We got there on the final day of fashion week, so I headed up to the Lincoln Center, which was done with its shows for the week and was pretty empty. They were actually dismantling all of it by the time we got there.
Top: Lincoln Center
Bottom left: taking it apart
Bottom right: cool skyline image on a bus!
So we left Lincoln Center and headed over to one of the other locations, which was for a Calvin Klein show. It was off of a random-feeling side street, and there were some of those VIP-looking barricades to keep people off the street. There were a bunch of people gathering outside behind the barricades, most of whom were clearly fashion bloggers taking ridiculous photos of themselves and wandering around waiting for other people to take their photos. I just got kind of a grimy, sleazy feeling from it and I couldn't put my finger on why, except that I knew I really didn't want to stick around very long. One of the most obnoxious parts about all of this to me was the fact that this group was hovering around a Calvin Klein show, yet none of them were remotely within a Calvin Klein aesthetic (minimal, clean, simple), so it seemed pretty clear that not many of these people were there due to an interest in the designer; rather, it seemed they were there because its "OMGZFASHUNWEEK!" and it's the place to be regardless of what you like. Something about that just really bugged me, you know? For example, this girl in the topknot, wedges, and dowdy dress wandered around in front of cameras and stood pigeon-toed in the street for the entire time I was there, taking her photo and waiting for/asking other people to take her photo as well.
There was also a ton of the standard blogger-uniform stuff: topknots, leather skirts, ill-fitting pants, jean jackets, etc. I'm not hating on any of these things in particular, it was just so... tiresome seeing it all together on a group of people taking it so seriously. Almost everyone there was trying to get photos of themselves and waiting for someone famous to come up (obvious because of the fact that they would all rush the corner at the same time when it looked like someone was coming, then fall back disappointed when it wasn't a celebrity/famous blogger). I was on the other side of the street with the other non-fashiony people, and to be honest, the whole thing just looked ridiculous. Again, I'm not trying to hate on fashion or discredit fashion week in general, I'm just saying that the feeling I got from watching it was discomfort and embarrassment. The absolute last thing I wanted was to be associated with the group on the other side.
What finally took the cake was this chick. This was the culmination of every person there trying to outdo each other with a more "unique" ensemble. She's literally wearing the bottom half of a prom dress with leather/wood heels, a cargo utility vest, enormous (probably "vintage") earrings, and ironic glasses (and of course, insanely expensive DSLR that she mostly tried to pawn on other people to take her photo). I just can't... It looks so bad, and to me, it's not "style" or "personal expression" aside from a desire to be more outrageous than everyone else. Maybe that's legitimate in some circles, but I just can't get on board.
I've always vaguely felt that "Fashion Week" and "designer" style was considered the apex of an interest in fashion by the powers that be. As in, reading Vogue (and enjoying it) is an expectation, fashion shows are to be regarded as the ultimate field trip, and it's imperative to focus on what's in this season as opposed to passe. Even blogs themselves are obsessed with fashion week, so it just seems that the way to be interested in fashion requires a similar obsession and dedication to outdoing someone else's version of current trends. I certainly don't agree with "in/out" lists and I really don't enjoy Vogue (I've tried...), but I couldn't shake the feeling that fashion week was the place to be according to people that matter. I actually do really enjoy looking at fashion week slideshows on Style.com to see new collections and the different styles designers come up with every year, but I just can't understand what was going on outside. It was honestly kind of gross watching the vapidness of some of the people standing outside, spending an entire day just standing out there trying to get someone to take their photo so they could post it on a blog to prove their importance and the value of their "creativity." Add to that the seriousness of the one-upmanship... it was all just too much.
It was really difficult for me to reconcile having my own blog that focuses on clothing and fashion with the distaste that the NYFW spectators left in my mouth (just want to reiterate that the purpose of it and actual shows aren't on my radar, this is really more about the atmosphere and the craziness that it inspires in people outside of the shows themselves) . I mean, it's definitely clear that having a blog where I take pictures of myself and talk about my outfits is focused on the sort of superficial part of my interests, and I've been okay with that so far. Seeing how ridiculous it looked from the outside at fashion week kind of scared me though - I was afraid that having this as a hobby would look as if I had no other interests, no concern for the world outside of myself and how I look. For a few days, I really reconsidered whether I wanted to spend a significant portion of my week talking about how I look and how I dress. Additionally, I think fashion as an interest is somewhat different than blogging about it - many people take the care to look and dress well, but it's a step further to take photos of myself, post them on the internet, and talk about my appearance.
I eventually came to the realization that there's nothing wrong with having fashion as an interest and a hobby, and I certainly don't think that all people with that interest (or all bloggers, for that matter) are just superficial, vapid, starf*ckers just because some of them are. I started to understand more that the reason I like blogging the way I do it is because it's fun to be part of a community of girls who have an interest in fashion, but still have lives and interests outside of that. I've been using my blog as sort of a way to figure out my own personal style and learn what I'm interested in and why, and I do so because I was inspired by other girls doing the same. I don't really follow "aspirational" blogs where everything is only about the (insanely expensive, unattainable) clothes and everything from the outfit to the hair to the home decor looks perfect. I follow real girls' blogs where they show outfits they really wear, sometimes great and sometimes flawed, and talk about themselves as real people too. I don't enjoy or like blogs, magazines, or events where "They" tell me what's in and what's out, what's cool and what's not, or what I should be aspiring to. I don't want to have to follow others' rules about fashion, the point of it is to learn what I like for myself whether that's popular or not. I enjoy seeing and discussing the development of my personal style, and I enjoy reading about other girls' similar journeys. Once that became clearer to me, it was much easier to justify continuing my blog with a better focus. I'm not particularly interested in monetizing my blog or making a business out of it (which is such a prevalent goal that entire communities are set up to support it and it's hard to remember sometimes that this doesn't have to be the be-all end-all of a blog). I'm more interested in sharing my style (good and bad) and talking to other girls doing the same.
I hope this makes sense, and I certainly hope I didn't offend anyone because that is not my intent. I just wanted to share a little bit about the struggle I've had with whether blogging was right for me because of some of the issues NYFW raised, and I've come to realize that it is (at least for now), but in a different way than I had anticipated when I started. I hope you guys enjoy what I write and post, because I do it for myself and to connect with others, and I certainly enjoy what you share with me too.
Tell me how you feel about blogging - is it ever hard for you to reconcile it with your real life?