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Fashion Week, Day One: Outside Looking In

In all the years I have been interested in fashion, I have very little experience with New York's biggest fashion-related event. My first taste of the craziness was unknown to me at the time. My aunt's company had helped with a fashion-related museum exhibit that occurred around the time. i was an oblivious teen dazzled by all the fancy people. It was many years later (this year, to be exact) that I was informed that I had encountered the Fashion Week crowd. Boy I wish I had dressed better!

In a way, this is a chance to make amends for my action. I'm not quite dressed to the nines, but even my best outfit would not have impressed.I was lucky that anyone spoke to me!I came in at the tail end of the first day. You could always tell when someone well-dressed was nearby because you could hear the shuttering of cameras as they walked by.I've stumbled into photos, and it's a humbling experience. I move out of the way once I notice.I don't know if it's society or my own insecurities, but I know I'm the last person they want in their photograph.I wasn't the only fat person at the event, I wasn't the only black person at the event, and I wasn't the only outsider watching the show from outside.I think that with the combination of all these things that I felt an otherness around everyone.

The insular nature of the fashion industry comes to light at events like this. Shows are mainly by invitation only. Luckily, for those who aren't insiders, you can watch a live stream of the shows outside.After shows, everyone gathers as the lucky few exit and face a gauntlet of cameras.It reminds me, strangely, of the time I went to the New York Comic Con. There were your average geeky masses, but the extravagantly-dressed cosplayers were always stopping for pictures as they went about their business.The cosplayers have put a lot of effort into the ultimate expression of fannishness, which is the need to physically represent the character in a public space.Their effort is rewarded with awe and attention from fellow fans. The same awe and attention is given to the people leaving the shows. They worked hard to carve a place in this insular world that they love so much.They work the internships, they follow the magazines, and they make the clothes all for this moment where they are allowed to pass the guarded doors.

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This is a picture I took from the front of a show as people filed out. Tomorrow I will see what a long day of watching the fashion world is like from the outside, though I've always felt like I've been seeing it this way.

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