I think I speak on behalf of everyone when I say that Rod Stewart’s voice is the antidote to Monday fatigue. Sometimes, when I’m up and awake but not actually alive yet, I’ll put on “Maggie May” or “Da Ya Think I’m Sexy” and see where the morning takes me. It’s almost always to a better place. On this particular Monday, with an iPhone in hand and the pressure of executing an outfit recipe for all those who watch Man Repeller’s Instagram stories as a procrastination method upon my shoulders, Rod Stewart saved me. I was half asleep before I hit play on “Young Turks” and began dressing for a live audience. (My neighbors and I have come to an agreement: you don’t close your shades, I won’t close mine, and we’ll pretend to not recognize one another at the laundromat.)
I came to life shortly after, but let’s start at the very beginning,
I wake up before my alarm and use the five minutes before it goes off to practice the kind of breathing relaxation my old Taekwondo instructor taught me. You inhale very deeply and slowly for a count of 10, as your belly expands, then you hold your breath for five seconds. At six, you exhale, even more slowly than the inhale, while the air pushes through your nose and your belly flattens. And then you start to stress about everything that has ever happened and spend the remaining four minutes writing various unlikely, anxiety-producing scenarios in your head until it’s time to get up and brush your teeth, at which point you realize you never shut your alarm off so it will now wake up the other person in your bed.
I do a round of edits on a story that will go live later in the week. I have a call at 7 a.m. about a Friday photoshoot that I take from my exceptionally-heated bathroom in an attempt to be quiet (I live in a studio apartment and my boyfriend’s still asleep). By 7:05, he’s awake. He always makes the coffee but I forgot to re-up the stash. Luckily, depending on how you define “luck,” I find a suspiciously old iced coffee in my fridge, split it into two and pour over ice. I put his share in a wine glass because I believe in everyday celebrations and not doing the dishes on Sundays.
Off the phone. We hang out for a bit and I successfully ignore the nagging urge to check all various modes of communication for a solid 10 minutes. By 7:50 I’m back in the zone and he’s on his way out the door. I eat handfuls of Saltines for breakfast because there’s no food in this home, and also because I’m a human Labrador. There’s pizza in the fridge but I can’t bring myself to do that yet.
I chew up a nice half hour producing my morning “outfit recipe” for Man Repeller. With “Young Turks” on repeat (there it is) to provide a background soundtrack, I begin to feel the very energy I was trying to channel earlier from bed.
Getting dressed has been crazy fast this week because I’ve basically worn the same thing every day for a story I’m writing. It’s been so nice to eliminate the decision of clothes, but I am getting SUPER BORED of navy, especially given the onslaught of new stylings I want to try after sitting through the shows so far (the main one being the 800 ways to wear cowboy boots, none of which work with the red boots I currently own nor the trousers I’ve attached myself to).
I walk to Ralph Lauren without my phone in hand, which is this new thing I’m trying to do: commute sans communication. No news-y podcasts, either. Just me and my brain. It’s kinda unproductive but probably considered self-care.
I’m so on-time that I stop at a coffee shop, buy an Americano and a muffin, shove the muffin in my brand new baby blue sparkly Ganni bag with fruits all over it. The woman at the counter looks at me like, “That’s not where I’d store a muffin but whatever.” Don’t crumbs at the bottom of the bag mean it’s been really loved, though?
Ralph Lauren has ended and I’m in a great mood. There were rain-slicker shorts, which I just can’t seem to get over because I’m a boat perv. I really respect Ralph Lauren for his unapologetic commitment to the World of Ralph Lauren and Its Accompanying Aesthetic. The man does not bend to the whim of trends. He stays true to his vision, even if it’s not everyone’s. I think that about that a lot in terms of creativity — how easy it is to be over-influenced with so much access to everyone’s Great Idea, to question yourself and think, “Shit. Should I be doing that?” I mean, I’m sure he and his team have their moments, but it doesn’t show, and that’s impressive.
Kerry Pieri leans over as the show ends and asks something to the effect of, “Was that collection your idea of heaven?” Hello yes obviously!
I’m at Derek Lam pretty early. I have a notorious-in-the-boring-way reputation for always having my laptop with me at shows, a carryover habit from when we used to write longer reviews more frequently and I was always writing on the go. I do have my laptop with me but it’s for all the non-fashion-week work going on, so I pull into a Pret a Manger to make a dent without having to explain to anyone why this dinosaur (not the cool kind) is on my lap.
