Wet Poodle Hair and Home Clothes: Harling’s NYFW Diary

harling fashion week pink top lilac pants

10:20 a.m.

I wake up and immediately feel guilty that I slept in so late, especially during fashion week (!), but then I remind myself I don’t have a show until 1 p.m. Self-soothing at its finest. Who needs pacifiers when you have adult logic?

10:45 a.m.

I hang out with Austin for a bit and we talk about everything we have to do today. Between the two of us, the list is rather extensive: I have five fashion week events to attend and he has a five-hour conference call for work. Aren’t we numerically charming? He also has a cold coming on, so I stroke his forehead and command him to drink tea with honey like the no-nonsense caretaker that I am.

11:30 a.m.

I exit Austin’s apartment and discover it’s raining. What a bummer. I decide to indulge in an Uber for my commute home — the first of many questionable transportation decisions I will make over the next 24 hours (foreshadowing! how literary!). I put in the address of Cafe Grumpy because I’m a creature on a mission and that mission is artificially injecting energy into my body.

11:50 a.m.

I order an oat milk latte and drink it in seven sips before realizing I haven’t even had any water yet today. Panicked, I ask the barista for a cup of water and gulp that down in six.

12:15 p.m.

sweetgreen salad

I get home and sit down to eat a grain bowl from Sweetgreen that I picked up on the way. It has blackened chicken in it, which is new and I’m extremely passionate about. It also has rice and goat cheese and almonds and cabbage, in case you are curious. While I eat my “brunch” (S.O.S.), I catch up on emails and contemplate what the heck I’m going to wear in this gloomy weather, which is particularly unsettling given that mere days ago I was wiping sweat off my lower back in 95-degree sunlight. Even though rain is a far cry from a new phenomenon in my life, I somehow still don’t know how to come up with an outfit that feels both exactly right and adequately waterproof. It’s the shoes that always trip me up. I hate rain boots.

12:45 p.m.

I commend myself for finding a rain shoe loophole: sandals with a wooden footbed and rubber sole. That’s waterproof enough, right? I’m wearing a lilac Rosie Assoulin top that I borrowed from The Outnet and coordinating lilac Ganni jeans. Dressing in one color is my favorite trick for making an outfit speak in exclamation points without putting too much thought into it, which is the perfect recipe for venturing out in weather that would normally tempt me to hibernate. It’s 61 degrees and raining and I should probably wear a coat, but the prospect of smothering my butterfly-like shirt wings with a shroud of practicality makes me so sad I conclude I would rather have goosebumps.

12:50 p.m.

I walk to Spring Studios, which is about 20 minutes away from my apartment but in the rain it feels like 40. By the time I arrive my hair looks like day-old spaghetti and the cuffs of my pants have been baptized with muddy sidewalk sludge, this season’s hottest accessory.

1:10 p.m.

mansur gavriel nyfw laduree

The room where Mansur Gavriel’s show is taking place is the most Instagrammable thing I’ve ever seen, filled with tables covered in pink tablecloths and elaborate Ladurée confections. I make my way to my designated seat, but the long bench looks completely full. I’m supposed to be sitting next to Alyssa Coscarelli and Erin Cunningham from the Reinfery29 fashion team, and they graciously offer to scooch over for me, but the idea of trying to wedge my day-old spaghetti self into the three inches of free space seems more disruptive than, say, streaking across the table naked. I decide to stand.

1:25 p.m.

The show is about to start and there are still a few free seats at the fancy round tables in the center of the room (i.e. this show’s equivalent of the front row), so one of the PR people working the event ushers me into a plush spot. I am thrilled. I’m seated in front of a gorgeous pink macaron thingy that I don’t eat because I don’t really like macarons but I do photograph it approximately 1,039 times. Leandra texts me from somewhere else in the room to comment that the table settings are further evidence of a hypothesis we’ve been gradually solidifying over the past three days: Artfully arranged nourishment is officially a super trend at fashion week.

