Fashion Week and the Life Outside It

We’re calling it the Sandbergian-Juggle, pants optional.


Ask any circus act, any magician, or D.J. Tanner’s ex-boyfriend Steve and they will confirm that juggling — like coal mining — is tough. Sure, once you’ve got the hang of the maniac tosses the trade becomes easier, but in those preliminary days, all you’ve got on your side is perseverance. When considering the work/life balance — The Sandbergian Juggle, if you will — the same rules apply. During fashion week, mastering the art of maintaining a double life proves especially troubling for us freaks you see running through the west side in high, highs heels. And with still another two weeks to go — Milan, then Paris — there’s no time like right now to talk unplugging, recharging and a glass of Manischewitz. Leandra finds solace in her family’s Jewish traditions. This year she dropped the mic before Fashion Week even started to observe the Jewish new year. She likens herself to “a shtetl raised Cinderella,” whereupon every Friday when the sun dips, her heels come off, and almost as if by magic, a pair of thick white socks find her feet. Or she removes her pants. The fashion terminology has a hard time escaping her even in the comfort of her own pants-optional home. But “this chicken is everything” just doesn’t roll off the tongue the way “everything” does when referring to silk faille.

“Basically,” Leandra’s eyebrows texted me, “I’m trying to find a balance between when to say ‘Baruch’ and when to say ‘bonkers.'” “Never say ‘bonkers,'” I replied.

Charlotte was still in school last fashion week so her dichotomy was between work and…more work. A bit like Hannah Montana, she alternated between classroom and show venues. She missed her second college math class and forgot to register herself on campus — the equivalent of Montana forgetting her highly indecipherable-as-Miley blonde wig for a performance — in favor of fashion week butt-cramps. This season is slightly different for her as a college graduate. “Now the closest thing to leading a double life is that I live in Brooklyn and spend a lot of time sleeping.” At least she gets to take her fashion accent off.

And as for me? One time, last February, my dad picked me up from a show at Lincoln Center. I asked him if he could meet me around the corner by the less popular side-entrance, as if I were an embarrassed child too cool for her parents. “I don’t want anyone to see me!” I texted him. “Sorry…” he wrote back. “On Columbus Ave already. Found parking!!!” Thumbs up emoji. There he was — double parked in our SUV, sitting behind the long row of black town cars waiting to collect various editors. Maybe, I thought to myself, If I just keep my head down and my sunglasses on I’ll make it out of here unscathed. And then I heard it. “Amelia?” Shit. It was my old boss. “What show are you headed to,” she asked. “Want to get a drink?” “I can’t,” I replied. “I uh…my dad. My dad is picking me up.” I pointed to my dad, now standing outside of the vehicle like this was the pick up lane in front of my elementary school. (DAD GET BACK IN THE CAR) “He’s taking me to my riding lesson,” I explained. “Need a lift anywhere?”

She declined, obviously, and I drove off with my dad. We made an illegal U-turn somewhere in the streets by 50th and sped through the Upper West Side. An hour later and I was quite literally back on my horse. So douchey, right? But my point is that balance is important and as our moms always told us, everything —even FASHION — is only good in moderation. So if that requires a brief interlude for kosher meat, a crash course in art history, a deep slumber across the bridge or even the more affected option — a horse, than go for gold (especially re said horse.) Do you juggle? When? Tell us. We have to know. -Edited by Leandra Medine Image shot by Josh Olins

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  • Ash

    “Or she removes her pants.” This article has got me laughing, so good!

  • Synderella

    amelia – your writing is better than Leandra’s! I can’t get through her articles, but your posts are am-ah-zing. Seriously keep up the good work!

    • Amelia Diamond

      Hi Synderella, thank you the compliment but I must say, Leandra does quite a bit of editing on all the stories you see here on Man Repeller, especially this one as it was more of a collaboration between both of us.

      • Leandra Medine

        Mmmmm. But maintaining better writers is the idea! Sorry you can’t get through my stories (though this is in part one of them) but happy you’re taking to Amelia!

        • Amatoria Clothing

          My main “juggling act” this weekend was having to make myself put your book down to go back to work… pretend to listen to whoever was speaking to me at the time. Love your writing AND Amelia is “Everything”!

        • Sally Brown

          I love Leandra’s writing. She has a singular voice and style. That’s why we all love her so much.

  • Ever since you guys started posting so much at such short intervals, I have been forced to see-saw quite a lot – “MR or work? MR or work? MR? Work? What say you?” 🙂

    I do appreciate the MR diversity (of writing) a LOT, whenever I have enough time to get to it 🙂

    • Paula McClelland

      I’ve got 26 MR posts in my bloglovin cue – it’s Sunday and I’ve cleared the schedge (douchebag jar) to read them all #juggling.

      ♥ Paula Shoe Fiend.

  • hila

    Perfect timing for this article. This morning, I am all dressed up to go to my fashion gig; tonight I am eating in a hut! Go figure!

  • Fantastic picture!

    Mafalda ❤

  • Amatoria Clothing

    Working on my MBA, Full-Time Job, and starting a business. Just have to make time to travel and take a break.

  • Lacedup Imagery

    that is a fantastic image, credits?

    • Amelia Diamond

      Lisa Cant shot by Irving Penn for Vogue, 2005 it seems?

      • Eleanor

        Why don’t you provide the credit/copyright for Mr. Penn’s work within the story itself?

        • Amelia Diamond

          just did dear eleanor

  • Anna Sophie Conversano

    Ohhhh the inevitable chaos of everyday life in New York City (or any big city) is such a forerunner in this ever challenging search for life balance! I literally have “balance” tattooed on my right wrist to remind me that working in the fashion industry is no more important than painting my toe nails in my pajamas on my fire escape, or vice versa. People always are searching for more time in their day, but that is never going to happen. All I can do to balance my life out is do what I think is most important for me at THAT moment. Just like Leandra likes to lolly-gag around the house in no pants and expensive socks while Amelia escapes via horseback with equal enjoyment of working, writing, and being fabulous.

  • Appreciate the great writing–rare to find on blogs, especially fashion blogs!

  • sketch42

    Where do you ride?

  • Lou

    LOVE LOVE LOVE this article! Even those of us who aren’t lucky enough to ‘get butt cramps’ whilst enjoying the magic of Fashion Week have to juggle from time to time. Myself: I was working pretty much constantly as always so my only escape was reading a good book or catching up with MR and imagining myself in NYC. The usual. 🙂