I might actually spend more time on Twitter than Instagram these days, and right now, all of Twitter is tweeting about Barack Obama’s Kehinde Wiley portrait and Michelle Obama’s portrait by Amy Sherald. I think they’re both incredible but don’t know much about Sherald, so I start reading up on her. I go into another world for a minute doing so; it’s so nice to step outside the fashion week vortex, even if it’s quick, while you’re deep into the fifth day.
Out of Derek Lam and in a cab back to my apartment. I loved this show for a million reasons (I’m a Derek Lam fan, this collection was great as expected) but also, he referenced the most formative movie of my youth, National Velvet. There’s something here, writing-wise, but I can’t put my finger on what yet. It’s driving me crazy, like a name I know, or used to know, but for the life of me can’t remember.
Have a weird moment of fashion week sadness. Or maybe I’m tired. Or hungry? I’m used to having Leandra with me for so much of these shows that it’s been weird without her. She’s also really great about making sure we have “healthy snacks” and hydrate and now here I am just rogue as hell, have consumed only five Saltines today. Can you imagine?
Then I remember about the muffin.
And the snacks at Derek Lam, like the mozzarella sticks. And the hot chocolate. And the mini lobster rolls, so I realize I have actually been fairly nourished but whatever.
Back in my apartment for a conference call about something VERY EXCITING we have coming up. I spend 15 minutes of the call lying down on my bed and snap a selfie because it feels so good to be horizontal.
I’m late — didn’t keep my eye on the time — and rush out the door to run to Phillip Lim.
I MISSED IT. I hate missing shows. It fills me with a shame similar to that of missing a plane or train. Missed shows do happen, though. And usually it’s planned: I just need a break, or have to prioritize something office-related. My friend once told me she tries to get a gold star record every season (perfect attendance at every show she RSVP’d to) which I’ve become obsessed with but have yet to achieve. Now I’m having a labrador moment again, this time with my tail between my legs. I head into a coffee shop to get more work done and email the PR team that “I’M SORRY.”
I take the 1 train down to Rector Street for the Oscar de la Renta show, which is being held in the (not to sound like a clickbait title but) absolutely stunning Cunard Building. It’s like a different world down here in the Financial District and I lose my bearing for a moment, then run into a Man Repeller reader whose name I can’t remember (remind me if you’re reading this — it’s like a Missed Connection! ACD 4 MRR) who’s heading toward the same venue. She has a much better sense of direction and helps me find the front door. Thank you!
Heading home proved much easier. First thing I do when I walk in the door is reach for the cold pizza that I was too good for this morning.
My friends Max and Nina from AYR stop over to take my picture for a Women’s Month story they’re doing on their site. I was a great host: “Would you like some tap water? How about the crust of this pizza?”
They leave and I start flying through emails. I know my brain is going to start shutting down soon. It’s like a magical pumpkin and I have until 7:30 p.m. before it’s rendered mostly useless. This is a new thing that has happened at age 29. I used to be able to focus until like, 2 a.m. and then wake up and go to the gym?
Pumpkin brain, time to leave. I’m still in the middle of writing/organizing a post for the morning so I bring my laptop with me. It is so heavy. It is from 2010 and is so sturdy that it once got literally trampled by a stampede and god bless it, it turns on every day.
I’m sitting at the MoMa, waiting for the Carolina Herrera show to start. The bench is really high up so my legs are kind of dangling and I feel like a kid. I’m not seated near any friends, I’m sick of my inbox and mad at Instagram for greatly disrupting my screenshot habits so I start looking around at people’s ears. It’s something.
The show starts. It’s very Carolina, and when she gets a standing ovation at the end after a finale of models in her iconic oxford/ball skirt/thick belt combination, I get a little emotional.
Maybe I’m just hungry again?
I fly out the door once the show’s over like I think I’m Anna Wintour on skis, jump into a cab and head downtown to my apartment.
Finished all my “homework” that’s due tomorrow. My boyfriend comes over with a salad that is 80% falafels, which is how I like salads, because I hate salads. We start-and-stop two documentaries. Our brains aren’t working. Pumpkin pie. I set my alarm for 6:30 a.m, plug it in and say sayonara to it until tomorrow.
We turn on Queer Eye for the Straight Guy on Netflix and watch the sweetest man ever be instilled with a newfound confidence thanks to his newly re-styled home and wardrobe. Instant new favorite stress-erasing show. There’s a parallel to be drawn somewhere, I know, about the transformative power of clothes.