Cynthia Nixon, Lots of Feelings and an Outfit Change: Haley’s NYFW Diary

Haley Nahman talks about her day in the life at fashion week

7:50 a.m.

I didn’t set my alarm last night with the hopes that I might sleep in (I didn’t get to bed until 2 a.m. last night and my first show isn’t until 1 p.m.), but I wake up at 7:50. Nooooooo is the internal dialogue kicking off my day, which seems like a good sign.

9:13 a.m.

After laying in bed with my eyes closed like a dead person with a racing mind for a riveting 83 minutes, my boyfriend Avi texts me good morning and I give up on sleep. He asks if I’d like to meet for breakfast — we haven’t seen each other in a few days — but I tell him I have some work to do and probably shouldn’t. The truth is, I’m feeling kind of depressed and don’t want to see anyone (a surprising feeling given my recent headspace, but this week’s been hard and brought up some old stuff).

9:17 a.m.

When he replies, “Well let me know if you change your mind and want me to grab you a coffee and just say hi,” I decide to FaceTime him and share my honest feelings. He says he’s going to bring me a coffee and I agree I could use some company.

9:20 a.m.

I get up and start to clean vigorously. I put things away, wash the dishes, sweep the floor, brush my cat, tidy the living room, light a candle. Do, do, do instead of think, think, think.

10:17 a.m.

Avi arrives with coffees and walks into me putting final touches on my house while listening to Phoebe Bridgers, which I believe is the perfect emotional fall music. We spend the next hour talking on the couch. I let everything out that’s on my mind and feel 100 pounds lighter. He shares stuff too. It’s not that everything in our lives is solved, we’ve just given it all some space to breathe. A necessary step.

11:28 a.m.

We hang out until it occurs to me that I’ve squandered all the time I’d blocked off for working and need to get dressed, so I hug him for five minutes straight and then firmly kick him out.

12:10 p.m.

I’m currently doing an outfit recipe on Man Repeller’s Instagram story. I feel brighter, more energetic, more like myself. I think about how many emotions can fit into a day, and how easy it is to flatten yourself or others into the last emotion projected. We are such complex creatures. Did I mention I’m PMSing?

12:43 p.m.

The Eckhaus Latta show is in a warehouse in Bushwick, a 17-minute drive away or a 47-minute train ride. Such a tough decision, I did not think. (I’ve had a week of nightmare train mishaps.) I call an Uber. I have exactly as much time as I need (17 minutes), which I should have known would not be enough, because after five minutes, the Uber cancels. I call another in a panic. Thankfully it gets me there by 1:08 p.m., which is good enough.

1:28 p.m.

After riding in a crowded elevator and finding my seat, the headache I’ve been nursing for two days kicks up a notch. It dawns on me that I have not eaten yet today, which is very unusual for me. My unexpected cleaning stint and therapy session with Avi derailed my breakfast plan.

1:44 p.m.

The show finally starts. The music is the simple, arhythmic chaos of kids banging on drums and screaming. This doesn’t strike me as the best treatment for my headache, but I’m not a doctor. There is lots of ruching; mint and forest greens; structured utility pants slung low on the hip; midi glove heels; pencil skirts and tailored blazers paired with stringy mullets — it’s all very business-casual-made-grungy. I love it.

At the end of the show, a bunch of kids skip down the aisle. This is the third show I’ve seen that’s incorporated kids and it’s only day 3. I wonder whether designers are looking to younger people to help them inject optimism into an anxious and cynical time.

2:02 p.m.

I’m happy to be in my old neighborhood. I decide to walk to AP Cafe, a place I used to frequent before I moved to Bed-Stuy in May. When I notice it’s unusually crowded, I remember that Avi told me about a meet-n-greet happening here today with a rapper from Queens named Anik Khan. I spot him across the room with a crowd around him. I order a rice/bean/chicken bowl and find the only open table in the far back corner, which — miracle of all miracles — is situated right now to an outlet. I plug in my dying phone.

2:31 p.m.

When my food arrives, I scarf it while considering whether I should write about my issue with conflict aversion. Should I fight more with the people I love? Do my relationships suffer for their lack of brutal honesty?

2:54 p.m.

I map to my next show — Christian Siriano at Gotham Hall. It’s only 30 minutes away! Bless the L train = something I never expected to think.

3:07 p.m.

On my way to the train, I decide to stop by Hana, a grocery store I used to go to all the time. I miss this place! It smells the same! I buy some candy, gum, water and two individually packaged doses of Tylenol, which I take immediately for my pounding head.

3:11 p.m.

