new york designers on their pre-show rituals

Practical, empowering, or just plain superstitious? Your favorite designers on how they prep for the big moment.

by Austen Leah Rosenfeld
11 September 2015, 4:02pm

Photography Kate Owen

Just like pro sportsmen and compulsive gamblers, fashion designers have superstitions. After all, a fashion show is a performance and any number of things could go wrong come showtime. So as fashion week mayhem begins we asked NYFW designers how they prep mentally for the big day. From meditation to popping vitamins, here's what they had to say about their rituals and routines.

Zana Bayne: "RedBull and a sunrise. Every fashion week there is a moment the night before we show where I am drinking a RedBull while watching the sun rise from the windows of my studio, finishing the last details of the collection pieces, fuelled by caffeine and adrenaline. I take a car home and crawl into bed at 5am, knowing that I only have a couple of hours to sleep before the true madness begins."

John Elliott of John Elliott + Co: "As dumb as it sounds, I have to have two rubber bands on my wrist that are with me through the lead-up and preparation of the show."

Aurora James of Brother Vellies: "This is my first fashion week show so I guess traditions start here. I've been popping insane amounts of EPA/DHA 720. I'm relying on this 100% to get me through the month. I am also doing bi-weekly light therapy to alleviate stress."

Dion Lee: "The night before the show I usually have good intentions of meditating just before I go to bed; although, the last few seasons I've been so tired that I end up falling asleep half way through."

Hillary Taymour of Collina Strada: "Before my show I like to walk into the space and take a moment to myself and reflect on all the work we have accomplished leading up to this point. It's important to appreciate the moment and not get caught up the madness."

Shane Gabier of Creatures of the Wind: "Every season during show prep we focus on getting as much work done as early in the evening as possible, so we can let our team go home. Then Chris and I spend a couple of hours by ourselves staring at the boards and looking at the clothes. It's really important to have some quiet time alone with the collection; we get our best work done late at night."

Patrik Ervell: "I do a sage burning in the studio after each show, before I begin working on the next collection."

Becca McCharen of Chromat: "I will say the cab ride to the studio is the lowest point. I get intensely nervous and drink a ton of water. It's the car ride from hell. So this season I'm going to take the subway for the first time."

Related: 10 emerging New York designers you should know


Text Austen Leah Rosenfeld

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