It's that (second) time of the year again -- New York Fashion Week is upon us, recession be damned. Though there's been significant scaling back of the "festivities," the diva-driven show must go on. Sadly, since not too many of us have $100 right now to plunk down for a press pass (and we're actually press), we've gathered a few foolproof tips on how to make your own recession-proof entrance (read: free) to the most fashionable week-long event of the season. If you're struggling to put the Easy Mac on the table, then it's got little to do with designer brands and far more to do with how to make your charismatic personality and closet work to your advantage. Besides, all you really need are nerves of steel (and/or enough Xanax to kill a Clydesdale).
1. Dress the part. If you can't take yourself seriously, then who will? To get past the security guards sans entrance pass, it's imperative that you look like you're ready to rumble. Go balls to the wall; you will absolutely grab someone's attention if you "dress in costume," and with the growing popularity of street style blogs, individual creativity has fascinated photographers and editors alike (get photographed, look like you belong; get it?). If you're over 5'8" and under 110 pounds, then wear jeans, a white T-shirt, and pretend you're a model. Fashion Week is like Halloween, and if you have confidence, then you can rock anything. Break out that ballet tutu you've had since fourth grade, layer on those vintage slips you stole from your grandma, plunk on the paint-splattered tunic you made after last week's drunken orgy in Brooklyn. Even Ty Yorio, head of Citadel Security at New York Fashion Week, has admitted, "Someone could come in with one shoe and half a hat and is supposed to be in the front row." By all means, be daring, so long as there's no incidental muffin-top.
2. Lie. There're no polygraph tests at Fashion Week (or at least: nobody who could read one). If you can keep a straight face, if you're a good actor/actress, if you've ever lied about the dog eating your homework, then getting into the tents should be a cakewalk. According to posters on fashion forum The Fashion Spot, "I forgot my pass at home, this week has been so stressful" species of fib should get nods of understanding and a wave inside. Do your research beforehand if you plan to use anyone's name, and be sure to look around so that that actual person is not standing behind you. Be wary of lurkers. ("I'm with [insert absurdly famous person])" is also good, whether or not you're actually with them. Be, polite, charming, and not desperate but authoritative. Act like you belong, and you will.
3. Get on with your bad arts-and-crafts self. Once you're in, without a special slip of any kind, standing-room-only's your best bet. Be sure to bring a multitude of highlighters and colored markers (the most used are black, red, and blue) as well as index cards. Fern Mallis, executive director of 7th on Sixth, the group that organizes the shows at Bryant Park, has noted, "We don't let people into [the tents] without an invitation," so take note of how the PR girls at the show tables are writing the placement cards in order to copy yours exactly to ensure that you'll bust through the door. You don't want to incite a riot over bad penmanship. Keep in mind that this is the one time that you'll be able to get away with plagiarism; this time, you won't be kicked out of university, only a fashion event, and you can always try again in September. It's all in the name of couture, and hell, we can't (really) blame you for that.