Do you remember the first time you watched The Devil Wears Prada? I do. At the impressionable age of just 14, I watched this iconic film on a cold winter night, huddled under a blanket, that changed my mind and possibly my life. And I think we all shared that feeling of utter awe and amazement as we watched Meryl Streep play Miranda.
Not only did the movie make us fall deeply in love with its characters, but it also opened up a whole new side of fashion, to an industry that was (at the moment) closed off and hidden from most people. From the envy-inducing fashion closet to the revered ‘book’ to the highly anticipated fashion shows, we were left speechless.
Even now, as the season of fashion shows once again rolls around, we experience that same feeling of excitement. And this feeling only gets better when it’s shared.
As professionals, we are incredibly privileged to be able to travel to cities to witness the creativity in fashion firsthand. We are there, nestled between the biggest designers, editors, artists, photographers, models and influencers, ready to experience fashion week as if it were the first time.
If you’re new to the fashion week scene or are always confused about what to do and where to go during these exciting few days, then don’t worry. Our founder, Aisha S Kothari, is a professional. Over the past few years, she has travelled from Paris to Milan to London to keep up with the world of fashion. Ahead, she tells us the five things she keeps in mind to navigate these weeks.
1. Look at Modem Online
Aisha’s first and foremost suggestion before you plan out your fashion week visit? Take 15 minutes to visit Modem Online. “It’s an online website that serves as a one-stop calendar to fashion shows. You can find the full week’s outline for you, which makes it a great place to start.”
2. Dress comfortably but fashionably
The first thing that comes to mind when it comes to fashion week is outfits. Many people still make the mistake of wearing uncomfortable footwear just for the sake of fashion. Aisha explains why the wrong shoes may just be your breaking point. “There is a lot of walking. Once you go to one event, you’ll talk to people and find out about another one. So, it’s really important to wear something that is comfortable to walk in. While it looks very hot when you see people in high heels, they are usually celebrities who may have a comfy pair stored nearby–you don’t know what goes on behind the scenes. The reality is, if you really want to have fun and not worry about your feet, make sure you wear something you can walk in.”
3. Find the open events
“There are a lot of fashion week events that are open to the public. Each fashion week has its own website, through which you can actually find events that are open to the public,” Aisha explains.
“A lot of shops usually do pop-ups during fashion week–this year in London, there were actually 150 activations in all the boutiques stores. It’s a great time to explore physical retail–you can stop by all your favourite high-end, high street or boutique stores everywhere. Visit them to enjoy a glass of champagne or catch sight of the latest collection that’s dropping–the choice is yours. Basically, this is the time when the fashion world lights up, so catch as much of it as you can.”
4. Presentations over catwalks
“Even though presentations are mostly for the industry, they are a bit easier to get into,” this is Aisha’s advice to anyone who is not an industry insider. “If you are just interested in fashion, you can just contact the designer and possibly get invited to their presentation.”
>Not sure what a presentation is? Aisha explains, “the designer sets up a make-shift, interactive space where you have models wearing the clothes and the designers interact with viewers. It’s simply for you to go and see, no pressure. You can even talk to the designers—you can see a product up-close. For me a presentation is a great, fun space to be.”
5. Make a stop at the afterparty
“However glamorous it looks, fashion week is the most stressful moment for the fashion industry. The industry works 6-8 months in advance, so we already know what’s going to be out in the fall and winter collection in September or October. All in all, with designers, stylists and others working around-the-clock to make this moment happen–it’s a very high stress environment,” Aisha says.
“It could look like it’s all glimmer and glam, there’s a lot of people up there not sleeping, stressing and working hard to make it happen. If you actually want to celebrate, the last day of the fashion week is where everyone lets loose and there’s a lot of parties, so it’s actually a very crazy night for everyone to be going out.”