The fashion universe loves to complain about what a slog New York Fashion Week can be. It's boring! The weather is unpredictable! The venues are spread all over the city! It's impossible to get a cab, to get off from work, to get excited about any of the parties, or to appreciate the clothes as much as we might in Milan or London or Paris!
Hold up. As we prepare for the festivities to kick off (right here, on the Cut, starting this Thursday), let's all take a moment, brace for the coming storm, and just appreciate. Whether it's a secret spa routine, an annual dinner tradition (at McDonald's?), a plush hotel room, or even a chance to sit next to someone fun and crazy in the front row, NYFW throws us all into a tailspin that's worth enjoying if only because it breaks up our city routines. To celebrate this, we asked fashion's most expert experts — designers, editors, bloggers, models, photographers, and more — to get happy for a moment. Herewith, the results. Let us know your own in the comments below.
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Coco Rocha, Model (Wilhelmina)
"You get to enjoy the spectacularly awkward fashion disaster of the loitering 'fashionistas' waiting to be discovered at Lincoln Center. They have no real shows to go to but they sure do act busy and important, setting the gold standard for what not to wear this coming season."
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Rachel Zoe, Designer and Stylist
"I am excited to layer! It's been so warm in Los Angeles I haven't had a chance to break out any of my vintage coats or gloves — they're essential when running around from show to show."
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Joe Zee, Creative Director of
"Every season there's an official/unofficial tradition of cocktails on the second floor of Ed's Chowder House that I do with Fug Girls and Tom and Lorenzo. It started a few seasons ago, where we snuck drinks in during a free hour sandwiched between shows. Now every season, it's the plan we all look forward to, especially since none of them live in NYC. How do we schedule these drinks? All through Twitter of course."
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Leandra Medine, Man Repeller
"My favorite part of NYFW is during those first few days when I start seeing the people I e-mail with all season long in the flesh. Sometimes I do this weird thing where I poke them in the face (I blame Facebook) and say, "You're real!" No one ever laughs."
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Cindi Leive, Editor-in-Chief of
"Marc Jacobs, always. Obvious but true. He sets the stage for all the trends to come and is dizzyingly efficient — last year, I clocked it at 8.5 minutes of pure fashion adrenaline. Plus, it's always a great scene. It used to be wilder: I met my now-friend Rashida Jones there years ago when our seats were double-booked and she had to sit on my lap. Now it's more sedate but something always happens."
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Rachel Roy, Fashion Designer
"I love attending shows with friends who love fashion as much as I do. André [Leon Talley] is a king among kings and he has the most insightful, funny, inspiring points of views of shows we watch together."
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Crystal Renn, Model (Women)
"Fashion Week gives me a great excuse to have a spa day before the insanity begins. I get the works: two-hour massage, full body scrub and wrap, mani/pedi, and finish off with a facial. Then I am relaxed and ready for anything."
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Phil Oh, Street-Style Photographer
"Having to stand outside all day, I'm kinda excited to discover how many layers of Uniqlo Heat-Tech long johns I can fit under my jeans."
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Michael Bastian, Fashion Designer
"I actually get the most enjoyment from the model casting — somehow none of it clicks into focus for me 'til we find just the right guy for each look — and when that happens, angels sing, tears dry up, clouds part, etcetera. Plus, it's always fun having the most handsome guys in the world stand in front of you all nervous."
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Eva Chen, Style Writer and Blogger
"I should've listened to my parents and stayed in Chinese school as a child instead of taking Chinese classes now, in my not-so-tender thirties. Going backstage at Fashion Week is always a highlight for me, because I can practice my Mandarin with models Liu Wen, Shu Pei, Xiao, and Sui He. Liu Wen, in particular, refuses to speak to me unless I'm talking in Mandarin. Practice makes perfect! (P.S.: My mother will be exceptionally pleased to read this. Okay, Mom, you win.)"
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Liu Wen, Model (Marilyn)
"Because modeling involves so much traveling, all of us are constantly busy throughout the year, and we're always in different places around the world. As a result, we rarely see each other! Only when it's Fashion Week can we reunite again, even if we're working and not just hanging out. It's especially wonderful to see people like Feifei, Shupei, Kasia Struss, and Joan Smalls backstage. They're friends who have been working hard alongside me for years."
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Nina Garcia, Creative Director of
Marie Claire and
Project Runway Judge
"New clothes! I am done with spring-summer 2013. We have shot everything. Welcome fall and its many layers."
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Thom Browne, Fashion Designer
"It's the time when I really enjoy what I do ... putting the show together."
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Natalie Joos, Fashion Consultant and Casting Agent
"There's very few things I look forward to actually ... It's my most stressful time of the year. I run around so much I barely have time to eat. But on the bright side, I'll be losing all the winter pounds I stacked on since Christmas."
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Susie Bubble, Fashion Blogger
"There are fantastic shows to see in New York but I'm not going to lie: I really look forward to getting a bowl of ramen from Ippudo every season on one of the quieter days. I like to eat by myself, read the Guardian on my phone, and slurp away in blissful, lonesome peace (although last time I was there, it wasn't my finest hour when a reader of my blog came up to me whilst I was in the middle of a super-loud slurp)."
