The truth is, sometimes fashion week isn't as glamorous as it seems. As a blogger, you attend shows on the daily, put countless outfits together, take a crap ton of photos, socialize with friends (and frenemies), and run back and forth to the venue. As some of you might know, I attended TOM* (Toronto Men's Fashion Week) was last week so I thought it would be the perfect time to share a little tell-all with you followed by the pièce de résistance, which was my staycation at The Hazelton Hotel.
Now before you read on, keep in mind that this post is based on my experiences attending fashion week in Toronto over the past couple of years. I'm not saying Paris, New York, or Milan fashion week is the same, but from what I've read in other blogger's tell-all posts (like Chriselle Lim's for example), there seems to be commonalities between my experiences and theirs. Here are my thoughts…
1. It's not as glamorous as it seems
Don't get me wrong, fashion week can be super luxe. However, taking into consideration all of the nitty gritty details like changing outfits constantly, going to and from the venue and basically running around like a chicken with its head cut off, it can be exhausting to say the least. Funny enough, most people you talk to towards the end of fashion week often say they're "exhausted" or "tired" when you ask them how they are. Not, "excited" or that they're "happy to be here".
That being said, one of the most exhausting things for me was the commute. I live an hour or so away from the venue where TOM* was held. Some of the shows started at 9 p.m. or even as late as 10 p.m., meaning I didn't get home till 11 p.m. or well after that. I'm also not the biggest fan of commuting via transit that late, so Uber was my BFF!
2. There's a lot of waiting involved
What most people don't realize is that there's a ton of waiting involved. You arrive at the venue, wait in line to grab your pass for the show, then wait even more to be let into the show. Then there's waiting to find your seat, and waiting to get out of the jam-packed venue once the show ends. Repeat that multiple times a day for however long fashion week is running and voila...That's a shit ton of time spent waiting around.
On the bright side, this gives you plenty of time to socialize but let's get real, the people who attend fashion week aren't always the most approachable. Especially if its your first time attending and you don't know many people. That's why going with friends is key!
3. The shows are short
Typically the shows are five to seven minutes long. When you watch them online or see highlights on TV, you'd probably assume they would be 10 minutes or more. Although this does happen at New York or Paris Fashion Week for example, the shows I saw at TOM* last week were quite short.
4. Coffee is a priority. Food is not (unfortunately)...
During fashion week, coffee is BAE! You guys know how much I love food, but because you're waiting around for the shows and socializing, there isn't much time to eat. That is, unless you sneak out for a quick bite at the nearest restaurant, or head out after the shows to gorge yourself. That's why hitting up fashion week with individuals who love food just as much as you do is important! Think of Aimee Song. She's constantly eating during fashion week, but that's because she's always chowing down on-the-go or sneaks out with a load of friends to eat in between shows.
5. No Expectations are the best expectations
From my experience, having no expectations about fashion week is the best way to go. It can be an incredibly exciting time, but it can also be a very stressful and disappointing time. That's why having low(er) expectations on how your week is going to pan out is the best policy. Truthfully, I had super high expectations for TOM* this year and I was disappointed on so many levels (I won't get into details). This is why my staycation at The Hazelton Hotel was the highlight of my week! It gave me time to relax, unwind, reflect, and write this post!
6. Stand your ground and be confident (not cocky)
Be confident, not cocky. This is one of the biggest pieces of advice I have for you because fashion week can be intimidating. Especially when there's a crap ton of people that think they're better or cooler than you. The truth is, the more down to earth and humble you are, the better. However, don't be scared or intimidated by the experience. Be confident, stand your ground and do your best to have fun.
While I was at The Hazelton, I spent my time editing photos, sending emails and relaxing in the giant comfy bed. If you follow me on Instagram, you may have seen my story in the bath watching Martha Stewart cooking thanks to the TV that's imbedded in the bathroom mirror. If that isn't a relaxed evening, I don't know what is lol!
My room also had an epic balcony overlooking Yorkville so I took advantage of it and enjoyed the view, sipped on a coffee (or two) outside and soaked up some sunshine.
To sum it up, fashion week really is really what you make of it. It's definitely a fun experience, but just know what you're getting yourself into before you take the leap of faith and commit. It's not as perfect and glamorous as it seems, but this doesn't mean you won't have fun. Take it for what it is and have a blast!