This spring/summer 2014 collection marks 20 seasons/10 years of covering fashion week (yikes, I feel old!), so, if I may dare say, I may be a “seasoned pro” at this juncture. What's the point though, of learning all of the nuances of New York Fashion Week, if I don't share them and help others? I've written a few posts for IFB over the years on A Blogger's Guide to Fashion Week, Covering Fashion Week, Fashion Week technology (Fashion GPS), but on more of a personal note, here's a few things I picked up along the way:
Don't Run Around From Location to Location
Give Yourself Sufficient Meal, Sleep, Indulgence, and “Do Nothing” Break Times
Bring as Many Phone Chargers with You as Humanly Possible
Honestly – I'm not kidding! Buying a portable charger will well be worth it's price just to use at fashion week alone! While you are in a show or waiting in line you can just let it charge up then, instead of searching frantically for an unused plug, then idly standing there while it charges a percentage a minute. I have both a Boostcase ‘Hybrid' and a small McNally charger for my iPhone, along with an actual wall charger, and also camera a backup battery for my camera. Checking email, taking pics, and using social media apps while drain your phone in no time, so be prepared to handle the battery situation on the fly when it becomes critical, as it most certainly will!
Learn the Physical Shortcuts
Here's one tip for you: if you are cleared to cover both backstage and the shows at Lincoln Center, and are in the “Stage” or “Theatre” tents, you don't have to go back outside and make a huge U turn by walking all of the way back down the street, around the corner, then down to the front entrance again; you can exit into the main area through the door near the American Express Skybox! This proves to be especially important knowledge for the shows in February, when it is freezing, and possibly snowing outside. Another important tip: scope out all of the bathroom locations, as there are more than I bet you think (and with much shorter lines), and remember to drink (or conceal) beverages (besides bottled water) before you go into the shows; the last thing you'll want to do is have to throw out or chug that Starbucks cappuccino that you waited in line 20 minutes for, because the guard at the entrance to the show spotted it. Last shortcout: the runway area may look like the most direct (and exciting) way to go after the show let's out, but if you want to truly exit quickly (or even enter the show), I've found that the fastest was is usually shooting straight up to the back and walking down to the exit that way, avoiding the crush of the crowd, air kisses, getting stepped on, and sometimes even shoving!
Master the Digital Shortcuts
As far as digital shortcuts go, I used to print out EVERYTHING; the invites, the GPS confirmations, and the hard copies, clip them together according to day then time, and place them in their own folders. Needless to say, it was a lot of work! Find a system that works for you, but for me, as I RSVP for shows and receive the confirmation codes, I add all of the info into a google excel doc . Then I have a folder in my email for the invites, a separate one for the GPS confirmations, and a separate one still for my backstage coverage confirmations. That way, if I need any specific piece of information, there are several organized placed in which I can find it; just remember to do the tip above and keep your phone/device charged!
Another digital tip: it's not necessary to register as press with IMG for Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week, although I always do, so that I don't have to always dig through my massive bag or scroll through my phone to show an invite to the security guards. Having your badge on gains you access inside, to the lobby area, and then, it acts as a great calendar/triple backup to my system, as you can just scan the barcode, and it brings up the shows registered and synced to your Fashion GPS account, so that you can print them out one at a time or for a block of hours, and get your seating assignments in one fell swoop. Super easy! Occasionally, a confirmation doesn't come up in the system, so that's where having your show invite/confirmation info elsewhere is crucial.
Last tip: if you are registered as press, you can gain access via Rightster to embed the live stream of shows from the Lincoln Center and Milk Studios venues on your site, which was offered for the first time last season and as I've experienced, can really help your readers to be a part of the action. You can run it on continuous play or user-started, and it is also a great reference for you too, so that if you want to review a show that you missed, need to re-watch, or can't make it to, live, and all you need to do is go to your own site. It really couldn't be any easier.
Will you share a New York Fashion Week tip with the IFB community?
Image Credit: Nando Alvarez