1:30 p.m.

mansur gavriel monochrome blue cable knit sweater bag silver sandals

The Mansur Gavriel show begins, and per usual it compels me to abandon the contents of my wardrobe and live out the rest of my days as a monochrome minimalist. Each outfit is a testament to the fact that comfort and sophistication can go hand-in-hand. I take mental notes about the numerous A+ styling takeaways: oversized cable-knit sweaters paired with silk slip skirts, pajamas and glitter boots, scarves draped backwards over your shoulders like a reverse cape. It’s all so good.

1:45 p.m.

Time to go to the Tibi show! It’s all the way down on Wall Street and technically starting in 15 minutes, but it probably won’t end up starting for another 45 so I’m not (too) stressed. I take the 1 train downtown and hop out at the designated stop, whereupon I have another half a mile of walking to do before I reach the venue. I am thoroughly damp at this point so I surrender to the weather, plug some music into my earbuds and trot along in my rubber-soled shoes.

2:10 p.m.

I run into Simon outside the Tibi venue and he snaps a photo while simultaneously reassuring me that I don’t look as bedraggled as I feel.

2:15 p.m.

haley nahman harling ross

I find my people before I find my seat: Haley, Eliz and Amelia are all sitting in a little cluster in section D. I make a beeline for them and catapult myself into an empty space. It’s so nice to see all of their faces. I want to squeeze each and every one, but I settle for a more socially acceptable expression of affection and lean on top of their shoulders instead. We talk about our schedules for the rest of the day, complain about the weather and admire Kristen Bateman‘s nail art. She’s written for Man Repeller before and happens to be sitting in the same section.

2:35 p.m.

A handful of guys walk in the show, leading me to wonder if Tibi is launching menswear (spoiler alert: it isn’t — for now), but regardless, I love the collection’s gender-neutral foundation. Men and women alike wear printed shorts, oversized blazers, slim khakis, knit polos and flip flops — all in various shades of pastel. As Amelia put it in our one-sentence reviews (check out the Review Highlights on our Instagram for Tibi’s one sentence review and more), “It’s perfect for a business casual lunch date in Venice Beach.”

2:50 p.m.

The Sies Marjan show is scheduled for 3 p.m. and it’s all the way in midtown. Eek! I walk with Haley for a few blocks trying to figure out how to get there by subway, but my phone is a bit waterlogged and therefore not working properly (plus I’m starting to regret my decision not to wear a coat), so when I see a free cab I impulsively hop in.

2:3o p.m.

Forty minutes of FDR Drive traffic and one hefty cab bill later, I shuffle up to the doors of the venue as fast as my admittedly inappropriate footwear will take me. The people from PR Consulting at the door tell me that the show has already started and they aren’t letting any more people up. Based on the gaggle of colorfully-dressed people lingering outside the venue, it seems like a lot of show-goers were similarly thwarted by the commute from Tibi. I’m extremely bummed, not only because of the waste of time and money getting uptown but also — most importantly — because I was really, really excited to see Sies Marjan, and I always feel bad to miss a show.

I text Austin to see if he’s at his office, which I know is nearby, thinking there might be a silver lining to this mishap if I can say a quick hello. But alas, he responds a minute later saying he’s working from home, so I head straight to my next event via subway — the Sandy Liang presentation in Chinatown.

4:15 p.m.

sandy liang imani

The line to get into the Sandy Liang presentation inside Congee Village is distressingly long considering that it’s still steadily drizzling, but my friend Eva calls out to me from the middle of it and I go stand with her. I realize this is technically cutting but she didn’t have an umbrella so technically I was being a good samaritan by sharing mine. We catch up about life, her job at Glossier and her new side gig as a ballet teacher while we wait to get into the restaurant.

4:20 p.m.

This collection is so fun! And there is so much artfully arranged nourishment! I can’t decide what to ogle first: the plates of watermelon or the perfectly accessorized models. I run into Tia Jonsson, one of the aforementioned perfectly accessorized models, who I’ve styled for MR a few times. When we first met a year ago, she had 10,000 followers and now she has 160,000, which is nuts, but also unsurprising since she’s hugely talented. We chat for a bit before I make my way back to the other side of the room and run into Paige and Zoe, my pals from the social team at Marc Jacobs. I’m very excited to see them and want everyone else to shush so we can have an adequately romantic and intimate conversation, but since that seems unlikely, I relinquish them to the crowd and comfort myself with the knowledge that we have plans to get drinks together next week.

