How to NOT Get Shot For NYFW

It’s an art form, really.


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.

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  • CDJ

    “What I’m most comfortable wearing is somewhere between an all boy’s prep school uniform and a WASP-y, divorced mom.”

    Seriously just LOL’ed. I used to say about myself that I always looked like I was going to a graduation party.

  • Hanne

    well you nailed that story! i find it so much cooler when someone feels good in what they wear and just goes for it, and shops what they like, not what they have to convince themselves to like. that shows. overthinking clothes is what is uncool.

  • Style-Squared

    Hehehehe, you are crazy!!!truly enjoyed this one!!!;)

  • Amatoria Clothing

    Amelia, I heart you already!

  • Wear what feels like you.

  • Molly

    I wish there was an “about” page with mini bio’s on the other writers here. We all know Leandra’s story, now we want to know more about the other gals.

  • Mo

    I’ve been reading this blog for almost four years now? Three? Four? I can’t keep track.
    Anyway, point is, I love the addition of new writers. I think it brings even more life to Leandra’s page. More opinions, more fun.
    I love this article because it proves you don’t need to carry that Celine bag, or wear those uncomfortable six inch loubies to break into the fashion world.
    Thank you for sharing this!

  • Serene

    Personally, I think this is the story for all of us….and for those who work in “the biz” on days when they DON’T have to think about being photographed. The cameras at all of these events and, blogging itself, have upped the ante to the point where absurdity is considered “nailing it”. In our everyday lives, fashion is much more sedate. I can’t even imagine going to Strabucks and seeing a woman with 3″ platform shoes and mixed frenetic prints. Or a skirt over slacks. Or shoes that look like cats or a pistol. Or some of the outrageous headgear that people apparently nonchalantly sport while dawdling outside playing on their cell phones and “Oh my! Where did those photographers come from?? Are they flashing their bulbs at MOI?? I had no IDEEEEEAAAAHHH!”

    While I enjoy the drama of fashion editorials and the artistic inspiration they provide, I so appreciate your honesty and nowadays, your sartorial restraint stands out like a beacon of sanity and a rest for the eyes, in a sea of what’s no longer edgy or avant garde, but frankly, a bit tacky. Great read!!

  • Rebecca Pollard

    Absolutely LOVE this article… especially being a busy mom who loves fashion. Most of the time I feel like I just don’t have enough time to care about what I’m wearing (more concerned about how long it’s going to take to get my child dressed and out the door in the morning). Thanks for being honest about fashion and the realities of the every day.

  • sarahuato

    people that dress like it’s fashion week everyday seem a bit like they’re trying too hard, there’s nothing sexier than a woman who is comfortable with what she’s wearing, like a second skin sort of thing, and not a hobbling in impossible platforms hiking down skirt mess.

  • Yep, this is so relatable that I wish it had my name on the byline. Thanks for this, Amelia. You speak for the masses, for the most part.

    Your Friend, Jess

  • Sophia M.

    Love it Amelia, your story was very simple and clean. I didn’t even have to re-read anything to understand what you were trying to get at. I agree, the new writers are a great addition to ManRepeller.

  • Alyssaspeaks

    I totally agree with regards to being uncomfortable in front of the camera, and when I do take a photo I tend to look awkward. I can literally see the panic in my eyes reflected in the photograph afterwards.
    Just like you Amelia, I rather hold someone’s bag while they get photographed.

  • Elizabeth Charles

    Hear, hear! Although I do like prints… and volume 😉

  • What I’m pretty sure of is that you’ll look like yourself, which is the best way to not look ridiculous. And you already look cool Leandra, no worries, you’ll be fabulous!

    Mafalda ❤

    • Cat

      Leandra didn’t write this.

  • CarolinaG

    Loved it!!!!
    I’m posting looks from L.A. and accessories:

  • I am usually hiding during fashion week. Trying to be as incognito as humanly possible. I’m at the shows, but it’s just not my steeze. Great post, Amelia!

  • very funny story. Thanks for sharing.

  • Very cute story thanks for sharing.


