It's no secret I was at NY Fashion Week this weekend and happy to be so. But as much as I pride myself on my etiquette, I was appalled at some of the fashion show no-no's I encountered at some of the shows. I think every person should attend at least one fashion show in their life. Of course I'm not saying you have to go to the IMG Mercedes-Benz premiere shows (notably because these are closed to the public as they are for industry people only) but there are lots of fashion organizers who sell reasonably priced tickets to attend emerging designers shows. Regardless of the fashion show, here are some simple (if not obvious) rules about attending:
- Arrive early -- unless you are Anna Wintor of Vogue fame, you are not the most important person in the room and not entitled to be tardy
- Dress appropriately -- I know its NYFW but don't try to outdo the designer's clothing or dress in something so outlandish that it takes two extra seats in the front row to accommodate your hat and shoulder epaulets. On the same note, if the event website says "cocktail" do not arrive in jeans and a T-shirt.
- Eat something before you go -- Unless you bought the VIP tickets for $3000 a seat, you won't be getting to nosh on the champagne and canapes after the show.
- Go to the restroom before the show begins -- this is why you arrive early. Fashion show seating is usually in one long row (about 2-6 rows on each side of the runway) made up of anywhere between 15-40 seats long depending on how long the runway is. It is NOT cool to be seated in the middle of the row (and no, you can't ask for special seating) and ask everyone to excuse you while you interrupt the show to do your business. Unless you are truly sick, do not get up.
- Turn your cell phone off/vibrate -- Don't be one of those people who checks their phone or talks during the show. Some shows will let you take phone photos but some don't. Check with the registration person or the ushers when they show you to your seat.
- Take up the seat next to you with your purse, hat, etc. -- you paid for ONE seat, only use that one seat.
- Wear a huge hat/clothes -- Remember that people are likely sitting behind you and photographers are trying to get different angles of the runway. Its difficult to see the runway when you have to go around a person wearing a big hat or outlandish clothing.
- Bring food/beverages -- this isn't an office meeting where you bring your coffee and donut into the briefing with you. Eat before you attend unless you purchase beverages at the show (some shows allow for cash bar drinks to be taken to your seat).
- Get up during the show -- as said before, unless you are sick, do not get up during the show. That is rude. But if you do need to get up (it better be a really good reason), leave and don't try to re-seat yourself when you feel better. Sometimes the ushers will let you stand in the back, sometimes they won't but that is a chance you'll have to take.