The Coat Mystery of New York Fashion Week

If you’ve ever clicked through a slideshow of winter street style — especially during fashion week — then you’re no stranger to the concept of LLTNT: layering like there’s no tomorrow, because if there’s one thing the fashion set loves, it’s excessive, multiple layers. (All Leandra does is wear 25 garments at once.)

You see, the more layers, the more dynamic the outfit. Stylistically, a coat over the shoulders of a lighter coat over a blazer over a denim shirt under a sweater topped off with a hat is far more visually interesting than coat + pants + shoes. Other times, it’s simply because we’re trying to stay warm while running around outside but want skin to shed inside, which brings up what is perhaps one of the most interesting questions we’ve been asked all week: what does everyone do with their coats, hats, and multiple layers inside the shows?

Well, I will tell you one thing — there’s no coat rack.

First there’s the group of people who, thanks to all of their layers, didn’t actually wear a coat. They have on at least three heat-tech long sleeve tees underneath whatever it is they’re actually wearing, all because they were dedicated to their look sans coat. They will keep their hats on — again, part of the look — plus whatever belted blazer/vest combo they’ve decided upon. They’ve got to be hot, but they grin and bear it.

The next group of people are the sufferers. I fall into this category. We are the people who can’t get comfortable temperature-wise no matter what. Outside, we freeze. Inside, we’re sweating. Our coats come off, then back on, then off, then back on. If I arrive to a show early, I’ll take my coat off and sit on it. If I’m a bit late, I suck it up and keep it on the whole show, silently baking, just trying to remind myself that as soon as I hit the cold wind again I’m going to be dreaming of hot lava.

Finally, there are the magicians. These are the people who I could have sworn just ten minutes earlier were outside in their pepto-pink Rochas coats and plaid Célines. Then, once seated, no coat. They aren’t sitting on it. A friend isn’t holding it. They surely haven’t stashed it under the seat because the photog pit would scream bloody murder if anyone tried that. So where did it go?

It’s possible there’s some sort of secret coat concierge that I’ve not yet been initiated into — where someone comes and quickly whisks your coat away before sitting down and then returns it in the flashiest of flashes once the show ends…but this seems a bit much. Even Anna keeps her coat on the whole time.

I wonder if they have some sort of Inspector Gadget device that allows their entire coat to fold up to the size of a tiny, foldable washcloth, which they can then hold in their hands until they release it to full capacity later on.

Who knows, though, ya know? This industry, man. It’s full of secrets. What do you think? What would you do with your coat? Does anyone want to get a burrito with me around 3 o’clock?

Image shot by Phil Oh

  • I’m not a magician neither I guess! 😉

  • I bet their invisible friends that help them jump over puddles also hold their coats!!!! While I’ve never attended anything to do with fashion week (somehow all my invites get lost in the mail?!?!), wearing a coat/carrying it/placing it somewhere is one of the most stressful parts of winter. I feel it must be similar to bringing a toddler to a bar. WHERE THE HELL AM I GOING TO PUT IT / WILL IT GET LOST?! Not that I bring toddlers to bars…

  • Bella

    I’ve been wondering about this my ENTIRE fashionable existence!

  • Karen Liesens

    I would probably make a total fool out of myself and crumble my coat while sitting on it.

    x Karen

  • ThisTrendThatTrend

    Hi, it’s through the help of wonderful personal assistants / friends. Story of my life, actually!

  • jen

    If only my cag in a bag or mac in a sac were as cool as i thought they were in primary school i would be all kinds of sorted

  • Dude, I will totally grab a burrito with you. I’m in Cali, but hey.

    How do people sit on their coats and not crumple them? Are they stashing their coats with their model friends? Oh this industry. So magical.

  • Manon Boutié

    This reminds me of Hussein Chalayan’s Sprinf 2007 show !
    Maybe he has a solution 🙂


  • devdee


  • Irina Bond

    Yeah, it’s probably assistants / boyfriends / hubbies.

    xo, Irina

  • samhallie

    oh hunny id just love a burrito.

  • Kandeel

    I think Mary Poppins bags. Its the only thing that seems to make sense to me!!

  • Belu

    One word: assistants.