NYFW season is officially here, and who doesn't love all the glam that the runway shows and presentations bring? If you remember I had my jewelry line on the Art Hearts Fashion runway on February 12th - New York Fashion Week 2017: House of Byfield x Dstyle x SiammPatra. It was an unforgettable experience to work with different brands. This time I chose not to participate on the runway, but I've chosen to connect with my fellow fashionistas who attend the shows. With different tasks to participate during the fashion week, I learned something new:
As a jewelry designer, I find it's quite important to get to know clothing designers and get inspired from them because we can't wear jewelry without beautiful clothes to complete a look.
Here's my biggest learning experiences from New York Fashion Week September 2017.
1. No one is you and that is your power.
Fashion to me is like self-expression, what you wear represents who you are. Moreover Fashion week is a kinda event that encourages both designers and guest attendees to be creative and innovative with their looks as well as feeling good from the inside. Don't let an outfit wear you, wear the outfit!
I simply wore my go-to any occasion uniform; bubble gum pink pantsuit is now my favorite piece. It's a classical look of masculine form, yet enhance the femininity with the soft and girly color like pink and floral print. I completed my outfit with my SiammPatra jewelry. I'm a big fan of mix & match - whether a little or a lot, I always aim for a dramatically chic look.
2. Fashion week is not all about the shows anymore, it's all about networking, networking, and networking.
As you know, you can watch every show live straight out from your computers or devices without appearing at the shows. But the beauty of attending the show never fades away. People still keep attending the shows, not just to see only the shows right in front of them, but they also hope to bump into celebrities, amazing fashion influencers, idols, buyers or the future partner-in-crimes. And it sure is fun just to dress up. I'm very fortunate to be able to connect with amazing ladies through the years since I moved to USA. I've learned so much and they’ve given me so much inspiration.. This year in New York Fashion Week, I got to meet Chigi from Chigisworld.com in person. We've met each other through Instagram about a year ago. She also had me featured on her blog under category: Behind The Magic - SiammPatra. I appreciated her enthusiasm to get to know me as a brand and the story behind the brand. Since then she has become a SiammPatra Brand Ambassador and a good friend. We finally met in person and had a very nice conversation spanning from anything and everything that came in to our minds. She didn't just bring her beautiful personality and appearance, she introduced me to her Houston bossbabe bloggers too. I made more friends, hallelujah!
3. Fashion shows almost always start late.
From my experience attending the runway last season, I can tell you that the backstage is not all the glitz and glamour that you see on the front. There is always and will always have last minute things that might not go as a planned and that could be a reason to effect the schedule (in my show that was exactly the case!) In general, most shows will be slightly about 30 minutes late.
4. If you can't find moments, make them!
I always want to make sure that my styling and my jewelry have been seen and recognized. I'm pretty much a billboard myself. Also I believe anything can happen in Fashion Week, so I was seeking an opportunity to get free advertising (nothing wrong about that, right?) Luckily I happened to get notice by a couple photographers. One of them is an IMG photographer that found fashion influencers to take photos with Lexus cars (I actually just learned that Lexus x NYFW #HowFashionTravels is a main sponsor of Fashion week instead of Mercedes Bez this year! - Where had I been? You might ask...LOL). I knew I was very stiff and nervous taking photos but I found the moments of myself. I found that people realized my identity.
5. Fashion raises Political Awareness.
In recent years, sexism, racism and human right have taken the world's attention. Fashion's always functioned as a reflection of the world at large and this season designers have taken the stages to talk about the issues that are really important for them. For some, many different designers make political statements on tees or jackets while Vogue-in-chief Anna Wintour, standing up for supporting rights with the pin for Planned Parenthood. At the mean time on Clarkson Sq, I spotted quite a few outstanding transgender fashionistas and It's not about sexism that make them different than the others because we share the same love of fashion.
6. The days are long and the meals are rare.
This is something that I learned from my fashionista friends who had lined up shows for the entire week of the NYFW. Each day my fellow fashionistas wake up very early to have photoshoots prior to each NYFW show they attend. This makes it less stressful for them when there is shooting in between the shows or presentation meetings. And if you don't really put your meals in your schedule, you will simply miss eating. Most of fashionistas that I talked with, they carried a couple fruit bars to snack in between the shows. They mostly have real meals just for breakfast and late dinner after the shows.
7. Gratitude is a key.
I'm going to be honest with you. NYFW can seem intimidating especially if you go there for the first time! I was overwhelmed by so many fabulous fashionistas and models at the shows. They seem to be so perfect in every essence of their details. As you can see, it's so easy to go down the rabbit hole of comparison trap. I did that last year and I felt terrible. This year I told myself to have fun with my wardrobe and play with the magic "Make it work." This way, I feel good to embrace my mistakes and strive to make an even better me and better experience next season.
8. Models have become diverse.
Something that I adore especially in New York Fashion Week this year that designer brands who are super boisterous made super positive shifts by having more that just one-color models on the stage and the most exciting shows don't stop there. Calvin Klein sent a 16-year-old transgender model down the runway and fashion label Chromat outfitted two plus-size models with anti-chafing thigh bands, according to reports from The New York Times and Vogue. I'm so happy to see that the body positive movement has taken the runway this time and I hope to see more and more around the globe. Women should be proud and positive with their own body shapes and skins.
9. Stay humble, and be kind.
Either in the start-up world or the professional show-stopper, it can be easy to let things get to your hand. It's a big pool of opportunity and people from around the world hustle and bustle around fashion week. You will never know who is who and who those people know. Its important to be respectful, just for the simple fact that everyone deserves it, no matter who they are. Who knows, that quiet person you meet in the corner might be the person knows your idols or becomes a really big fish in the nearest future. Reality is, you're still a small baby fish (No matter level you are - Look at what Kanye West stormed the VMA's stage during Taylor Swift's speech years ago, the intension is still there and Taylor Swift can't let it go and make it to her latest album; "Look What You Made Me Do"! Oh, boy!) So stay humble and kind (If you don't get motivate enough, listen to my favorite song: Humble and Kind by Tim McGraw, LOL). Because if you think you know everything or above the others, you're probably missing out on a lot of things.
10. Don't go at the show alone. (Optional)
As I mentioned earlier that NYFW can seem intimidating - and you don't have to brave it alone. The point of going to the show is about meeting new people, making connections and having fun. Going with a roommate or someone that you know, can make some aspects easier. Why? If you don't book any professional photographers to walk with you, your bestie will have your back on that. I mean come on, NYFW is a perfect backdrop to take photos for every fashion influencer and you don't want to get a selfie with just your head and the sign of NYFW! I adore the group of my Houston fashionista boss babes that I ran into at the post-show. They hold each other accountable to get through each day.
No matter where and how you make it to the shows, be organized, be prepared and embrace every moment of it. And if you bump into an Asian lady with almost every finger fills with statement rings, a couple layers of zipper necklace and a final touch of a single dangling chained earring, here you go - that's ME! Say hi or simply connect with me on Instagram.
Have you been to NYFW? Tell me about your tips and experience below!
Photographer: Jeff Jacob