Comfy Clothes and Cookie Dough: Harling’s Fashion Week Diary
02.13.18

8:30 a.m.

I’m awake! And very hungry. Probably because I had a slice of pizza and two glasses of wine for dinner the previous evening, which in addition to being the favored meal of an adult child, is neither nutrient-rich nor filling. I wish I had slept in even just half an hour longer, so I pretend I did by laying in bed and scrolling through Instagram for that exact amount of time.

9 a.m.

I edit the copy I filed the night before for Man Repeller’s daily fashion week recap because I wrote it at 10 p.m. while drinking the aforementioned wine and it wasn’t formatted correctly, which Haley kindly pointed out to me over Slack. (She’s an earth angel). I also fluffed up the intro a bit with some jokes about goat cheese and brainstormed a new headline. You can read it here if you want to provide feedback.

9:30 a.m.

Okay, now I’m VERY hungry, especially after waxing poetic about goat cheese. I look outside a window, see that it’s pouring rain, pull on a weird amalgamation of clothing and head out the door in search of food. I am panicked because I have no idea what I want to eat. I decide to go to Gourmet Garage, because it is gourmet. I pick up a greek yogurt, a bag of my favorite Early Bird granola and a blueberry muffin.

10 a.m.

I hang out at my boyfriend Austin’s apartment for a bit. He eats the blueberry muffin and we talk about how muffins are just cake without frosting.

11 a.m.

I head to my apartment, shower and start thinking about what the heck I’m going to wear in this disgusting weather. It rained the day before, too, and I wore patent leather loafers that held up remarkably well, but I can’t bear to put them through round two. I resign myself to wearing actual rain boots. As for clothing, I put on a Topshop dress, Outdoor Voices leggings, a J.Crew peacoat and Ganni beanie. While I enjoy these pieces individually, I’m not sure how I feel about the outfit. I look like a cross between Steve Zissou and a kindergarten teacher who sprouts her own almonds for fun.

11:30 a.m.

I remind myself that I have some time before I have to leave for my first show, so I take off the beanie and the peacoat and catch up on work. I post two of Simon’s delectable street style shots to Man Repeller’s Instagram, attempt to clear out my inbox and check off a couple things on my to-do list for the week ahead.

12 p.m.

I’m not hungry, but I decide I should eat something because I have a chunk of back-to-back shows and presentations in the afternoon and won’t have time to eat again until later. I eat a single chicken sausage link and a bag of lime and salt-flavored popcorn, thus continuing my adult child diet. As I pop the last chocolate from a box handed out at the Cushnie et Ochs show on Friday, I make a mental note to ingest something green later.

12:45 p.m.

I start walking to Varick Street, where my first show of the day (Mansur Gavriel) is taking place at 1 p.m. It’s only a 15-minute walk from my apartment, but by the time I arrive the bottom of my dress looks like a Kleenex that New York City used to wipe its nose.

1 p.m.

Fashion shows routinely start 30 minutes late, but I try to get there on time if I can just in case I’m sitting in the middle of a back row or something. I’ve had to climb over people on numerous occasions, which is always embarrassing, especially because I’m still a relative newbie at these things and I prefer not to meet people for the first time by accidentally sitting in their laps. Fortunately, at Mansur, I am both on time and sitting in the front row of my section — a treat!

1:30 p.m.

The show begins, fashionably late as predicted. The first four looks are head-to-toe white, simple enough to encapsulate ease but special enough that they might suit a bride for a courthouse wedding or similarly low-key venue. The color palette transitions into pinks and lavenders next, and then browns, yellows and blacks. It is very aesthetically pleasing to behold, almost like a ROYGBIV ASMR experience. More importantly, though, everything looks distinctly relaxed and elegant at the same time. It definitely makes me want to start wearing more monochrome.

1:45 p.m.

I hop on the subway to head further downtown for the Tibi show. The venue is tucked away by the docks at South Street Seaport, which is also where the Cushnie show took place so I feel like a pro making my way to the slightly hidden location. It didn’t hurt that this time I am following throngs of colorfully-dressed attendees whereas on Friday I was running late and it was pitch black.

2:15 p.m.

Elizabeth waves to me from a bench. I’m very excited because my seat is right next to hers. And then Haley arrives! And Amelia! We’re all sitting together and I immediately feel the comfort of being with my people spread across my chest like butter on hot toast. (As I mentioned, I’m still a relatively new to the industry, and Man Repeller’s team is so small that we usually divide and conquer during fashion week, so I often feel like an anxious weirdo lurking in corners alone at various events. If you see me doing that, please come say hi. I will give you the scrunchie off my back and the deodorant in my purse.)

