The Virgin’s Guide To Fashion Week

What you need to know before popping your fashion week cherry


For a first-timer, fashion week can be an overwhelming experience. We may read trend reports on websites and catch glimpses on Instagram, but do we really know what fashion weeks are like?

So we asked fashion stylist Randolph Tan, who attended Paris Fashion Week for the first time last week, for the 10 things he did not expect at the biggest fashion event in the world, and the pointers we can all learn from before heading to fashion week, locally or internationally. Here’s what he shared!

#1 Cosy up

"If you’re heading to fashion week in temperate countries like Paris and New York, never underestimate the cold. This is especially so since the Spring/Summer shows usually take place between September and October (during autumn) and February to March (during winter) for Fall/Winter presentations. Be sure to pick clothes in materials such as 100% wool or cashmere; Uniqlo’s affordable HeatTech range is great for layering as well."

#2 Don’t cross your legs  

"Avoid crossing your legs when you are sitting in the front row, unless you want photographers to yell at you. Doing so apparently disrupts their runway money-shot. Also, standing is strictly prohibited."

#3 Be considerate

"It’s okay to take pictures for social media, but while you’re looking for that perfect angle before the show starts, ask fellow attendees if doing so blocks their view. It’s not only polite, most people will also reciprocate so you won’t get an iPad in your shot."

#4 Familiarity might not be a good thing

"There seems to be an Asian sector where all the representatives from Asian press are allocated. It’s great to see familiar faces (while in a sea of Caucasians) but it’s not so great when the Asian section is located in a horrible area or behind a huge finale backdrop."

#5 Plan ahead

"Most fashion shows aren’t held in the same place, so planning your daily schedule in advance will help you get from one location to the other efficiently. Stick to public transportation like the train to keep costs low."

#6 Be punctual and patient

"Fashion shows tend to start 30 to 45 mins after the slated time. You can arrive (fashionably) late with no worries but being punctual allows you to pick the best corner view in the row or clear up mistakes such as having double-allocated seat number."

#7 Pack a portable charger

"I can’t emphasise enough how important portable chargers are during fashion week! They are huge lifesavers, especially since you will be out the whole day. It worked well as a conversation starter for me too. I met an editor who was in panic mode beside me when her phone was dying and I was the only one with a portable charger."

#8 Street style takes effort

"Street style photographers will be everywhere. Even at spots you’d least expect them, prepared to catch you at your most unglamorous. All those seemingly candid shots you see on websites and social media? They‘re not as easy to pose for as you think. Be prepared to walk back and forth multiple times for the photographers — it’s as funny-looking as it sounds."

#9 Go big on data

"If you are planning to use Snapchat and Instagram heavily, loan a pocket WiFi instead of getting a local SIM card, which usually only has a 2GB allowance. The SIM card only lasted two days for me."

#10 Have fun

"Always enjoy yourself. It might be a busy week of running around but take time to soak up your surroundings and be inspired." 

Picture: Burberry Prorsum Spring 2013

For more on fashion, click here. Or check out Bouchra Jarrar Is Lanvin’s New Artistic Director or 8 Fashion Labels All Minimalists Need To Know Now.

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