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Glenn O’Brien, "The Style Guy" at
"If I get lucky, I'll see a lot of Olivier Zahm."
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Michelle Harper, Brand Consultant
"Catching up with friends from other countries uptown at Bemelman's bar — one of the chicest old-school bars in New York."
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Kate and Laura Mulleavy, Founders and Designers of Rodarte
"Staying at the Mandarin Oriental, our favorite hotel in NYC."
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Peter Davis, Editor-in-Chief at
"I am most excited to see street photographer Tommy Ton and hope he snaps my new look — a combination of Jeremiah Johnson and Clint Eastwood in The Good, The Bad and The Ugly meets Williamsburg Pilgrim-chic — which is so drastic, shocking, and exciting that it is like Madonna coming out with a new album in the nineties."
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Tommy Ton, Photographer
"I'm intent on going to Takashi many times throughout the week. Also, staying at the Tribeca Grand has many advantages, but now knowing that Shake Shack is a short cab ride away in Battery Park, you'll most likely find me there after a long day of shows."
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Rumi Neely, Fashion Blogger
"Bryan(boy) and I always have the same driver for NYFW, Jorge, so he's pretty much like family now. Last time I saw him he was all teary-eyed over sending his daughter to college in Rhode Island and offering me council on my love life."
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Sarah Rutson, Fashion Director at Lane Crawford
"The schedule is insane morning 'til night and anyone who knows me knows I'm obsessive about breakfast, especially during Fashion Week, as its my only guaranteed meal of the day. I most look forward to Challah French toast, a river of maple syrup and a huge side of crispy bacon — I will eat it every morning, as only Americans can do french toast."
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Tina Craig, Founder of Bag Snob
"I’m in a frenzied state of panic from the moment I receive my first Fashion Week invite each season. But there’s always my guilty pleasure — the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Star Lounge. Different artists and designers bring the space to life each season, so it’s always a fresh and exciting place to be. The lounge offers WiFi (a godsend for bloggers), charging stations, coffee, food, and cocktails. Ok, maybe the real reason I love it is because of the endless supply of mini-cupcakes — and the fact that Beyoncé hangs out in there when she attends shows."
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Peony Lim, Fashion Blogger
"Shopping is my real reason to get excited, as Fashion Week gives me an opportunity to visit all the stores that aren't in London. In New York, I go to Manolo Blahnik (he stocks very different things in NYC), Stubbs and Wootton, Patricia Field's shop, and J.Crew."
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Steven Kolb, Chief Executive Officer of the Council of Fashion Designers of America
"My personal favorite seat mate is Howard Socol, former chairman and chief executive officer of Barneys New York. He is always so calm and zen. It is contagious being near him."
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Andrew Bevan, Style Features Director at
"Every season I have the opportunity to bring up-and-coming girls (most recently Hailee Steinfeld, Anna Sophia Robb, and Icona Pop) to their first New York Fashion Week. When you have a young, energetic sidekick, who is in awe of everything, it's hard not to let their genuine, not-too-cool-for-school excitement rub off. A fun partner in crime is key."
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Kelly Wearstler, Fashion and Interior Designer
"I love to spend half the day at Strand Book Store; the perfect place for me to gain inspiration for my next fashion and home collections."
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Eric Daman, Costume Designer for
The Carrie Diaries
"My favorite part of Fashion Week is hanging out by the fountain at Lincoln Center and watching the fantastic fashion parade entering and exiting the arches. It's a bird's-eye view of full-on Fashion Week style. For me, that's the true magic of Fashion Week, the hustle and bustle of the editors, stylists, supermodels, and fashionista groupies. Watching their street style come and go, with a keen eye, like Bill Cunningham."
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Chelsea Leyland, DJ/Actress
"The reason I look forward to Fashion Week is because it feels like you're going back to school after the summer holidays. You get to see all the faces that you might only see twice a year."
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Yigal Azrouël, Fashion Designer
"I try to keep my routine as normal as possible. Aside from pulling an all-nighter, I look forward to my usual run along the West Side Highway."
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Candice Lake, Photographer/Blogger
"I'm excited that I get to see my colourist extraordinaire, Christopher at Garren. I'm also excited to have fish tacos and margaritas at La Esquina with my best friends, followed by a glass of Champagne at the Soho Grand."
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Jin Soon Choi, Manicurist
"I am particularly excited to work with Prabal Gurung again because he understands that nails are a big part of fashion and an important fashion accessory and he encourages me to be creative in working with him. We don't often have the chance to create exciting nail looks for Fashion Week, but with Prabal Gurung, we do."
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John Jannuzzi, Contributing Digital Editor at
"A couple of seasons ago, me and a few of my friends started eating at the McDonald's up by Exit Art between shows. I wouldn't say it's a tradition, but there's something really comforting about a No. 2 value meal during the rush of everything. Try it and tell me you don't feel the same."
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Deborah Needleman, Editor-in-Chief of
T: The New York Times Style Magazine
"I'm looking forward to reuniting with my family in March."