The Dos & Don'ts Of Being A Fashion Week Pro

Whether this year marks the first Fashion Week you attend or it's just the latest in a long career of runway shows, we’re all plotting our strategies. For anyone seeing or working on a show, now’s the time to get all of your ducks in a row, check (and double check) schedules, plan outfits, and pray that good weather is on the horizon. But, we’ve also got another set of hard-learned guidelines that normally lead us through.

We pulled together a little cheat sheet, collected over years of running late for runway shows, panicking because we can’t remember the name of the person we’re speaking with, and wearing shoes that are completely inappropriate for the weather. Essentially, it's a simple set of suggestions that help you avoid the usual Fashion Week stress triggers. Plus, it aids you in making the most of the time you have to watch beautiful clothes waltz down a runway and schmooze with your favorite editors, stylists, and PR people at after-parties. Not such a bad thing — after all, for some of you, this might be the start of a month-long sartorial marathon. 

For all things Fashion Week around the world — including street style snaps, designer news, and the trends you'd actually wear — head over to Refinery29's Fashion Month hub.
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Photographed by Mads Teglers.
DO say "Nice to see you" — never "Nice to meet you."
No one faults you for forgetting a name. A lot of the faces you come across during Fashion Week could be people you only see every few months. So, stay on the safe side and always say "It's so nice to see you!" Say "Nice to meet you!" and you run the risk of your fellow fashion insider replying, "We've met before. Twice." #Awkward
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Photographed by Nina Westervelt.
DON'T be the one who's in the biggest hurry.
It's widely accepted that if you're a part of Fashion Week, you're probably rushing somewhere at any point during the day. But, nobody likes a pusher or someone who nearly plows into them just to catch the elevator. Keep your cool, plan your schedule, stick to it, and account for things you can't rush. Like train delays.
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Photographed by Nina Westervelt.
DO pick a favorite.
Be sure that you always have something to contribute to the conversations around the fashion shows you are attending. The most simple way to start is by having a favorite. Pick at least one look at every show that you can talk about on end. It's a foolproof way to get others to weigh in on the conversation. Don't see anything you like? Yikes. Well, that's a conversation starter, too.
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Photographed by Mark Iantosca.
DON'T ignore the weather reports.
Fashion Week or not, snow means snow. Same for rain. If you don't pay attention and prepare for the elements, they could likely be your undoing. We're talking stranded-on-the–West Side Highway, up-to-your-ankles-in-slushy-snow, wearing-your-new-suede-stilettos levels of trouble.
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Photographed by Cassidy Turner.
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DO call your Uber from inside the party, so you can escape post-show madness with maximum speed.
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Photographed by Mark Iantosca.
DON'T linger about waiting for a street-style photographer.
Getting your photo snapped by a street-style photographer usually happens naturally and quickly. He or she will spot you on the street and make a decision right then, right there, that there's a moment they'd like to capture. Hanging around, trying to make someone notice you, never really works. Dressing for yourself — not the lens — is the best thing you can do to stand out in a crowd.
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Photographed by Mark Iantosca.
DO have a pose in mind if he/she asks.
On the other hand, should you be asked to be in a photo, be prepared. Don't slink away or get timid now. Master a few natural-looking poses that feel comfortable and will show off your outfit and shape. Also, have fun — you're on camera!
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Photographed by Nina Westervelt.
DON'T diss the livestreams.
Oh, you missed half of the runway show because the 6'2" editrix in front of you decided to wear a hat today? Guess where you're always in the front row? On your couch.

Now, we're not saying we don't prefer the live show, but don't disrespect the stream. Sometimes it's the best seating assignment of them all.
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Photographed by Ryan Koopsman.
DO make your work dinner count.
If you're pulling in 18-hour workdays and dinner is on the company card, make the most of it. Plan a mid–Fashion Week dinner with all of your industry friends, and catch up in a low-key environment — not while running frantically from the east to West side of the city.
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Photographed by Mark Iantosca.
DON'T just do wishful drinking.
If dinner plans are a bit too daunting, try making drink plans that aren't just hypothetical. Reserve the "Let's do drinks!" greeting for pals and colleagues that you actually want to catch up with. Then, when you have a lull between shows and presentations, do it.
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Photographed by ErinYamagata.
DO know your social handles.
Get all of the designers' Instagram and Twitter handles sorted before you take your seat and the lights go down. You'll want them at the ready so you won't have to fumble for them between runway looks.
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Photographed by Mark Iantosca.
DON'T assume it’s what’s on the inside that counts.
Layer and dress for the outdoors because it's unlikely you'll be taking off your coat. With most runway shows lasting around 10 minutes max — and you running into the venue just moments before it starts — you might not find time to take off your coat and then pile it all on before exiting. Make your outside look your most statement-making one. What you do on the inside is up to you.
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Photographed by Mark Iantosca.
DO master the art of the sneaky celeb pic.
There will be celebrities at Fashion Week, but we strongly suggest you avoid being that very obvious person with a camera phone in someone else's face. (Unless you ask permission and they happily agree to it.) But, capturing an inconspicuous moment when you're fangirling in public? There's nothing wrong with that.
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Photographed by Nina Westervelt.
DON'T complain.
Sure, we love to whine as much as the next person, but it's hard to complain when you realize why we're all a little tired and stressed: You're at Fashion Week, and it's pretty great! So, take any bumps in stride. It's awesome to be a part of this.
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Photographed by Alexandra Gavillet.
DO overcome FOMO.
If you need a night at home, take one. Fashion Month is a marathon, not a sprint. Indulging in some R&R — or at least spurts of it — whenever possible will help you power through.
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