2:30 p.m.

The show starts and the first thing I notice are the shoes. They’re patent leather cowboy-esque boots, and they’re fantastic. Then I notice the clothes: like Mansur Gavriel’s, they look supremely comfortable and sophisticated at the same time. How wonderful to be a living, breathing, moving, eating woman in these outfits, I think.

2:45 p.m.

I exit the venue and run into Phoebe Lovatt, founder of the WW Club and upcoming participant in a fun story Man Repeller is doing with Ted Baker. She echoes what I was pondering during the show: How nice it is that Tibi’s clothing is designed with women’s actual bodies in mind. I continue contemplating this as I walk to the Rosetta Getty presentation in Tribeca.

3:15 p.m.

I slack Amelia that I’d like to write a full story about Tibi and Mansur Gavriel, and she responds, “Cool! Can’t wait.” Then I stash my pink umbrella amongst a sea of black ones in the vestibule outside Rosetta Getty and walk into the presentation. I immediately want to throw away all my clothes and replace them with what’s in the room: a sea of loose-fitting dresses, belted coats, sumptuous sweaters and patent leather shoes, including a pair of white mid-calf boots I would trade a toenail for.

3:30 p.m.

I walk back to Varick Street, where Tanya Taylor is having its presentation at 4 p.m. It’s a quick walk though, and I arrive too early, so I meander around looking for a place to crash while I kill time. I find a Starbucks and sit down inside. I’m minding my own business uploading some photos from Rosetta Getty to Man Repeller’s Instagram when all of a sudden a guy sits down right next to me and opens up an enormous container of fettuccine. I have nothing against fettuccine, in fact I enjoy it, but this particular batch smelled extremely questionable and I felt myself getting a little nauseous, so I make a quick exit.

4 p.m.

As I enter the venue for Tanya Taylor, I run into Christene Barberich, the editor-in-chief and co-founder of Refinery29. We joke about how wet we are and how all water in New York feels like it might contain small traces of urine, even if it’s coming straight from the sky.

4:05 p.m.

I take a lap around the presentation and snap some photos. My favorite piece is a shiny, striped turtleneck that I would love to wear out every night of the week from December through February. The shoes are great, too — lots of practical-but-not-boring flats and kitten-heeled mules.

4:15 p.m.

I leave to go home. I decide to stop at Sweetgreen on the way to pick up a salad because I’m hungry. It’s kind of a weird time to eat, though, and I deduce that I’ll probably be hungry later, so I take preemptive action and ask Instagram Stories where I can find the best chocolate chip cookie in Soho, figuring that would make the perfect late-evening snack.

4:30 p.m.

I purchase my salad but I’m too hungry to pursue the cookie mission at the moment, so I hightail it to my apartment, change into a T-shirt and gym shorts and prepare to dive into my salad, only to realize my plastic fork is missing a tong. It feels like a sign that I should have gotten the cookie.

5 p.m.

I start writing my review of Mansur Gavriel and Tibi. I take a moment to appreciate how nice it feels to be wearing my best and ugliest home clothes while I write about fashion getting more comfortable with comfort.

6:30 p.m.

I’m done! I slack the finished copy to Haley and Amelia to edit. Then I do some boring stuff like clean my room and take ANOTHER shower because my hair has been subjected to the whims of rain and beanie-smushing all day and could use some refreshing in the form of shampoo and conditioner.

6:45 p.m.

I foam roll for a bit in my living room because I have iliotibial band syndrome (the fancy term for runner’s knee) and this is supposed to help. It’s incredibly boring, not to mention painful, so I listen to the Dear Sugar podcast as a distraction.

7 p.m.

I chat with one of my roommates, who just got home (thankfully, after I’d already put away the foam roller — I look so weird when I’m doing it). I tell her the most important news of the weekend, which is that I discovered our bathroom sink water tastes significantly better than our kitchen sink water.

7:30 p.m.

As predicted, I’m starting to get hungry again. I really wish I’d gotten that cookie, but I’m way too lazy to put on real clothes and go back out in the rain at this point. I decide to pivot my dessert plans and order some ice cream. I order two scoops of vegan chocolate chip cookie dough from Van Leeuwen’s — one for me and one for my other roommate, who isn’t home yet but texts me that she wants in on my nightcap.

