You’ve seen the shows via live streaming – strobe lights, pulsating music, gorgeous models and drool-worthy runway looks. Everything in frame is picture-perfect.
Or is it?
Editors and fashion buyers from the world over gather at Fashion Week to spot the trends for the next season. Top-tier customers are invited to the front row to pick out what they will be wearing (exclusively) to the next ball. It’s all business-like and very restrained since everyone is there with a purpose.
But throw the KOLs (that would be the curious onlookers) and the paparazzi into the mix, and you have a circus waiting to unfold.
Welcome to the real fashion world – the one before those 20 minutes of gorgeousness and glory.
They've made a list and checked it twice. The show is just two hours from now and the PR swears upon her first-born that you are on the invite list so where in the world is that invite card!
Between that cute bellhop and the grim-faced concierge, somebody's BFF must really want that seat at the Dior show. During Fashion Week, an invite is as prized as a Black Card. Everyone aged 10 to 100 wants in on it.
Editors put on their best behaviour towards the concierge just so he will make it his priority to get every invite with your name delivered right into your waiting arms. Make friends, not enemies, yo!
You've finally landed that invite but what's with the holdup at the door? Well, not everyone in that queue is legitimate (hello, invisible invites).
Those burly men at the door double as human X-ray machines to sift out the natural blondes who are masquerading as Madame Du Xiao Yun.
From the back of the line, we witness everything from posers shoved in the face, being shouted at and shamed out of the queue. Messing with these blokes (whose arms are the size of pipes) is not a good idea.
Super-hot shows like Chanel play it so safe that they require invitees to bring an identity card that matches the name on the invite.
However, if you’re legit, the doors are wide open and very often, strapping ushers are assigned to walk you right to your seat. How very classy!
You’ll want to settle down quickly before the press pack on the seat magically disappears (yes, now you see it, later you might not).
In Europe, where air-conditioning is a luxury, the fan is your arm candy.
Imagine 483 people packed into in an enclosed space, shoulder to shoulder for what feels like an eternity before the start of every show. Sweat mixed with every imaginable eau de parfum cocktail doesn’t give you Chanel No5.
With a fan in hand, you can effortlessly, er, fan off every offending odour. Why do you think Karl Lagerfeld is always clutching one as if his life depended on it
It's all about looking right
So that hot girl has just changed into her fifth #OOTD! Either she's being paid buckets to get snapped in those threads or she's the princess of Brunei.
The chameleons are dressed for the paparazzi what with their artfully curated ensembles – Prada sunnies teamed with Gucci stacked heels, pleated maxi skirt and cotton laser-cut crop top. The soft sell of recognisable labels paired with a devil-may- care attitude gets lenses clicking like clockwork every single time.
The rule of thumb for looking like a seasoned street star is to stay far, far away from head-to-toe runway exits. Personalise, personalise, and personalise!
AND if you’re deemed well-dressed by the ushers, there’s even a chance of a seat upgrade when front-rowers pull a no-show. Easy-peasy!
Best foot forward
Christian Louboutin. Jimmy Choo. Manolo Blahnik. Whichever it is, you'd never strike these pretty babies against stones right? Then why would you be striking pavement in them?
European cities and their cobblestones are sworn enemies of your pretty stilettos. Unless you're lucky enough to be chauffeur-driven and dropped off right at the door, chances are, you’ll knick the heels just by pounding on the cobblestones.
So if you don't want to ruin those precious babies, change into them only just before making the grand entrance. Yes, even the street stars and key editors do that. There's no shame in showing our fave shoes TLC.
For more fashion, head here. Check out The New Celebrity It-bag According To Kendall Jenner and Here’s Everything From The Vans X Karl Lagerfeld Collab.