dot's top tips: dressing for fashion week

"love @ManRepeller 's answer to 'Do you pre-plan your outfits for Fashion Week' - 'No (yes)'... anyone that says no seriously is lying a bit."

(Tweeted by Jennifer the Style Crusader, 4 February, 7:31 P.M.)

Some of you reading this have a fashion week coming up, perhaps in NY, Paris, London, Milan.. perhaps your first, perhaps not. Or maybe you live nowhere near one of these cities but you still have thoughts in your head of 'what would I wear to fashion week IF I WENT.' It's like with the Oscars: I've done some screenwriting, and I hope to do some more, and I hope someday something I write will actually get made, and then if I get that far in my thinking a cold feeling of dread runs up my spine when I realise I don't know what I would wear. And if anyone wants to get REALLY paralysed with fear: I love coming home to the States and watching American TV, and last night I discovered something called 'Fashion Police' hosted by Joan Rivers. It was brilliant, but it made me thank my lucky stars I'm not a celebrity: they just ripped those poor girls to shreds.

My first fashion week, I didn't know anyone, no one knew me, and I don't even remember what I wore. Oh yes, one day I wore my Topshop sequin motorcycle jacket that anyone who followed my blog when I started back in the spring of 2009 knew I never shut up about until I finally bought it, and which freakily I cannot now find one shot of me in (I've since seen shots of our First Lady Prime Minister, Sam Cam, in same jacket) but really, it's true that women dress for other women. And let's face it, back then no one knew me: I was just a human tripod, taking pictures. But by my third one, last September, it did hurt when I arrived on the first day with my lovely darling sweet friend Natayla and a proper papp photographer came running up to us with that smile like he's about to ask to take our photo and he yanked her aside to shoot her in her Missoni top. I'd be lying if I didn't admit I didn't feel a twinge of hurt.

So by the last day, I finally decided I didn't give a toss what I wore, because NO ONE EVER SHOOTS ME ANYWAY. And that felt like a huge relief.

I think Anna Della Russo did a post a while ago on what to wear to fashion week (I haven't seen it, but I loved her guide to what to wear to Christmas parties) so as homage to the great lady, I'm presenting mine for you, if getting papped is your idea of a good time:

• if you want to get photographed, wear something outrageous or, as Jen just tweeted:

• "we give them more colours they take more pictures of us." (i.e., go for brights)

• wear outrageous shoes

• carry a big bag to hold the COMFORTABLE shoes

• when in doubt, do something insane with your hair

But really: if you want to ENJOY fashion week, turn the focus outwards. Forget about what you're wearing, wear your 'uniform': the clothing you throw on when you don't know what to wear. Dress not for other women, or your boyfriend or husband or other men, and certainly don't dress in the hope that someone will take your picture. Instead: Become the camera, eyes on the circus. Sit back, relax, and enjoy the ride.


the style crusader said...

I should have been asleep ages ago, but I'm so glad I've stayed up now just to have read this post. it is hilarious jill, not least because my tweets got referenced twice?! too funny. glad to know your still tapped in even over in florida. Matthew Zorpas actually told me we ought to go for more colours so 'they' take more photos... I love that 'they' just refers to the infinite amount of people at LFW that might be wanting to take your (or his... literally everybody takes his) photo over those five days.

seriously mental. dressing for fashion week.... what a nightmare if you put too much thought into it.

can't wait to see what you wear. oh, and i TOTALLY know that feeling of getting pushed aside for people to take your friends photo! hahah. oh well.


the nyanzi report said...

Great topic: What to wear? That's a question that I'm sure is running through many fashionistas heads as I write this.

"Become the camera, eyes on the circus. Sit back, relax, and enjoy the ride." Wise words Jill, wise words indeed.

After going to fashion week numerous times, one becomes accustomed to the circus that you don't really care what you wear as long as you show your face. Although with that said, one still has to make an effort. Not too loud, but subtle and stylish.

Kazuko said...

knee-high stockings and those shoes with your legs - what a combination. i'm jealous!

Shopgirl said...

Love your outfit!! I'm hoping to be at LFW next Friday for a bit in the afternoon - just to soak up the atmosphere as I'm in London for something totally different that same weekend! But... WHAT DO I WEAR??!!! Haha!! I'll be taking your advice and dressing for ME! :)

daisychain said...

Love your outfit and LOVE this post.. x

Brad Fallon said...

I like your outfit! Very cute... Love your blog!

Style Odyssey said...

I would not have a clue what to wear to fashion week, apart from some vague answer like "heels and a pair of flats, large enough bag for the pair of shoes not on one's feet, something warm"...and that's about it.
I suppose getting photographed at FW would be a fun thing, quite flattering, too but honestly I would probably rather blend in. Much as I don't mind snapping photos of myself for the blog, I am somewhat shy when it comes to, say the idea of FW posing...and posing...and being photo'g over and over. I say this, having never been to a FW, so who knows! Getting "papped" would probably actually make my day.
I love your American Apparel blouse (I have it in ivory). I believe navy is your neutral! You look great in it.
Speak soon! xo

R. said...

Your outfit is sooo cute. But with your great figure & legs that go on forever, you look cute in everything (jealous, jealous, jealous!!)