5 p.m.

I arrive back at my apartment in full wet poodle mode. I immediately strip off everything I’m wearing and change into a sweatshirt and sweatpants. I’m so excited to be in home clothes again. I’m pretty hungry so I rummage around my fridge to assemble an obscenely early dinner of teriyaki tofu, spinach and avocado. After I finish eating, I’m still hungry so I partake in a greek yogurt topped with peanut butter.

5:30 p.m.

I do some work for the next hour and a half or so, catching up on emails, drafting a newsletter and mapping out all the stories I’m writing for September in an excel document so I can keep track of my deadlines. I honestly can’t remember if I did anything else during this time window but rest assured, if I did it wasn’t very interesting!

6:45 p.m.

I change halfway out of my home clothes, by which I mean I put back on my lilac pants but keep on the sweatshirt because I can’t bear to part with the coziness. Plus, I only have one more show and it’s dark out, so I reason I can just keep my raincoat on the whole time and no one will be the wiser.

7:15 p.m.

I’m back at Spring Studios for the Prabal Gurung show. I feel the most relaxed I’ve felt all day. Maybe because I’m wearing a sweatshirt and no bra under a raincoat!

7:20 p.m.

flags event nyfw

I sit quietly in the dark room buzzing with people and admire the set, which is strung up with hundreds of Nepalese prayer flags in various colors. I start to feel a little overheated. Maybe because I’m wearing a sweatshirt (no bra) under a raincoat?

7:35 p.m.

This show marks the debut of Gurung’s first menswear collection, and it’s lovely. The neon color palette gives me a kind of energy not even my morning coffee could replicate. I’m jazzed on the hot pink cargo pants, the multicolored windbreakers, the drawstring skirts and the tie-dye knits. According to the show notes, the much of the collection’s handiwork was executed by female artisans in Nepal.

8:15 p.m.

Finally done with today’s roster of fashion week events, I return home, change back into my home clothes for the second time and make my way uptown (also for the second time) to visit my parents. I have a press appointment near their apartment in the morning, so I am planning to sleep over.

9 p.m.

My mom is very excited because a few of her friends emailed her that they saw me being interviewed on NY1. I tell her that they came to the Man Repeller office to interview a few of us about fashion week, and no, I don’t think it’s possible to “call” NY1 and ask them to “send it to us.” She forwards a blurry screenshot of my face on TV to all my relatives. I would be embarrassed, but it’s too charming. I love my mom.

9:15 p.m.

I eat an apple and some dark chocolate speckled with ginger because I feel like it!

10 p.m.

I climb in bed and decide to read for a bit. My iPad was stolen when I was on vacation in Portugal a couple of weeks ago 🙁 but luckily the page numbers of all the books I’ve downloaded are synced to my phone, and my parents just so happen to have a hard copy of one I was in the middle of reading — A Gentleman in Moscow — so I’m able to resume at my exact spot. If that’s not cool I don’t know what is.

10:30 p.m.

Austin calls me. He’s just finished his five-hour conference call. I instruct him to take NyQuil and go to bed immediately instead of starting on some of the work that the conference call has generated, which he eventually agrees to do (I think). We talk for another 20 minutes about our schedules for the next week and weekend, interspersed with pockets of silence as each of us gets distracted by something on our phones at various points. Eventually I tell him he really should go to bed, so we exchange goodnights and I love yous and all that business and hang up. Question: does the term “hang up” still apply now that corded phones are all but extinct?

11 p.m.

I’m too exhausted to read anymore so I do a 10-minute sleep meditation on Headspace and enter snoozeland shortly thereafter.

Feature photo by Simon Chetrit.

Harling Ross

Harling is a writer and was most recently the Brand Director at Man Repeller.

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