Thursday, September 11, 2008

On the Inside

Hey peeps - sorry for the delayed post. My videos and photos took forever to load on my computer last night, so by the time they did I was way too beat to write about anything. Anyway ...

Inside the Tents

I walk up the steps of the Mercedes-Benz tents, past the groups of gawking onlookers. The same security guard who stopped me a few nights before nodds me through. I'm in.

People are everywhere. Live videos of the current show can be seen on a circular centerpiece in the middle of the room and its music is being pumped through the speakers. Between the music and the people trying to talk over it, it's loud. Two Mercedes-Benz cars are on either side of the room. Fashionistas are giving air kisses left and right.

There's no dress code -- people are in jeans and flip flops, dresses, mile-high heels, super short shorts, t-shirts, gowns -- one guy who stands out in my mind had on sneakers, red stockings, black cut-off jean short shorts, and some kind of fur shawl/jacket thing.

I walk up to one of the stands and get my free French martini (holy cow, it tasted good). Then I find a coveted opening on one of the seating areas and ask the two gentlemen to my left who they're here for. The one in the clear glasses looks me up and down and simply says, "Vogue" in a disgusted voice as if I should've known that. I explain that it's my first Fashion Week, and they immediately perk up. They ask how I like it and we make small talk for a couple minutes. Clearly tired of talking to the new girl, they politely get up and tell me to have fun.

I get up and walk around some more and then meet a nice girl who asks me where I got the magazine I'm holding. I point her to the information booth that has scores of free magazines. She comes back and we start talking. She's a 17-year-old senior in high school from Slovakia who is trying to get signed by a modeling agency. This is her fourth fashion week, she explains. Yeah ...

Needless to say, it is useful befriending a pro. She knows just what to do when it is time for us to line up for the Mara Hoffman show. Lesson No. 1: Just because you've been confirmed for a show, doesn't mean you get a seat. When I check in, the woman hands me a card that says "stand." Lesson No. 2: Just because you get a standing card, doesn't mean you'll actaully get in. We are smart and come early so we are in the front of the line, but the people in the back aren't so lucky.

We walk in after all of the people with seats sit down and take our spots in the standing room. People shift around trying desperately to find a spot where they can see. The music gets louder. The lights go down. Time for the show to start.

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