle blog based in Sonoma County, in the heart of Wine Country. Amber is an outspoken voice for local activism, local wine tourism, and more.

5 Tips For Attending New York Fashion Week

Backstage at Pamella Roland, wearing Tallulah Boutique pearls

Fashion Week in New York as many have come to know it now hangs in the balance. With Mercedes Benz no longer a sponsor, much of what I learned about applying for access to the tents no longer applies. New York Fashion Week of course, will carry on just fine. It's just figuring out who will carry on the sponsorship. Below find my five hard earned tips for navigating the city and attending shows which are sure to help you no matter who takes over to host one of the biggest events in fashion!

Try your very best to arrive early to shows
Between NYFW and MBFW I was able to score invitations to 10 shows. Not bad for my very first attendance! Unfortunately, due to scheduling conflicts I was only able to attend 8. If for any reason you cannot attend a show, let the PR person know in writing before hand. Always. The fashion and art scenes are often regarded as rude and elitist but from my experience, these worlds actually operate on old world etiquette. If you have received an invitation that is because someone, somewhere, decided that you were worth a seat at their show. If you are not able to attend, be sure to give them the courtesy of letting them know at least 48 hours in advance if possible.

Once you have your invitation, be sure to arrive early. Yes, fashion shows often start late. If the show is scheduled to start at 9am, it will most likely open it's doors to attendees around 9:35, with the show starting shortly after. Still, be sure to arrive no later than thirty minutes before what the time says on your invitation. Trust me. A friend of mine who is a buyer for a very well known stylist/designer had invited me as their guest to a show - and they were locked due to arriving late. I was seated inside, but the person who invited me wasn't!

Standing in front of "Ercedes Benz Fashion Week" LOL - Mirembe's hands were cold b/c I was wearing her gloves!

Get over the dainty bag idea
I know, I know. You see the mega-bloggers and fashion editors with their dainty clutches and think that you can swing it too. And...Unless you've got a personal driver, an assistant, or a  dutiful puppy boyfriend who is willing to shlep your coat, change of shoes, camera, cards, extra batteries, and scarf, you're going to have to upgrade your bag status. Think big. Think statement bag. Think the size of a small child. Perhaps a super on trend leather backpack? Trust me, you'll need it.

Navigate the city like a pro
While in New York I mainly used the public transit: MTA (which is the subway/bus system),  supplementing only with UberX and taxis when I had to be somewhere quick. The MTA has a weekly card that is $30 plus $1 card fee that will give you unlimited rides for 7 days. Considering that each bus/train ride is $2.50, this is easily the most economic choice. UberX is great as well, as a few times I had taxis that would stop, ask where I was headed, and then leave me on the curb because they weren't headed in the same direction I was...With Uber, they arrive already knowing your destination*.

Helpful apps: HopStop, Uber. HopStop will help navigate you through the extensive MTA bus/train system; simply type in the address of where you'd like to go, and it will quite literally walk you through each step and stop you need to get to your destination. The compass app on your phone will also be helpful, as it is often hard to tell east from west in New York!

NOLCHA FW, MBFW, NYFW, MADE FW...So many all at the same time! I once attended 3 out of the 4 in one day

Be aggressive 
Being dainty and soft spoken will not get you too far in a metropolitan city like New York, let alone fashion week. I'm not saying you need to be rude, but I definitely recommend tapping into your more assertive side. A couple of examples: I had mistakenly been given a "standing" ticket, when I in fact had a seat assignment for a particular show: It took a very firm stance, a refusal to break eye contact, and the demand of a PR rep to get it settled. Another example: while at another show and seated in my assigned chair, I actually had another blogger request my seat -while there were several empty seats next to me. Sure, it would have been easy to just scoot down, but I didn't let that happen. (Turns out I was seated next to some mega-blogger that I hadn't heard of, and the other woman had wanted her ear. Still didn't happen.) 

Sounds logical, right? It's something that all of us do on a regular basis, so why would NYFW be any different? I arrived in New York on the 11th and ate that evening. I didn't eat another meal until the evening of the 14th. I know. It wasn't on purpose, and I sure as hell do not recommend it. If you look at my photos from New York, you'll notice that there aren't any photos of food. I got some flack for not eating in a city famous for it's cuisine, but truth be told I rarely had the time. Between the excitement of being in New York, Fashion Week, the constant travel, caffeine, lack of sleep, and sensory overload, food rarely crossed my mind. However I did pay a price; less than an hour after my very last show of my trip, I came down with the worst stomach pains I have ever endured. I broke into a cold sweat, was incredibly nauseous, and came down with a migraine. Remember to eat! 

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