K said...

I'll definately be dressing down again for LWF. The thought of being 'noticed'scares the living daylights out of me! I like to blend in, to have the space, to think, and reflect and watch! I love your closing paragraph... perfectly written xx

Rosalind said...

I'll definitely remember these tips when I come down to London! And I can't wait to start 'fashion/ people watching' (I'll have my camera ready!) all the people who attend Somerset house. Oh & you look fantastic here. I like that you don't care about what others think. Sometimes I think that's the way to create the best outfits! My favourite part of this are the socks and shoes, they add to the carefree spirit of the photos.


SabinePsynopsis said...

Great post, Jill! There are so many people at FW who obviously want to get photographed - I try to avoid them and find the ones with more subtle cues... But when it comes to myself I'm panic-stricken (gladly I'm mostly overlooked, you probably won't believe it, but I HATE having my picture taken). xoxo

Marthe said...

Hey! I never usually reply, but have been following your blog for a while and this post really cheered me up :). Love the happy pictures and the advice! xxx

Unknown said...

You look so happy and free in these photographs! I like the outfit a lot. Have fun at fashion week! I went and hung out around it while I was living in London last year... totally wasn't involved, but was just eating up the inspiration all around me. I can't wait to see your photographs and hear what you think :)


styleeast said...

Brilliant post, Jill, BRILLIANT. My first ever fashion week, being so recent, is fresh in my mind. I thought so so much about what to wear, and you saw me on the first day, I did not like my outfit AT ALL. So the following day, favourite casual jeans and blouse, I felt so much better! So I abandoned all my pre-planned outfits for the rest of the week and went casual. I'll be doing the same in two weeks....can't wait to see you!! xx

By the way, you look lovely in these photos, I can't agree more with Emily - so free, and most importantly, like you're having FUN!

Style At Every Age said...

I would go mental if anyone took my photo, I can't bear it and must be the most unphotogenic person in the universe. I would only let someone if they could airbrush afterwards!

Style At Every Age said...

Yes I do the lashes honey, I only charge £30, so much cheaper out of London, we just couldn't ask for that sort of money, I have a beauty room in the house, yours would of course be complimentary and Jens if she wants infills. I have an invite for 18th x

Alex said...

I like the outfit and dont get me wrong as i only say this as constructive criticism but... theres a reason baby clothes dont come in women's sizes!

jill said...

Thanks Alex just curious: what's the construct part of this comment?

Fab, I am so in!

To all the rest of you: I really do relate to this. Jennifer (Style East) that was the same exact thing for me as you know: I just feel so much more comfortable dressed normally. And Alex Leyva; my husband feels the same way, he hates when I dress like this but what happened that day was, it got suddenly really warm and I just felt like 'who cares, no one's shooting me anyway'. I just wanted to be comfortable. I didn't think of an oversized blouse as 'baby clothes' but hey, it's a free country. Can we see a photo of you so we can give our constructive criticism?

The universe must be having a laugh: I'm feeling especially fragile today, so there you go.

Adorngirl said...

love this post becuase that is the ultimate question, what the hell do I wear? you have all these expectations as a fashion blogger to look especially 'cool' but damn it I'm not, I just want to look nice,

and i love any excuse to put on colour and dress up, because I don't get much chance to, but at least I don't have to worry about being on a runway I am just so excited about getting those catwalks pics, and catching up with some lovley ladies who I don't get to spend much time with as I'd like.

jill said...

I feel the same way, Ashanti. And that means you, too! x

Tee said...

Hi Jil

I just wondered who does your hair?

I love the style and colour. Are the end s naturally sunkissed or do you have it professionally coloured?

I am really keen to get a fringe similar to yours too, but too chicken. As I get older I'm wondering whether a fringe might make me look younger!

Love your blog. Tee x

Matthew Spade said...

this all makes perfect sense. i do wonder what i would wear, it wouldn't be outrages as that's not how i feel comfortable anymore(when i was about 17-21).

Natalie Hughes said...

You are SOOOOO beautiful! Love that outfit. xx

P.s. Can't wait to catch up this season!

Alex said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
jill said...

Hi Alex, it's late here and I was just shutting down - your sweet comment came in to my inbox even tho I see you deleted it, and I can't write on your blog but I totally agree! I DID ask to hear people's thoughts. Please come back, all is forgiven: I was just feeling sensitive that day because of unrelated things, that's all.

And I have no strong feelings either way. It's just clothes and it really was a childish outfit, and I was just in a good mood when these photos were taken - but I'm not saying they're my idea of good style. By any means. And my husband HATES when I dress like that. I'd much rather dress kind of... ladylike. Grown up.

You don't need to put the comment back up but if you want to, please do. You sound like a thoughtful and intelligent person. We were just saying today (at fashion week) - a few women who also have blogs - that what we're doing this for is to have a conversation. It would be boring if the only comments people left each other were 'love your shoes xoxo'. We all want our blogs to be kind of one big living room where we can speak freely. I was just having a crap day when I read that, and anyone looking at me funny would have had me in tears.