Up until around the age of 9, I thought nothing of the fact that I wore striped tube socks with skirts on pretty much a daily basis.
At 11, I truly believed that the Gap was the ne plus ultra of fashion, and still remember the fresh oversized sweatshirt my aunt and uncle sent me that year, an oh-so-fetching shade of puce, dotted with images of brown autumn leaves and a mock turtleneck with a matching leaf motif. I wore these constantly, and very often--for reasons that are wholly unclear--with purple corduroys, which only served to enhance my already-questionable outfit.
At 13, I posed for my school picture, blithely unaware of the fact that my shirt-- a sheer taupe and black chiffon blouse with pastel floral embroidery-- was really meant to be worn with a matching tank top, and so it was that in my elementary school yearbook, there is a shot of me, grinning widely, oblivious to the fact that you can very clearly see what I was wearing underneath: A SPORTS BRA AND MY MOM'S OLD SLIP.
I was 15 when I was told a much more sophisticated friend that I'd read an article about Mariah Carey, and she'd spoken about her love of "Ver-sayce dresses." My friend looked at me strangely, and then gently broke the news that "Versace" did not, in fact, rhyme with "her lace."
What I'm trying to say is that my current love of fashion was not something that I was born with. (CLEARLY.) I didn't grow up inhaling back issues of Vogue magazine, or saving all my babysitting money for the newest neon bangles (if you MUST know, I spent it on Sweet Valley High books THERE I SAID IT). I really only began following fashion (and thereby ditching the tube socks and heinous leaf-covered sweatshirt) in my late teens.
I read up on fashion history, became hopelessly obsessed with a passel of designers and styles, studied various designers' viewpoints, learned THE CORRECT WAY TO PRONOUNCE THEIR NAMES, MY GOD and even briefly considered a future in fashion. I ended up taking the road more traveled (i.e., a corporate career), but even so, despite the fact that fashion is not my life or primary occupation, I do take an active interest in following the seasons' fashions and trends. I love the excitement of seeing what the next big looks are going to be, figuring out what trends I actually like (I'm sorry, but I will NEVER BE ABLE TO GET BEHIND LEGGINGS-AS-PANTS), and most of all, deciding how to adapt and incorporate them into my own personal style. I love couture, but my wardrobe is primarily from mid-tier locations. I am not above picking up a pair of cute t-straps from Payless, and I get unreasonably happy whenever Target does a new designer capsule collection. I LOVE fashion, but I'm not defined by it.
I mention all of this because I am truly honored and, well...humbled to have been chosen as BlogHer's representative at Fashion Week this year. I know there are many other bloggers who have been into fashion since birth, and others who likely own a lot more designer gear, but all the same, I think (and hope) that my fashion-related history--including my many missteps--will provide you guys with a view on this incredible event from someone with a different perspective. My first post addresses Fall 2009 trends, and my reviews of two shows I attended earlier this week (Michael Kors and Nanette Lepore). Next week, I'll be writing about a few more shows, and share my interviews with FREDERIC FEKKAI AND TIM GUNN ZOMG.
What those posts will NOT cover is the insane fashion world-related freakout I'm about to have, so without further ado:
Diane von Furstenberg and Andre Leon Talley!
Newest "member" of the Real Housewives of New York City, Kelly!
Frederic Fekkai (and me)!
I know. I KNOW. This week, I was also lucky enough to FINALLY meet Casey!
She was in town for another (equally incredible) event, and we had an amazing time together. We spoke about everything under the sun, but among other things, we discussed just how lucky we both feel that we are to have been given these amazing opportunities. I really am awed and excited by the experiences of the past week, and I hope I can do it justice when sharing it with you...while at the same time feeling just a teensy bit smug that I was somehow able to refrain from giving Tim Gunn a bear hug during our interview and shrieking "I LOVE YOUUUU!"
It's the little things, you know?