For the love of fashion, daaahling!

2014-10-29 17:45

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With back-to-back fashion weeks in Johannesburg, Malibongwe Tyilo maps out the treacherous fashion week ecosystem and its various species

A little over a week ago, designers showed their Autumn/Winter 2015 ranges during SA Fashion Week at the Crowne Plaza hotel in Rosebank, Joburg. Next week, the fashion set will have to work on entirely new wardrobes and do it all again, this time at Joburg’s Melrose Arch for Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Africa.

For a country as small as ours, it’s a bit much, of course, having two separate fashion weeks run by two different companies, but that’s a topic for another column. Today we celebrate my love for fashion weeks.

I must unequivocally state that I absolutely love them, and for so many reasons beyond the beautiful, sometimes not so beautiful, and sometimes straight up “WTF were you thinking?” stuff on the catwalk.

I love them for the kids who get laughed at all year round for their crazy outfits, but for a few days are considered the queens and kings of style – although mostly queens.

You’ll spot them everywhere, peacocking for the street style photographers. Because if you wear a shit-hot outfit and no one photographs it, then did you really wear a shit-hot outfit? Were you even at fashion week? Are you even alive?

I love them for the socialites who wouldn’t dare come to a show unless they were guaranteed front-row seats.

Everybody knows that anything behind front row is considered an entirely different planet.

A good fashion friend sitting behind you while you’re in the front row respectfully knows not to try to make contact.

Because hashtag F row.

I love them for the frenemies. You know the ones, they have nothing good to say about you ever, and you’ve been told.

But it’s fashion week, your outfits look good together and you’re both hanging out with the right crowd. It works, so you become besties for the week.

I love them for the fashion set who looks down on those who have to buy their tickets. Considering that a fashion show lasts about 15 minutes, and tickets are anything from R100 to R250 a show, it can be a rather expensive experience with a short-lived high.

What might make that bit of medicine taste worse is the knowledge that all the people in the first couple of rows have not paid for their tickets.

They are invited socialites, buyers, the media and bloggers, some who may only contribute a front-row selfie in exchange for their seat, a seat that is subsidised by the paying masses sitting unseen further back.

I love them for the germ-free air kisses dahling. I love them because they’re called a fashion “week” – all four days of it.

I love them for the glamour born of therapy-level self-esteem issues. Faux or real, glamour is good for you and I’ll take mine faux please, from the #FRow.

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