What model left town during New York Fashion Week? THIS CHICK! Whose feet are not covered in blisters from wearing heels to events? MOI! Who missed out on all the 13 year olds with stage mothers (WALK FASTER) holding up sidewalk foot traffic? FOR THE MOST PART, I DID.
Am I the worst sort of model? Perhaps. I didn't really care about fashion week that much (also, I think caring more about making it home for my father's birthday and you know, actually working, is a good thing). Fashion week has never felt like it was FOR me, and even with the recent strides in fashion for more body types, this continues to be the case, both socially and economically.
Photo: Getty Images
I didn't get an invite to any of the shows or to go with any of the brands to plus size fashion events like CurvyCon (several of my friends did and they killed it!). When no invitation or collaboration request is received, lots of models and bloggers will just request and then purchase their own tickets to events like these. But me? These days, I can hardly afford to take the subway into the city, let alone pay $400 for a fashion show/ those little FUCKING DELICIOUS CORN MUFFINS AT THE FASHION BRUNCH EVENTS. Plus, as you may have read in my previous posts, A LOT OF THESE EVENTS DON'T INCLUDE DRINKS. If you're going to charge me over $100 to be anywhere you better be providing carbs in the form of alcohol, not bread. I've got networking to do.
It's not surprising that bloggers like myself (I mean, I'm pretty new still so I get it) are left out in the cold. There's a Racked article circulating about how even at plus size events, they're still paying the popular skinny-mini-fashion-elite to show up and take sponsored pictures for their Instagram pages despite the fact that it has NOTHING TO DO WITH THEM AND THEIR PLATFORM. Why is that the case? Because even the full figured fashion world is still placing a higher value on straight size fashion, just like the media.
Plus size fashion is viewed as "brave," and "body positive" (why can't all bodies be body positive?), but rarely is it appreciated just for the sake of art like it's straight size equivalent. If we're not even getting paid in our own niche, where are we supposed to carve out space for ourselves and to eventually find success? It's just like high school for us all over again, except this time the thin popular girls are taking our money while pandering to us as well. Don't get me wrong, I think that these shows are A HUGE STEP for us and are absolutely wonderful. But I'd like to see us PAY our plus size supporters and THEN invite straight size bloggers who want to attend of their own volition.
However, I WAS INVITED to one teeny event before I left town. It wasn't a fashion show, but I was pretty excited (mostly about the free champagne), so I decided to go. It was an event for bloggers who are trying to break into the industry and develop relationships with brands (I won't include the name lest I hurt someones feelings since I'm going to keep it real, as I always do).
The event was scheduled to meet at a penthouse downtown (see view above) and had all the hallmarks of a douche-tastic Fashion Week Networking Party. As expected, when I arrived, there were no plus fashion designers and almost no plus size attendees, and it took me a little while to settle in.
I walked in and immediately went to the bar (I'm shy). They were pouring 3 sip mini glasses of some god awful pink champagne that was mostly a headache in a glass.
I had two immediately.
Naturally, the bartender laughed as he saw me stack the cups and then offered a bottle to me. But at that point in the night, I wasn't quite ready to be the only plus model within arms reach that was also wandering around the establishment with a open bottle of champagne. Perhaps I should've reconsidered.
I don't like to generalize, and while I don't find this to be true in life, it's been unfortunately accurate in my experience at NYC fashion events: a lot of the classic model types want nothing to do with you if you're not in their wheelhouse. I walked up to several girls to say hello and was met with cold and unfriendly responses before I found a legit group of mixed size ladies with different blogs about fashion, vintage goods, and beauty. They welcomed me with smiles and offers to take pictures together, and I liked them immediately.
Yes, I stole this from Instagram.
After the mingling process was over we listened to an hour long talk about blogging. The panel was very friendly and sweet, but my friends and I found it to be regrettably rudimentary. They covered topics like: "don't post pictures of your grandmother on your professional account," and "if you have a huge following of creeps you won't necessarily hit the right market stats." (DUH). We mostly sat on our phones (like the rest of the millennial audience) and tried to edit the pictures we'd just taken (the room was very dark and we were very disappointed to learn that there was no photo booth).
Although we decided to leave early and I felt like the night was mostly a bust, I ended up with new friends and an excuse to wear a nice dress and heels (oh, and a gift bag with a sheet mask in it, you can never have too many of those). So all in all, I think it was worth the 3 hours, 2 subway transfers, and champagne headache. But I hope next fashion week, I can be one of the models whose picture is being taken by a size 2 with a million followers who got paid to be there.