  • Mo

    Love this. I think it’s always safer to stay away from trends – or indulge minimally – and I’m definitely the safe type. I work in a creative industry and it seems like every conference/party/get-together is a fashionista-off. It’s comforting to know there’s someone else who enjoys being more of a behind-the-scenes kind of girl.

  • Perry

    Hey, I’m testing out a blog that I feel is void in fashion. It has the tone of Man Repeller but geared towards mens wear.

  • My guess is there can never be anything more fashionable than just being you (just being Miley just having gone out of fashion) – with some additional spice when necessary, but not much more. Everyone else is being everyone else anyway, so what’s the deal? (ignore the weak puns, I really mean that)

    It’s simply great that this blog includes so many voices! 🙂

  • Stephanie Liu

    This is such a great capture of what NYFW Street Style is really like in action. Street style requires putting on a show but there’s absolutely nothing wrong with being the well-dressed lady behind that scene.

    x Stephanie
    a personal style blog of an avid dress collector

  • I’ll take laid-back tomboy basics over print, volume crazy fashion any day. It’s timeless.

  • Jenny

    You “nailed it” with this post! I totally agree, glad others feel the same!

  • dresses do help to bring out the curves in all of us but who doesn’t agree that a pair of fav. denims or those slightly faded cotton shorts paired with sneaker somehow manage to bring the best out of us

  • Idalia

    Great insight. I enjoyed reading this article!


  • Maria Inês Ribeiro

    this is just genious! always love reading your articles!

  • Jeanie

    I absolutely love this post. Very real, very honest. I absolutely love fashion, but my closet is mostly “office chic”. I know I don’t look cool, and certainly can’t afford designer labels. I make due with designers “for Target”, and the most awesome Marshall’s/TJ Maxx finds but never feel street style cool.

  • Katie-Marie Isaac

    Although it’s nice to see that even the most holy-grailed fashionista’s have their doubts regarding their own sense of style, you do look amazing every time I see a picture of you (on the blog or elsewhere). You have your own sense of style, of self and sense of humour and when I look at you, I’M the girl saying ‘wow, I thought I nailed it but seeing her, I really didn’t.’ Xx

  • Gabriella

    I share absolutely the same position you do. Being yourself is the best. Holing the same Celine bag and acting as a fashion victim wearing a zillion trends in one look is pretty barbie-esque. x

  • I’ve had to hold a cigarette/bag/camera on many occasions while a friend gets photographed. The sad thing is that the one time I was photographed was when I wasn’t aware and was slouching like I was Quasimodo. Also, Tamu McPherson is just a fashion week wunderkind. It’s an unfair comparison if you ask me.

  • sarahh

    you are too cute!

  • Bena

    I can’t love you more.

  • Bonnie Clyde

    Enjoyed the post. Very entertaining and well written. I know….me too

  • Very well and cleverly written! All I have to say is: pics or it didn’t happen 🙂

    xoxo Iris


  • rachel strugatz

    “I’ve definitely had my off-days, like the time I wore khakis and a weird pair of sneakers to brunch” amelia, i will never forget this day

  • “I refuse to save up money for runway things like Dolce & Gabbana’s mustachioed underpants”, I agree!! I really enjoyed the story 🙂

  • Alice

    This is brilliant! Amelia, you are so relatable!

  • Sara Ashtaryeh

    This is so relatable! Especially with all the anti street style vibes happening.

  • Paula McClelland

    This is a cool little piece Amelia – and just because you work in fashion don’t mean you gotta channel a flamingo everyday. I like that you stay true to your own style.

    ♥ Paula Shoe Fiend.

  • Yu Yu Chan

    You are precious for that, while everyone’s putting their flamboyant outfit for fashion week x

  • sketch42

    Great article! Last year I went to some shows in what I thought was cool. No one takes my picture, but like you, Im totally down with that. I dress like a prep school equestrian who used to be a hippie (I think!??!) And I don’t change according to trends or seasons, my look is just my look! Love the article!


    I hear you sister!! i never did the sandal look aswell though… xx