In true New York fashion - no pun intended - I smiled as I was being shooed out of a room I [allegedly] wasn't supposed to be in during Alice + Olivia's 2015 Presentation during New York Fashion Week.
Those who know me well know that I didn't come to know who or what Louis Vuitton was until the age of 16, when a girl in my high school opened a birthday present and started screaming like a mad woman over a brown-and-tan bag that reminded me of something a grandma would stuff all her treats and "stuff' in. Needless to say, I still don't know much about brands, fashion, style, "the industry," etc. Nor do I care to find out more about it.
I attended the show to accompany and shoot with my friend Katherine, who happened to have an extra ticket.
From the moment we walked into the large room where the models were getting perfectly made up by a roomful of stylists, I just felt myself get pensive and observant. I had my camera, but unlike during weddings or other fast-paced events, I didn't feel an urge to snap, snap, snap, "don't miss a shot!"!!! I just walked around, experiencing the moment, trying to notice how the models feel participating in such a wild industry, where their heads are being pricked by bobby pins, faces painted all sorts of colors and bodies being treated like hangers. I mean, these girls are absolutely breathtaking, really. I just wanted to give them each a hug and a smile and tell them they're lovely.
When the showroom was ready and before the crowd was allowed inside, Stacy Bendet, CEO and creative director of Alice + Olivia, entered with several photographers to get some solo portraits. I started taking pictures, just like the other photographers, but was abruptly stopped several times because she wanted her picture taken "one photographer at a time," which is not unusual - so I simply smiled and waited my turn. But then it wasn't my turn. It never got to my turn. Bendet was going all over the ballroom posing for the other photographers but not for me. So I did what any other New York artist would do - just did it anyway. Of course, I was stopped once again (not before I got my shot though) and asked what my credentials were, who I was shooting for, blah blah blah. You get the gist.
I am well aware there's a "pecking order" or etiquette that allows the fashion industry to keep breathing, but when did just being nice go out of fashion?
Why can't we all just relax and be human to each other? We're all in this together, right?
With all that said, the collection presented tonight was truly beautiful. Every single piece, detail and attention was planned to perfection, and it reminded me that artistry is inspired, intentional and unforgiving - just like my picture of Ms. Bendet ;)