I’ve had the idea to do this post for a long time. When I was in college I was very fortunate to be one of the 3 people picked to do an exchange program and study at one of the best fashion design schools in Paris. Before I took off on that journey the head of the fashion department I was going to in SF (the Academy of Art University) told me to try to get into the fashion shows once I was there because it is worth it to see in person. I took that to heart and would skip ALL of my classes when the shows were going on and try to get into as many as possible. I started with the Spring/Summer shows and was fairly successful, then hit a few Couture shows, I was not as successful, but by Fall/Winter I was a pro and got into EVERY show I attempted. I have some very interesting stories of people I met and ways I got in and I have never really shared them except with a few people at the time. So I feel like here is a chance to share. Realizing that couture just wrapped up and Fall will be showing starting March 2nd, I think it is the perfect time.
I went to as many shows as I could and got into some MAJOR shows such as:
Viktor & Rolf, Chloe, Christian Lacroix (3 times), Louis Vuitton, Yves Saint Laurent, Yoshi Yamamoto, Comme des Garcons, Junya Watanabe, Vivienne Westwood, Galliano, and my all time favorite Alexander McQueen (2 times), along with dozens of other smaller shows.
My plan was to just let everyone know my tricks to getting in and the easiest way to snag a front row seat along with some of my photos from the shows, but I want to start off differntly because when I woke up today and started up tweet deck the first thing I saw was “RIP – Alexander McQueen found dead in his home” and I got chills. He was my biggest inspiration and I was not only fortunate enough to see 2 of his incredible shows in person, but a year later I found myself escorting him in a limo to a dinner in his honor put on by the Academy of Art. It was a huge moment to me and now after hearing that he took his own life I will truly treasure it forever. That humble man who talked about wanting to stay in the hotel room and watch the “Golden Girls” rather than go to the dinner was such a huge inspiration to all young designers and a revolutionary in the fashion world. He turned the standard fashion show into a world of art that you couldn’t look away from and didn’t want to leave when it was over.
For those unfamiliar with his work here a quick video montage of some of his shows.
The first McQueen show I went to, was the best show I saw out of all the others before and after. So for this show it was me and two friends trying to get in. We got there early scoped out the place and realized there was no sneaking in (we tried to at one point and got stopped by security, it was a tad bit embarrassing) so we cozied up to a young intern who was looking very flustered. She had a huge book that contained “the list” we were not on said list and we knew it. We argued with the poor girl for about 5 minutes that we were told we would be on the list and we needed to get in, it would be starting soon!! She finally gave a sigh of defeat and asked if we knew where we were supposed to be sitting and we said no it would be a standing ticket and she immediately gave all 3 of us standing passes to get in. That is one tip, if you are ever arguing that you are supposed to be on the list or you lost your ticket let them know it was just a standing ticket, they are WAY more likely to let you in for that. Once inside we grabbed 3 seats on the 4th row or so and sat down to enjoy the show and it was better than I ever imagined.
Here are some of the pics!
We had no idea what was going on, all the models are standing in rows by haircolor and no clear theme in the clothing as to what his inspiration was. It was only going to get more confusing from there…
Is that supposed to be a horse?
Now we have a kimono inspired look???
Look at the beautiful wood carving on her head…amazing!
now we have another horse? I saw this in the window at Colette a few months later, simply stunning up close.
is this some ice princess or something?
football players too??
now this is McQueen, we are not watching a fashion show, we are watching a chess match and now it all makes sense. That unexpected twist cemented him in my mind as the best of the best. I was in L.O.V.E.
Anyway that is why I love McQueen, he was always pushing the boundaries of what was expected and had a mind like no other.
I’m going to post pictures from all the other shows and all the stories of how I actually got in, they range from buying scalped front row tickets(V&R) to being dragged out by security only to be let back in (galliano) to bum rushing the gate (chloe) or just walking right past security without looking back as they shouted Mademoiselle, Mademoiselle, I need to see your ticket!! (YSL) I just wanted to share this right away in light of the news this morning.
If you are so inclined you can see the actual chess match played out.