Post-Fashion Week Blues

I’ve never handled the end of things very well.

My mom kept our Christmas tree up until January 10th every year because she said that was the longest reasonable span of time it could remain intact before it became flammable or seemed tacky, while allowing me maximum days to grieve. I’ve never dis-ornamented our tree’s bows, still can’t bear to watch it be dragged out the door and I’ve never, ever been able to face the empty spot where the physical manifestation of my favorite holiday no longer stands. RIP, you wintergreen angel.

When I finish a movie I’ve just fallen in love with I watch the rolling credits until they bleed out, my mouth agape like a stoned fish, begging silently for air but also a reprieve from the reality of that cursive Fin.

When summers, vacations and television series come to a close I remain in denial for longer than most consider sane, and if I finish any meal I’ve eaten too quickly I stare at my barren plate with heavy despondence.

The end of New York Fashion Week is celebrated. My peers Instagram the official closure as though it were a bouquet of flowers and clink bubbly beverages in unison — “We deserve this,” they cry. “We survived!”

I, on the other hand, feel deflated, like it came too fast and ended too soon.

The emptiness begins with the fact that the sparkle is gone. Fashion week brings a jolt of energy to Manhattan’s already electric streets, and after a long, cold January there’s nothing like flashes of color and texture and anxiety and life to bring a much needed flush back to this city’s cheeks.

You know when you’ve gotten your hair and makeup done for a special party? You’re an over-the-top version of yourself, a little uncomfortable because of all the product and curls and glitter and lashes, highly aware of the weight of your lacquered lips and festooned lids but strangely more confident than you’ve ever been — you feel beautiful, different, like you’re wearing a mask but holding a microphone…that’s Fashion Week.

Then you wash your face and it’s back to regular life.

Editors have already left for London, and as February drags on they’ll begin to leave for Milan, and then Paris. It’s like watching visiting family members and friends catch their departing flights after a long stay. They annoyed me by sleeping on my couch for too many nights, but now I miss the spot they overtook. “Come back!,” I want to cry. “We can show the Milan collections here!”

I’ll never forget when a Vanity Fair editor once tweeted: “‘Are you surviving fashion week?’ NO, one survives a war, a fire or even a bad fall. I am going to fashion shows, I will certainly be ok.”

That’s exactly how I feel. I don’t want to celebrate that I “survived” because I feel like I’ve been through zero trenches. Yes, I’m exhausted. Yes, my brain is functioning slower, my feet hurt, I haven’t done laundry in ten days and I’ve not seen any friends outside the confines of this industry bubble…but I loved it. I love it every time. Somehow Fashion Week is the one area left un-jaded by my grumpy, New York demeanor, and when it ends, I’m always sad.

So goodbye for now, New York Fashion Week. I’ll see you in September.

Image via The Cut

  • ReadER451

    NY Fashion Week in September makes me sad as I know summer is over…

  • How were you when you graduated from college? I was depressed from May 2010- May 2012. Sometimes I think I am still not over it….

  • oh my god. i just realized the lyrics to summertime saddness are “kiss me hard before you go” thanks to the headline of this post, and not “kiss me all before you go”. i can’t stop laughing. ugh, i learn so much from you guys.

    • Modupe Oloruntoba

      lol, I thought it was ‘Kiss me now before you go’. Ah, education. 😀

  • Aubrey Green

    I loved this so much!! I think this may be why I do not like New Years, it makes me extremely uncomfortable, I’m happy for a New Year, but so sad to see the last year go – I can’t control my emotions, I prefer to not participate in the countdown – I feel like my heart will explode.

  • Celeste

    that picture of Karmen Pedaru. i die. too good. Lovely piece by the way Amelia.

  • Dear Leandra,

    No, actually this post you were writing in a Ironically way…..:)

    One side you might be a little sad, but you are more happy that finally the city and your life come back to the normal days.
    But I like how you described the emotion.
    Fashion won’t die, till we drop.

    Regards from Munich, Fanning

    • Leandra Medine

      Amelia wrote this!

      • You are right. Now then it is not that funny, because it would be so great, those lovely words were from your mind. But I like this post.
        WOW, by the way, I am talking to you!!!! 🙂

  • Sarah Blodgett

    Very well written! Maybe this humorous look at fashion week will make you laugh

  • Dancingcheektocheek

    I agree January 10th is a reasonable day to take down the tree after Christmas. I wasn’t very involved in fashion week except as an expensively dressed parody but I noticed many sad glimmers behind the makeup. And everyone who loves their work feels exhausted and sad when it’s ended, even for only a season.