the i-D guide to surviving mbfwa

Welcome to Fashion Week! Let us help you through this maze of champagne, blisters, packed schedules and afterparties.

by i-D Staff
16 May 2017, 11:00pm

Behind the scenes at Pageant Resort 18.

Fashion week isn't a sprint, it's a marathon, in heels, that you borrowed, and don't really fit in to. To make it through this massive event hydrated, blister free and sane is a real effort. After all, how do you protect your skin from the deluge of free champagne? How do you make it to early shows when you've been up all night being charming at after parties? How do you get into said after parties in the first place?

To help you out, we've compiled some hints from those in the know — fashion week veterans, participants and legends. If these guys can't help you, you might consider following the action on their Instagram stories.

Eva Galambos, director and buyer of Parlour X, on how to navigate a packed fashion week schedule.

Navigating the MBFWA schedule is demanding, however with six buying trips to Europe every year over the last 20 years, I've learnt to operate within a jam packed schedule! My main focus across the week is to attend about 18 shows with corresponding buying appointments for the Australian brands we collaborate with, while still being present at Parlour X each day in pockets where there is free time. Although it is undoubtedly challenging as a mum and business owner, I do embrace and celebrate the week. The essential components to making it work for me are through grouping must-see shows together and through being selective with the late P.M. events. I also work through the night or rise really early to respond to the plethora of emails and also to prep my team for the following day.


Max Doyle on capturing the perfect fashion week portrait.

I tend to leave town during fashion week these days but one of the best things about the festival is that it draws so many interesting people together. In terms of getting a great shot, I'd seek out the truly interesting, more legendary and possibly older people who are likely to be more reclusive at other times. These are people you won't normally have access to and if the people you're shooting are interesting, your shots are going to be interesting.

I used to enjoy going to Paris fashion week for that reason, just being able to shoot these legendary characters who'd be standing next to me. I did a lot of early street photography and my style was looser than what was typical at the time because I was out, having a good time with the people in the shots and they had that insight and energy. I left a lot of those pictures at a storage facility in Paris and unfortunately they were all destroyed. It's so disappointing. So yeah, I'd also recommend remembering to pay your storage bills.



Emma Mulholland on how to survive from day to night.

I think some keys to not hating yourself the whole day is wearing comfortable clothes and shoes, I also limit myself to two coffees, as you can just keep drinking them and turn into a jittery psycho. Also drinking as much water as possible can help as you will most likely be hitting the bar after the show and a combination of dehydration and sleep deprivation doesn't generally end well in my experience.


Betsy Greaves from The File on how to keep your skin looking good.

Come fashion week, you have two options: skip the party, keep to your sleep routine and worship your Clarisonic or fake it — and we both know which is more inviting. Despite leaving your face in ruins, the latter has its perks - drinking yourself into oblivion, gorging on canapés, reckless dancing, you know, fun stuff! But the best thing about the ever-manic fashion week isn't the sleep deprivation, facial mishap, or liver trauma that comes with it, but the quick-fix skincare products that let you get away with it all.

Take hyaluronic acid, a textbook trick for the beauty-savvy. A well-rested face has never been more attainable when all you have to do is mix a drop or ten into your moisturiser. It'll lock in the little moisture you have left in your skin while giving you a whole new layer of glow. I'm hooked on Glossier's Super Bounce and The Ordinary's Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5, mixed with Drunk Elephant's Lala Retro Whipped Cream moisturiser. The best cocktail you'll have all week! Maybe.

When your face looks wrecked, you can't afford to make it look any worse with matte skincare. You want dew, and you want it pronto. This means avoiding harsh cleaners at all costs, swapping them out for gentler cleansing balms. I've never used a better cleanser than Eve Lom's cleansing balm, and can vouch for it being worth every cent.

What fashion week first aid kit is complete without a sheet mask? I've recently started using Farmacy's Deep Moisture Hydrating Coconut Gel Masks. Finish with a spritz of Avène's thermal spring water, and you'll be wondering why it's not you on that runway.



Bronte Bloomfield, door girl-darling and DJ, on how to get into any party.

1. Make friends with the security guards! This is definitely the best way to secure entry. They're often down for a good chat because they work long shifts that involve a lot of standing around and doing nothing. Security can often override the door person to let people in, and usually there's an unspoken understanding between the person working door and the security that allows for a handful of people to be let in free on their request.

2. Be friendly to the door girl. This seems like an obvious one but you would be surprised how many people go about it the opposite way. People often try the whole assertive, I should be on the list or I know the manager or do you know who I am approach. This has the opposite effect and is usually the point I put my sassy door bitch hat on.

3. Stay cool and have a decent chat to the security and door person, expressing your interest in coming in and asking casually what your chances are and what you can do to make that happen. More often than not (unless they are at capacity) they'll try help you out. Just don't layer it on too thick or suck up because that makes you seem a bit desperate and frankly puts us off. 


Image via Pageant 

Emma Mulholland
parlour x
the file