the madness

When I resigned from my job in advertising, I was convinced I’d never see a crazier environment. Stress levels are high, egos are inflated (and deflated just as quickly), and the work never ends. Advertising really is a world all it’s own. It was madness.

And then came fashion.

A posting on Work In Culture led me to an admin/public relations position in a fashion design studio. No doubt guided by my apparent magnetism to outrageous situations, I quickly jumped on board. With Fashion Week only 2 months away and nary a sponsor or garment in sight, we were in for a crazy ride.

Rather than recount all the stress-inducing stories that good old boyfriend so patiently listened to, all the while doing his best not to run screaming from the room shouting for me to stop, I offer you my most memorable moments. After all, the experience as a whole was a positive one, so why not focus on that.   

  • The Twins. After a very successful model casting, we had a few extra girls stop by in the days to follow. In all the rush, we misplaced the information for two girls. As would be our luck, the designer wanted them for the show. So, with the voice of a creepy man (I had lost it the day before), I began my calls looking for the blonde Russian twins. Luckily I found them quickly, but even the thought of the reactions I might have encountered still makes me smile. 
  • The Fitting. Upon my arrival, I was dubbed in-house fit model despite being slightly shorter and larger than standard models. But until the real models showed up, they were thrilled to have me there and now and again I got to stand still while things were measured and pinned. On the day of the show, one of our sewers walked into the showroom, handed me a dress and told me to put it on. Right there, in the glass-front, street-facing room. For a moment in time, I got to feel like a real model. Later that night I watched as the completed dress went down the runway, knowing it was fit for me. It partially satisfied the 12 year old girl inside of me who wished she was just a little taller so she could be a model.
  • The Biddell. Our show complete, the lot of us were backstage cleaning up when two of our younger interns got very excited. After some classic teenage-style gasping for words, they informed me that Evan Biddell was in the booth next to us. Clearly, they were big fans. I walked over and asked him if he’d mind saying hello to them. Clearly a nice guy, he came over and stayed to take a few photos and chat. After he left, the girls seemed like could have died happy at that moment. It was a nice reminder of what it was like to be a bit younger and to not yet have realized that celebrities are people just like you and me. 
  • The After Party, part 1. Our after party was a small, but very nice gathering. During the course of the evening, we realized that a fashion show would be taking place downstairs. Boyfriend and I decided to sneak down to see it – those who know us, know that sneaking into events we’re not invited to has become our thing, just ask the folks at Advertising Week NYC. Not only did we sneak in, we got in at the right time to be offered 2 empty seats. Following that, we headed to their after party where we got to meet the designer, Mikhael Kale. 
  • The After Party, part 2. The day after our show, I mustered up the energy to leave the house. Pink Tartan and Joe Fresh were big tickets, so I felt compelled to make an effort to see them. However the excitement would come from the party that was to follow. NAM Model Management was hosting a party at Brassaii, where I would meet some of the people I’d been working with, including one of our sewers who pretty much made the whole show possible. The two of us had spent the past 2 weeks pulling out our hair and were exhausted. We wanted to go home and sleep. That was until we found the free drinks. Our hard work behind us, we drank vodka crans like candy and ran our commentary on the crowd of characters around us. It was a blast, and a well deserved break from our own insanity.  
  • The Front Row. On the final day of Fashion Week, I headed over to the Allstream Center to meet a friend and catch a few shows. He ended up running into one of his friends who had an extra seat – in the front row. And from that, I got to watch the last 4 shows of the Fall 2010 Fashion Week from front and center. A more than small thrill for someone who’s just recently started working in this industry. And to make it all a little more memorable, Prosecco and Peroni were served between David Dixon’s 2 shows. So there I sat, in the front row with my glass of sparkling wine taking it all in. I may not be Anna Wintour, but it sure was fun to pretend for a day. 

There were many more stories from those dizzying few months, but the time went by so quickly I can really only recall the latest ones. One thing I certainly learned from the whole ordeal is that advertising is definitely not as crazy as fashion. 


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