My First Ever Fashion Week — Expectations VS Reality

My First Ever Fashion Week — Expectations VS Reality

Here’s What I REALLY Thought About New Zealand Fashion Week.

I did it. I can proudly say that I, Nina Franklin survived my first Fashion Week... and what a week it was.

Now that my work is complete and the shows have ended, now that my feet have stopped aching and my heart has stopped palpitating from all of the self-induced, coffee-inflicted energy, now that I can see clearly once again from the smoke-filled runway shows and finished wading my way through the masses of champagne-drunk people milling about in their D-signer gears, now that I’ve fiiiinally been able to sit down and reminisce on a weeks worth of carnage, I’ve got a few thoughts that I’d like to share about my experience at New Zealand Fashion Week and I thought I’d share them with you.

I suppose this a kind of an expectation vs reality kind of post and let me tell ya— my expectations way surpassed my reality and here’s why...

When I say this was my first Fashion Week, I meant my first full Fashion Week where I was attending for work purposes. I have in the past attended one off weekend shows but a very long time ago and things have changed quite a bit since then.

The lead up to Fashion Week was everything you would expect really, a constant and all-consuming thought of “what the fuck am I going to wear?” Followed by me going against all of my sensibilities to get my bills paid off first before dropping large sums of money on four brand new outfits for the week, leaving me now up shit creek in a reasonable amount of debt from doing exactly that. But at least I looked good.



Which brings me to my first point, do people even really care about what you’re wearing? Or is it all about feeling like you’re fitting in? My conclusion to this conundrum is that, in short, yes, I think people do care what you’re wearing, in the respect that everyone is low key judging each other and checking each other out, but no one would ever come up to you and tell you how hideous or fantastic your outfit is, unless they’re your good friend, everyone’s just trying to play it cool and talking about your outfit for the day is so. not. cool. So, after changing my mind a total of ten thousand times about what I was going to wear for the week, I finally settled and after the first day, I felt a lot more relaxed about my outfit choices. There were a select few that dressed to the nines and looked über chić, darling... but on the whole, everyone was pretty casual, just in a very fashionable kinda way.



My role at Fashion Week this year was to take beauty notes for every single on-site show and write them up. That meant going backstage, observing and asking questions to the hair and makeup teams about the looks they were going for and when I first learned that this is what I would be doing, I kind of shit in my pants. In my mind, backstage was going to be a hubbub of girls running around half naked, scrambling to get dressed, while hair teams filled the room with a haze of hairspray induced fog and creative directors screaming at their staff to get shit done. So, the thought of having to go backstage and ask said creative director’s questions about their looks and possibly or probably receiving a massive “fuck off” in reply was what I thought I was in store for, when in reality this was far from what I experienced.

Backstage was actually super cool, calm and collected and honestly, I take my hat off to the talented hair and makeup teams because they got shit done... and fast! So fast in fact that I almost missed the models for a couple of shows to get my notes because they got through hair and makeup super fast. I thought if I got backstage an hour before the shows that would give me enough time to see the models in hair and makeup, take some notes and ask a couple questions about the names of the teams and the creative directors, but when I showed up the models were already out and going into their run-throughs so I had to improvise, which was not ideal! That was lesson number one after my first day working– Get backstage earlier. Not only were the teams super efficient but they were super friendly too, there were a handful of teams doing all of the runway shows and after the first or second day they knew who I was and were quite happy to answer my questions, I think it helped that I only asked a couple of questions and observed the models to get the rest of the information I needed. My biggest fear was getting in anyone’s way while they were trying to work...



Now that Fashion Week is over I think I’ve actually lost about 3kgs. Between not having time to eat and running up and down the stairs to the media room and then backstage, I honestly felt like I had run a marathon and although I opted for my favorite pair of comfortable but universally stylish Mi Piaci Chelsea boots for my footwear, by the end of the day my feet were throbbing, which brings me to lesson number two— wear sneakers and bring snacks.



Fashion Week is inevitably about the fashion and the shows, so of course this was the thing I was most looking forward to and I was even lucky enough to sit front row for a couple of shows, which in my mind was a lot cooler than it actually was, in reality sitting from row is pretty fucking exposing. If I ever felt self-conscious in the entirety of Fashion Week, it was when I was sitting in the front row. You just know everyone is looking at you, judging you... I knew it because I was doing the exact same thing and let me tell you, those wooden benches are pretty damn uncomfortable, in one show I spent the whole time trying to ignore the fact that I had a giant denim wedgy, so with two hundred odd other people in the room as well as a multitude of cameras snapping in my direction, playing it cool like a cucumber had a whole new meaning for me.



My final pondering about Fashion Week was the expectation that I would be attending every show I was invited to as well as all of the parties, I mean it was Fashion Week after all, so a glass or three of champagne is obligatory, right? This was probably my rudest awakening to the fact that I’m getting older and do not in any way shape or form have the stamina of my early-twenties self. Who knew that nearing 30 would turn me into such a homebody. Everybody knows that the night time shows are always reserved for the bigger and more well-established designers and that’s not to say that the day time shows were not as good because that was not the case at all, in fact, my favourite shows of the week were of designers I had never even heard of before this Fashion Week and showed during the day. Anyway, back to my point, that the night time shows were the more hyped up and I was looking forward to them the most, as well as the parties—of course. But when it came to crunch time, honestly, I was so damn tired that what I longed for was not the glitz and the glam of the nighttime Fashion Week experience but my couch, my pajamas and cuddles with my family instead. Who even am I!?


Until next time team, I gotta love ya and leave ya. Stay tuned next year for more Fashion Week adventures.


Words | Nina Franklin
Image | Getty






When Nina isn’t busy writing about the latest and greatest in all things beauty for Sauce, you’ll find her trying to live a #balancedlife by juggling a career as a freelance writer and being a mum.

Her love in equal parts for vintage and designer fashion plays a big part in her life, as well as her ongoing hunt to find the perfect shade of red lipstick—and the perfect bottle of red wine for that matter!