8:15 p.m.

Our ice cream arrives!!!! I put my roommate’s scoop in the freezer and take mine into bed with me, where I make sweet love to it by way of a spoon. I feel a little sick because (surprise!) there is a bucketload of sugar in cookie dough ice cream, but very content nonetheless.

8:30 p.m.

I answer some more emails and will myself to get sleepy. My body is exhausted (I check my iPhone and discover that I walked a grand total of 26.5 miles going from event to event over the past four days, so it was a literal marathon), but my head is still buzzing.

9 p.m.

I am not sleepy. I watch the most recent episode of Grey’s Anatomy, which is having a topnotch 14th season, thank you for asking.

10 p.m.

I’m still not sleepy, so I start reading a book that Haley recommended to me called A Fraction of the Whole. I love it immediately.

11 p.m.

Nope. Still not sleepy. I want to keep reading but I also want to turn off my brain, so I take a melatonin.

12 a.m.

Zzzzzzzzzzzzz.

Photos via Harling Ross.

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  • Andrea Raymer

    Harling, I love how you and Haley have mentioned how you guys feel out of place during fashion week. I think everyone I know feels that way no matter how many shows they go to or where they sit. The acknowledgement of “I feel awkward and don’t know anyone, lets just stay out of everyone’s way” is so comforting to hear.

    It is so easy to fall into a habit of comparing ourselves with others this week in so many ways, from who gets invited where and at all, to the seating hierarchy, to constant photographers taking some people’s photos and not others. There are so many extremely quantitative things to make people feel inferior this week. The fact that this is a near-universal feeling can be unifying when people acknowledge it.

  • Such a delightful diary – and Grey’s IS having a great 14th season right??

    • Harling Ross

      IT SURE IS

  • Jenna

    Now I really want you to do an article on kindergarten teacher-esque outfit recipes. A little more Ms. Frizzle in our daily lives never hurt anyone.

    Also, this might be the loveliest sentence I’ve read this month: “We’re all sitting together and I immediately feel the comfort of being with my people spread across my chest like butter on hot toast.”

  • Cristina

    Pretty much my sole takeaway was putting ice cream in the fridge not the freezer. Does it not melt?! I am genuinely wondering as someone who has a borderline phobia of melted ice cream. I order mine, then immediately stick in the freezer for 20 mins just for good measure before diving in!
    Also, I very much LOL’d at the kindergarten teacher soaking almonds for fun line.

    • Harling Ross

      oh man i totally meant freezer. editing!

  • Rosemary

    I love this outfit!!! (and this life snapshot)

  • Dear Harling i love love love to read you! And you look fab in this outfit. But using plastic utensils when eating at home makes my heart bleed! You know it’s like a crime against the planet?

    • Harling Ross

      you’re right — i grabbed it without thinking. i generally (if not always) eat with regular silverware at home

      • Yay thank you !!!

  • Cecilia Loughlin

    Totally off topic but does the foam rolling actually help your runners knee? I have the same thing right now and no amount of stretching/ foam rolling is helping. Sad!

    • Harling Ross

      i haven’t been doing it for long enough to tell 🙁

  • katfish

    Thank you, Harling, for a thoroughly entertaining read. Later on, I will google the designers you mentioned to see what they have.
    I am in my late 50’s, living in the Midwestern Ozarks with dogs, chickens and too much fiber. I am a clothes horse and fiber artist. And mom, farmer, homemaker.
    Man Repeller is the ONLY site I try to keep up with. Intelligent, refreshing, fun, real.
    Yes, I wear handdyed, handknit hats and cashmere hoodies to feed the chickens. We all enjoy the coziness.
    Thanks again, Harling. To you and the rest of the staff. Glad you are upending the paradigm.

    • Harling Ross

      ahhhh this comment made my day. just shared with the team 🙂

    • Rosemary

      You seem fantastic and I share the love of handknit clothing! It’s like a warm hug from whoever made it!

  • Gigi

    Girl, you’d never guess you’re “new” to this. You have such a distinct style & ease with yourself that has always suggested experience & confidence to me!

    Thanks to you & all the brilliant women behind MR. I tell everyone I work with at Nordstrom about all you do! (& daydream *daily* that I’d ever one day work for/at MR, but that’s a whole other story ☺️)

  • Alissa Zilber

    A Fraction of the Whole is my absolute favourite book! Would love to hear your thoughts about it in another MR article!