Written by Amelia Diamond
The beginning of fashion week never seems the right time to declare that I think I “dress well” but I’ll go against odds and say it anyway.
If a friend asks me to meet her last minute at a bar or somewhere public, I can almost always get there without first running home to change. And if they give me fair warning I put on the ritz — add an earring, maybe darken my lip, sometimes I’ll even take out my good white shirt if it’s a special occasion. I’ve definitely had my off-days, like the time I wore khakis and a weird pair of sneakers to brunch, or that bright yellow neoprene dress which could have only looked worse with a sets of pearls, which, of course, I paired it with. For the most part, however, I tend to pass as a girl who works in fashion. And I know about fashion and therefore certainly have opinions on it.
But I don’t actually dress fashionably.
Or at least…not in the way that you’re used to seeing.
I shun prints and volume, hats and bright colors. I wasn’t brave enough to try the orthopedic sandal look this summer, or the beanie craze last winter. I refuse to save up money for runway things like Dolce & Gabbana’s mustachioed underpants, and when I can afford the Zara iterations of such items I tend to make up excuses. The dog ate my credit card; I’m allergic to synthetic yarn. What I’m most comfortable wearing is somewhere between an all boy’s prep school uniform and a WASP-y, divorced mom.
During New York Fashion Week, my story changes. I turn what I consider “regular Amelia” up a notch and spend the day tugging down skirts while marching in all of the heels I own that are primarily kept out of regular rotation. Sometimes I’ll catch my reflection on the way to a show and even think, “Nailed it.”
Then Tamu McPherson will walk by me followed by an army of photographers and I’m like…Oh. Wait. Nope, she nailed it. I just look clean.
But this isn’t a pity party. I’m actually afraid of cameras because when I was six my friend’s grandma told me they capture your soul and I think that traumatized me. I never know how to stand when someone does ask to take my picture, and I’m far more comfortable checking emails on my phone or holding a friend’s bag while they pose. Yesterday I held someone’s cigarette which was kind of fun.
It’s okay that I work in fashion but don’t necessarily look cool. Maybe one day I’ll be like Vogue’s Tonne Goodman, who rocks a pair of white jeans and smoking slippers like nobody has ever done it before. For now, though, I’ll just stand in my closet like the rest of us and complain that I have absolutely nothing to wear. Then I’ll decide on some pencil skirt with pockets so if anyone needs me to hold anything, I’ve got extra hands.