Our publisher, Sam Francois got an up-close and personal look at the tents this year. I say up close and personal because according to him, he had never been in the tents during fashion week. It seems as if he’s got a real aversion towards hobnobbing with “that” crowd. He’s such a snob he turns his nose up at the fashion crowd, go figure. Seems he got a bit of comeuppance last Thursday at the Custo Barcelona show. Here’s how he recalls it:
So here I am somewhat excited and curious as this was the first time I’d witness an actual show in the tents. I asked Michelle (editor in chief at PD) so many questions, by the time we actually got inside the tent she couldn’t wait to get away from me. I would say stuff like “so I just show them the Custo Barcelona invite and bingo I am in?” She told me yes, but we may be in “standing”, apparently that’s tent vernacular for no seats, just the standing section. Now mind you we’ve shot Custo clothes in our fashion shoots and I’m very happy they extended an actual invite to me personally let alone the Papierdoll staff. Designers and their PR firms (with the exception of People’s Revolution) tend to get weird or not know how to play in the online space. I don’t fault them or their PR agencies, there are many online publications, bloggers and websites that leave a lot to be desired. Why give up a seat to a blogger that might (in an uneducated fashion) rip your show apart when you can give it to a buyer who has way more clout and actually serves a purpose instead?
We wait on what would seem to be a line but actually is a bunch of people standing and pushing forward until they get noticed by a pr person with a clipboard. Michelle gestures at the pr person with a clipboard and she lifts the rope for us to go in. Here I am thoroughly impressed by my editor’s skills, when we end up on another line, this time a bit more organized. I’m now thinking, ok, any second now we’ll be in. 25 minutes go by and suddenly I see a police officer (an omen to be sure) standing at the entrance of the Custo Barcelona show. Then a man moves the rope as if to close off the section. Then everyone starts walking around in an orderly fashion, once again.
I ask Michelle, “what happened?” she says and I paraphrase, we were given standing and they are not letting standing people in. What about the cop? I ask. She responds, “just in case anyone doesn’t take kind to not being let in”… oh… I looked at my invite crestfallen, yet understanding what happened. A woman who was near one of our writers asks,”excuse me does this mean that we were hosed/dissed” (can’t quite remember the word she used). Michelle allayed her fears and said “yes, dear, we were dissed”.
If found it funny, yet a bit more snobbish than even I could understand. The fashion crowd is so exclusive that they won’t even tell you when they are “dissing” you. Cool… I.. think.
What is even more remarkable though is the passion my staff had, I was getting ready to go the garage, get my car and have some Thai (that always helps the mood). They insisted that we not leave until we finished watching the show on the big screen. Having been summarily dismissed by the designers, PR firm and tent, I would have said, screw them, they don’t want us at their show, we just won’t provide coverage. Caroline (another writer) insisted we stay and our photographer was already in, so we got the photos and were able to see the show (at least on TV). To give this the sugary sweet ending that this deserves I ended up being inspired by my co-workers/staff, because they decided they were going to cover fashion week no matter what was thrown at them. What could have been a miserable experience turned out alright. Our staff in London and Paris tells us their fashion week is nothing like that. Cool.
Welcome to the world of fashion, Sam.