The Ultimate Fashion Week Etiquette Guide

By Jo Piazza  •  Photos by Daniela Spector •  ILLUSTRATIONS BY Graham Roumieu  •  September 6, 2017

The Ultimate Fashion Week Etiquette Guide

By Jo Piazza  •  ILLUSTRATIONS BY Graham Roumieu  •  September 6, 2017


The extravagant ritual of fashion week often seems to be happening in some city, somewhere in the world most of the time. That traveling circus of designers, models, editors, buyers and celebrities flits in between New York, London, Paris and Milan twice a year. Of course, seeing the same people every six months doesn’t mean you actually remember their names. Don’t let it on. Everyone is “Darling,” “Gorgeous” or “You fabulous, fabulous man.” Don’t hesitate, don’t blink. You know everyone.

Here, we pull back the curtain to decode other must-know  etiquette and formalities for Fashion Week first-timers.

The Ultimate Fashion Week Etiquette Guide

Speaking the Language

While you may assume it’s a universal hello, “Ciao!” is really only acceptable during Milan's fashion week—where it should be followed by a kiss on each cheek. In New York, skip the salutations and open with a compliment: "You look stunning! Have you lost weight?" A conservative smile and nod is the best greeting in London. When in Paris, make sure to kiss twice, but never let lips directly touch cheek.

The Ultimate Fashion Week Etiquette Guide

Selfie Self-Control

Is it about you or the clothes? Silly question: It's about the clothes. Taking selfies during cocktail hour is acceptable, but once the show begins your camera should be focused squarely on the runway. The average show is 8 minutes. You can hold off on taking a selfie for 8 minutes.

The Ultimate Fashion Week Etiquette Guide

Menu Manual

Never get caught eating anything larger than the palm of your hand at a Fashion Week event. Most folks will only ever sip champagne or (in Milan) espresso, and never be seen placing solid food in their mouths. Need energy for the marathon of shows? Tiny toasts with avocado? Perfect. Tuna tartar on a tiny wafer? Fine choice. Cheeseburger? Not a good look.

The Ultimate Fashion Week Etiquette Guide

Sitting Pretty

There are assigned seats for a reason, so if someone takes yours, politely pull out your invitation and point out the error. It's like being on an airplane. That said, if the person in your seat is a Kardashian or a member of their entourage, just walk away. There is no negotiating with the Kardashian Klan.

The Ultimate Fashion Week Etiquette Guide

Early Birds Wait Longer

Ever hear the phrase fashionably late? It was created for this very situation. Since the dawn of private salon shows in Paris more than a century ago, no Fashion Week event has started on schedule. So arrive on time and you'll probably be at least 15 minutes early.

 

 

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Written By: Jo Piazza

9.6.17

Locations: London, New York City, Paris

See more: Style

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