I’ve never handled the end of things very well.
My mom kept our Christmas tree up until January 10th every year because she said that was the longest reasonable span of time it could remain intact before it became flammable or seemed tacky, while allowing me maximum days to grieve. I’ve never dis-ornamented our tree’s bows, still can’t bear to watch it be dragged out the door and I’ve never, ever been able to face the empty spot where the physical manifestation of my favorite holiday no longer stands. RIP, you wintergreen angel.
When I finish a movie I’ve just fallen in love with I watch the rolling credits until they bleed out, my mouth agape like a stoned fish, begging silently for air but also a reprieve from the reality of that cursive Fin.
When summers, vacations and television series come to a close I remain in denial for longer than most consider sane, and if I finish any meal I’ve eaten too quickly I stare at my barren plate with heavy despondence.
The end of New York Fashion Week is celebrated. My peers Instagram the official closure as though it were a bouquet of flowers and clink bubbly beverages in unison — “We deserve this,” they cry. “We survived!”
I, on the other hand, feel deflated, like it came too fast and ended too soon.
The emptiness begins with the fact that the sparkle is gone. Fashion week brings a jolt of energy to Manhattan’s already electric streets, and after a long, cold January there’s nothing like flashes of color and texture and anxiety and life to bring a much needed flush back to this city’s cheeks.
You know when you’ve gotten your hair and makeup done for a special party? You’re an over-the-top version of yourself, a little uncomfortable because of all the product and curls and glitter and lashes, highly aware of the weight of your lacquered lips and festooned lids but strangely more confident than you’ve ever been — you feel beautiful, different, like you’re wearing a mask but holding a microphone…that’s Fashion Week.
Then you wash your face and it’s back to regular life.
Editors have already left for London, and as February drags on they’ll begin to leave for Milan, and then Paris. It’s like watching visiting family members and friends catch their departing flights after a long stay. They annoyed me by sleeping on my couch for too many nights, but now I miss the spot they overtook. “Come back!,” I want to cry. “We can show the Milan collections here!”
I’ll never forget when a Vanity Fair editor once tweeted: “‘Are you surviving fashion week?’ NO, one survives a war, a fire or even a bad fall. I am going to fashion shows, I will certainly be ok.”
That’s exactly how I feel. I don’t want to celebrate that I “survived” because I feel like I’ve been through zero trenches. Yes, I’m exhausted. Yes, my brain is functioning slower, my feet hurt, I haven’t done laundry in ten days and I’ve not seen any friends outside the confines of this industry bubble…but I loved it. I love it every time. Somehow Fashion Week is the one area left un-jaded by my grumpy, New York demeanor, and when it ends, I’m always sad.
So goodbye for now, New York Fashion Week. I’ll see you in September.
Image via The Cut