Fashion Week may have left New York City, but it's still very much alive in my Instagram feed: This week, London. Next week, Paris.
When I first moved to NYC, I was fascinated by the buzz that descended over our already frenetic city: the influx of people, the shows at Bryant Park (and later, to maligned press, at Lincoln Center). I was copywriting for women's fashion and accessories back then, had dear friends in the industry, and was the recipient to invites to parties, shows, and perks.
While I can still remember the rush of standing on the steps of Bryant Park, watching a rolling parade of black cars and yellow cabs pull up to the curb and wondering who was behind the layers of black leather and fur, I also remember the pit that would grow in my stomach, heavy as lead and spreading, cold with dread and insecurity.
I would never be the 20 year old in head-to-toe Chanel and Dior; I could barely make ends meet working two jobs. I would never be the kind of cool required to get into a fashion party; were it not for my friends in the industry, the only way I would be allowed behind the rope would be to work as a caterer. This was not my life. And as I spent more time in New York, fighting to make it feel like home, I realized that I didn't want it to be my life. I was exhausted by the pretension, the judgement, the gross display of wealth and consumerism. Worse, I was paralyzed with the insecurity of never being enough.
Now, five years later, I am far removed from that world. I find Vogue less exciting than a brilliantly written novel or memoir; I had to Google when Fashion Week was this year.
This doesn't mean I no longer care about fashion. I still read blogs. I still scroll through Instagram. I do buy Harper's Bazaar now and then and if I'm being honest, the NYT's Style Section is still one of my favorite things about Sunday morning.
But as I've grown more comfortable with who I am as a woman, and who I am as a New Yorker, I no longer feel the need to try and mold myself into something I'm not. That's the beauty--and the curse--of life in NYC: no one cares. I'm just trying to be my most authentic self. No runway shows. No Chanel. And some, I'm sure, would argue that I have no clue.
I'm ok with that, though. I'd rather be unfashionably basic than basically inauthentic.