This past week, I was aware that I would at least be attending one #NYFW show. The emotions that I experienced were ones that altered my perspective of myself. I found myself feeling grateful for the opportunity to write for MEFeater. And that was how things started out; simply asking the MEF team if there was any way I could help out this season. Surely enough, I took on the task of my first fashion week experience.
As I begin to take the steps to grow in my career, I find myself questioning my credibility. My emotions are vulnerable to my surroundings. At times I find myself questioning, “how authentic should I allow myself to be today?” It’s a strange place when you’re in between the rags and the riches; you’ve had an awful lot of rags, and just enough of the riches to know that you’re suddenly stuck in the middle. It became more evident as each day passed and I was closer to my first fashion show.
I knew that I was now close enough to see materialism, but not close enough to take part in it. Considering the course of events, I imagined that, at the very least, I could look like I too was an elite. Yet reality has a way of hitting when you least expect it; sometimes in the form of a bank account.
That morning of my first fashion show, I realized that not only was I financially inadequate but in other ways as well. Cue the dramatic breakdown..that a few friendly pep talks later turned into, “you know what, if I don’t go, I’ll regret it.” And so, that little factor outweighed every doubt I had about myself. I found a way to muffle all the questions in my head. I made my way to the city, in an outfit that made me feel less than. Despite that thought weighing heavy, I soon realized I was important in ways I hadn’t thought of before.
Whatever I had to say about this lifestyle I want but have not yet lived, is important. There are girls that look like me that do not yet know of me. They imagine themselves wanting to go this far but don’t believe they can. SO..little old me, pulled myself up by the bootstraps and pushed myself up further up the block every time I wanted to turn around to the train.
I owed it to my younger self. She would have been proud.
When I arrived backstage at Fashion Hong Kong, I felt a connection to the chaos. The small peeks I took at with hair and makeup artists, rushing the process as there was only so much time until lights went up. All the while, the next designer, loads in. I’d felt this warmth in my heart; what I had idealized for years, was way better than they made it look in the movies. It almost made me completely forget about my tasteless, last-minute outfit.
That was until I was inside. New York’s fashionable working class is nothing short of glamorous. Everything and everyone was beautiful. There were eyes filled with excitement, bodies that moved with confidence and voices that flowed with hope. As distant as I felt from the situation, I still didn’t feel any animosity. Everyone came together to celebrate this new collection, and that’s exactly what it felt like- a celebration.
Fashion Hong Kong is a wonderful set of Hong Kong designers. Each came with a ratifying collection that received telling expressions from the audience. The first collection hailed by the name of 112 MOUNTAINYAM (designer Mountain Yam). The first model to grace the runway showcased a variety of colors; thus introducing the audience to a colorful collection. It is most comparable to a primary color palette, and had the room anticipating the next look.
The next collection was from Anveglosa (designer Annette Chan). These pieces were hinting at couture with a sense of eeriness. Each piece unique in its own way yet very cohesive to its leather + sheer tulle theme. The detail was kept minimal, yet still, things were very complete; while the outfits were simultaneously and usually monochromatic.
The collection that had everyone expressing their thoughts from the first outfit to the last, was the collection by HEAVEN PLEASE+. This is a duo-designer collection in between designers Yi Chan and Lary Cheung. The styling placed color-blocking on a pedestal in every single look, which left the audience stunned. I easily admired the boldness of placing colors that I couldn’t imagine near each other- this collection allowed that to happen. There were wonderful elements of mixing textures and patterns that seemed to flow within each other. The minor details of this collection are what made it so refreshing, and exciting to see presented. Choices that were made for hair and makeup also make the presentation extravagantly consistent, satisfying my psyche.
In this diverse room of people, beautiful pieces of art through the form of fabric and much expression, I found myself in awe. This event had brought all of us together to celebrate fashion. We left the room with something, despite what we thought of everything. And I left knowing that despite everything I had been through and everything I kept overthinking, that I wanted to come back. This connection was one that I couldn’t avoid because of what I do and do not have.
Amidst the headspace and the floor of the (or the in-between, if you will) rags and the riches, I find myself wanting to find out what is next.