Pumpkin Brain and Pizza Crust: Amelia’s Fashion Week Diary

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,

6:25 a.m.

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.

6:45 a.m.

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.

These are my favorite Desmond & Dempsey pajamas.

7:35 a.m.

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.

10 a.m.

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).

10:45 a.m.

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.

10:55 a.m. 

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?

11:30 a.m.

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!

12:30 p.m.

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.

12:45 p.m.

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.

1:30 p.m.

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.

1:45 p.m.

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.

2 p.m.

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.

3 p.m.

I’m late — didn’t keep my eye on the time — and rush out the door to run to Phillip Lim.

3:20 p.m.

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 love emailing in all caps! Haley and Harling also love it when I do that. I miss the whole team, I realize. I miss the office!

4 p.m.

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!

(The collection was beautiful, wrote about it here.)

5 p.m. 

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?”

5:30 p.m.

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?

7:30 p.m.

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.

8 p.m.

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?

9 p.m.

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.

10:15 p.m.

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.

Images via Amelia Diamond. Feature image by Simon Chetrit; follow him on Instagram @simonzchetrit.

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  • Pumpkin brain is such a thing for me that my husband now says that I am “pumpkining” when I get sleepy/overworked.

    • Amelia Diamond


  • Mk

    Boat perv 😂

  • You ARE a Labrador! My parent’s lab once ate an entire box – like, giant box of little packets – of oyster crackers. His most recent adventure was a cross country road trip with my mom and Dad. He is now on the west coast, living life eating seaweed on the beach.

    • Amelia Diamond

      omg i love packets of oyster crackers! every good purse has one just in case!

      • Summer

        I knew I had turned into my grandmother when I stuffed 3 packets of saltines and 2 bags of oyster crackers into my purse for later…… later being approx 5 min post-stealing……

  • Olivia Lauren Hawk Moore

    I also do pumpkin brain but have never had a name for it, thanks for that!

  • Adrianna

    Netflix documentaries: go watch Icarus right now! It’s on trend, trust me.

    But do NOT google anything about it, even when you’re 15 minutes in and wondering why I insisted that you should watch this.

    • Cristina

      That doc was really good, I think I watched is last year. So when the news broke about Russia and the winter games I was like duh cause I know everything about Russia and doping lol

      • Adrianna

        lol my American boyfriend was stunned, whereas I’m Polish and was also like “duh.” Sometimes I forget other people haven’t studied Russia (independently and college level) as much as I have

    • Amelia Diamond


      • Adrianna

        That’s what I mean by wondering why you’re watching at the 15 minute mark! The documentary pivots in a big way (imo.) I know the scene you’re referring to, and I’m 95% certain there aren’t any more.

        • Amelia Diamond

          oooo ok ok. I’m gonna try again this weekend. (thank you!)

  • Maren Douglas

    I am very much digging these fashion week diaries

  • Caroline

    QE is so good. I was shocked at the depth the show reached. Very true that it is a stress reliever. Also, I have cried at every episode so far (3)

    • Amelia Diamond

      wait SAME. i’m on #4. i have cried every time!!

    • smillipede

      lol me too … am actually relieved to learn that it’s not j me

  • Constance

    Girls, you start to have the same style of writing and the same jokes, Hayley, Harling and you…

    • Amelia Diamond

      you should see us on days we all dress the same

      • Constance

        :))) you should do a clone week!
        With a serious fashion problem behind like “if we are not careful we will soon all dress the same in zara”

  • Listening to “Young Turks” on repeat now!! Such a good tune.

  • CeeEm

    Amelia, what are your sunglasses?? Love them.

  • Basil

    Im so glad to find out I’m not the only adult with no food in the home. I just don’t know how people manage it

    • Amelia Diamond

      you have to be freezer-savvy! i freeze-burn everything.

  • Quinn Halman

    i love you in that fur coat so much

    • Amelia Diamond

      it’s faux and from reformation!!

  • smillipede

    the new queer eye is incredible

    • Amelia Diamond

      so good

  • Amelia! I’m all for putting the phone down but I’m worried about you! What if there is an EMERGENCY, am i being dramatic? Also, a copyediting issue under 11:30

    • Amelia Diamond

      Wait where SOS i am a blind mole right now! Also don’t worry don’t worry I HAVE my phone so worst case scenario beep boop boop

  • AYR

    pizza crust is delicious and so are YOU!

    • Amelia Diamond

      SO ARE YOU

  • Caroline

    Boat Pervs Anonymous 🙋‍♀️

    • Amelia Diamond


  • Elizabeth

    I literally just finished a QE binge of the entire season. It was SO SO good! They all made me cry!

    • Amelia Diamond

      it’s all i want to do this weekend

  • Georgia Booth

    you’re the coolest, Amelia, seriously.

    • Amelia Diamond

      Georgia Booth you are

  • Ava Cadee

    “because I’m a boat perv” AHHAHAHAHA

  • Cold leftover pizza in the morning is THE BEST ! and not just for human labradors 🙂

    • Amelia Diamond

      Guess what my breakfast was this Am

  • Maggie Lanham

    Is it a Taurus thing to love “Do Ya Think I’m Sexy”? Because it is also one of my pick-me-up jams BIG TIME. If you want a good laugh/be weirded out, you should check out Tiny Tim’s version of the song!

    • Amelia Diamond

      will do asap!

  • Babs

    I feel like a fraud for not remembering the dude’s name, but that first ep of the new queer eye Moved Me. Do you think they really got back together or was it a cam-e-rah stunt?!

    • Amelia Diamond

      I DO NOT KNOW!!!!! (i can’t ever remember anyone’s name, in TV or IRL like sometimes I forget my dad’s name.) I REALLY THINK IT WAS GENUINE THOUGH. IT WAS SO SWEET. THEY LOVE EACH OTHER! THEY FLIRTED ON RECLINERS!!!

  • Nora

    Girl, the other night I made two cheese quesadillas on corn tortillas for dinner. In my book, no meal is more nutritious than carbs and cheese.

    • Amelia Diamond

      i have been craving quesadillas all week

  • Lilli

    Amelia will there be any of the longer reviews for any shows this month??

    • Amelia Diamond

      I think toward Paris yea! Leandra did one of Calvin —

      What was it you liked about the longer reviews? The shows themselves, the thinkier stuff, ?? curious!!

      • Lilli

        The Calvin review is great!
        Of course I love the show it self and the clothing, but the thinkier stuff was always a great draw card! I loved the way you and Leandra especially wrote these reviews!