By Katelyn Day Special to The Chronicle
Bright lights, loud music, high heels and cameras are the most common things at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week. Overwhelming? Yes. Amazing? Yes! What used to be a super exclusive, industry-only event has, in recent years, opened itself up to the wonderful world of socialites, bloggers and magazine reporters. What exactly does that mean? Essentially, it means that people like me (and maybe even you) can get a chance to go to fashion week.
We can traipse into to the Mercedes Benz pop-up building, iPhones in hand, and snap some fabulous Instagram photos of the hottest runway looks.
If you’re anything like me, that sounds pretty exciting. Just being in the elaborate building, complete with VIP lounges, a Maybelline makeup station and a plethora of laptop and cell phone chargers laying around in designated charging stations is chaotic. A place where there are far more people than chairs, there are always interviews taking place, photos being taken and fashion shows about to start. And that’s just the scene outside of the actual show rooms.
The building boasts three rooms for shows: the studio, the box and the theater; each room bigger than the one before. The line for the shows starts long before the shows begin. Anyone with a seat gets in first, while the people with standing reservations form a monstrous line that snakes its way through the building. Once you make it inside the room, it doesn’t get much easier. People rush to get to their seats, photographers set up their equipment, celebrities sneak in through the back and the people left standing fight to find an unclaimed seat or a good view of the runway.
After all the chaos, the plastic is pulled off the runway and the lights are dimmed. It hits you like a freight train as the roaring music begins and the now blinding lights illuminate the first model. She walks down the runway as if she’s oblivious to the hundreds of people staring and the camera flashes coming from every direction. It only lasts for around 10 minutes, but for those 10 minutes all that matters are the clothes, the lights and the models.
As they do their final walk, straight-faced and elegant, the crowd erupts into applause, overpowering the camera flashes and the clicking of high heels. The designer comes out, takes a bow, and then it’s over. The magic disappears as the music fades and the lights dim. The crowds push towards the exit, making their way back to reality. But as you post that Instagram photo and tweet about the gorgeous clothes, you immortalize the beauty of fashion week. You capture the magic that fashion week, and only fashion week, can bring to New York.