When I get into the station, I’ve missed the train by a second, but the next one is only three minutes away. I’m not used to this kind of service on the A line. I bless the L train a second time, shocking myself.

3:20 p.m.

I read the profile of Mac Miller that Vulture published shortly before his tragic death on Friday. I’m not that familiar with Mac Miller, but the profile is really interesting and made sadder by its new, unintended context. In my reading I miss my stop and ride the train an extra two stops to the end of the line. I get out and remap.

As I transfer to my next train, I consider how many celebrity profiles I’ve read lately. Is it just me or have there been a lot published in the last month? Is this the dawn of a boom? If so, what does that say about this cultural moment?

3:55 p.m.

I arrive at Gotham Hall and it’s a zoo! Tourists have stopped to watch the media circus, which includes hoards of photographers mobbing around a carpeted walkway into the venue, onto which important people are exiting from their black cars. I stand awkwardly to the side until Emily texts that she’s looking at me from 10 feet away. I go over to her immediately, thankful to see a familiar face. We chat until Nora texts that she’s running late and I decide to go in.

4:06 p.m.

I find my seat, which I’m excited is right on the runway, but bummed it’s kind of facing a wall (the runway is a long and winding path around the massive floor), because it means I can’t people-watch, which is half the fun of shows like this. I take a few antsy laps, hoping to run into Emily and Nora or perhaps Whoopi Goldberg (which I did — she’s at everything — and I see Cynthia Nixon, too! Speaking of which, don’t forget to vote in the midterms! I have a story highlight on my Instagram that explains the process if you find the Google results extremely confusing) until I finally sit down and open my bag of candy. I still have a headache, maybe the sugar will help? Again, I’m not a doctor.

5 p.m.

The show is really fun, full of big, ruffly gowns and lots of Miranda Hobbes green. (I wonder if Cynthia noticed?) When I get outside, it’s raining. I don’t have an umbrella. My phone is at 5%. I finish my candy as I walk to the train.

5:25 p.m.

I arrive at Spring Studios for PRISCAVera and run into Reese and Molly Blutstein. It’s always nice to know people at these events.

5:38 p.m.

I’m seated. I tried to charge my phone in the hallway but someone told me I wasn’t allowed to, so now I’m just looking around, forced to confront my surroundings for a lack of cell phone-as-distraction.

6:01 p.m.

I stare at the photo pit and notice it’s filled with about 35 men. Where are the women pit photographers? I recall interviewing a pit photographer last season and regret not asking that.

6:16 p.m.

After the show (a delightful array of fabrics and textures, from knit and silk to PVC and patent leather, in undeniably 00s silhouettes and rendered in even more Miranda Hobbes green), I run into Aemilia Madden, Senior Fashion Editor at The Zoe Report. We take five minutes to complain about how hot this week was and how tired we are and other riveting things, and then she hops in a car. I watch her drive off and then make my way to the train.

6:29 p.m.

I’ve been waiting on a platform for a long time. My head kills. The trains are messed up, as usual, so I’m being rerouted, as usual, and the train is late, as usual. It’s over 100 degrees on the platform and everyone’s dripping sweat. As usual?

7:16 p.m.

I’m soooo happy to be home. But my headache is getting worse. I immediately undress and put on a pink Caron Callahan set to lounge on the couch and eat cheese and crackers. My next show is at 9 p.m. I take three Advil.

8:02 p.m.

The thought of skipping my last show enters my mind and keeps tapping me on the shoulder. The Advil’s not working. I consider taking my migraine meds but they make me drowsy. I text Harling, who I know is going: “Would your heart be broken if I skipped? I’m nursing a headache that won’t quit.” She says she’s sad but wants me to rest. I thank her profusely and sink ~8 feet into the couch.

9:01 p.m.

Avi arrives to find me curled up on the couch in my head-to-toe pink outfit. He kisses me hello and accuses me of dressing like a “strawberry shortcake supremacist.” He offers to make us dinner, like a gem, as I’m sensitive to light and can’t do it. He makes us pasta and sausage in my almost completely dark kitchen.

9:36 p.m.

We turn on Sex and the City. We’re rewatching the series because Avi has never seen it. He considers it cultural research and spends most of the time shouting at the TV or laughing at everything Miranda says. While I’m a fan of the show, a lot of it is cringey and hasn’t aged well. Except Miranda. Miranda’s aged perfectly.

10:49 p.m.

After a second episode, we call it a night. My head’s still hurting so I finally cave and take my prescription migraine meds and sleep like a dead person with no racing thoughts at all.

Haley Nahman

Haley Nahman

Haley Nahman is the Features Director at Man Repeller.

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