WHY I DIDN’T ATTEND FASHION WEEK

September 11, 2017

green embroidered dress

black block heel sandals

bauble bar drop gem earrings

emerald green flare dress

green shirt dress

tan gucci bag

los angeles style expert

I have been covering fashion trends since the day I started working at E! News 10 years ago, and I have been to more seasons of New York Fashion Week than I can remember. I do remember my first time going though and it was a dream come true! I always read about fashion week when I was growing up in Kentucky, and I would watch the magical runway shows on Style (am I dating myself?! Does anyone remember the Style Network?), and followed so many of the designers and models. So when I found out I got to go to the shows while working at E!, it was unreal. I actually ran all coverage for E! News and E! Online for NYFW and fashion weeks around the world when I was the Fashion & Lifestyle Producer at E!. I would email all of the publicists for designers, hairstylists, nail artists, and makeup artists, etc. and would set up backstage access for our talent (like Giuliana and Catt Sadler) and schedule interviews, and get seats at the shows for myself and talent. In addition to also setting up lodging, flights, and schedules for staff and crews for the week. Most of it was awesome. So so stressful, but again I was living out my dream job so the tears that always came when I was there and under pressure, were worth it.

Four and a half years ago, right before I left my job at E!, I even set up interviews with some of the major bloggers, who were just starting to attend New York Fashion Week. I remember meeting a very young and sweet Julie Sarinana from Sincerely Jules at Lincoln Center (that’s were the shows were held until two years ago) and having Catt interview her about what it was like to be at fashion week for the first time! She was so nervous, but the cutest thing and still is the sweetest blogger I know!

Cut to me quitting my job at E! to start my blog (I can’t believe it, but I have been blogging full-time for 4 years now) and become a freelance TV Style Expert, and I started attending NYFW on my own. (She HERE and HERE for some of my previous NYFW coverage if you are interested!) Fashion week took on a whole new meaning. I was no longer getting paid to be there and I no longer had the cache of working at E! which meant I didn’t have the amazing access like I did before to attend major shows or sit front row like I did before. I also had to dress to impress no matter the weather or how far I had to walk in heels – because now the goal was to get street style photographed! Fashion week was becoming less fun and a lot more stressful, not to mention, expensive since food, lodging and wardrobe were all coming out of my pocket!

Needless to say, as much as I love the energy of New York Fashion Week and being able to see all of the inspiring shows and clothes and trends that come down the runway, it sort of lost it’s appeal. I don’t want to feel bad about myself because I don’t have on the best outfit, or the best seat or because I can’t go to a show that all of my friends are going to because I wasn’t invited (most likely because I don’t have enough followers). The silliness of feeling less than because I don’t get a certain seat – it’s ridiculous! I don’t know why I would even care. In my everyday life I feel really grateful for the work I get to do, and the life I get to live. I don’t compare myself to other people or bloggers or wish for their success. I just keep doing me and feeling confident that if I keep working hard and following my path all of my dreams will come true. So to be there in New York and feel icky over a runway show, is not worth it.

For a long time the fashion industry had a reputation for not being the nicest or most inclusive, and I don’t love that part of fashion. I fell in love with fashion because it makes me feel good. It gives me confidence when I feel like I look good and makes me feel creative when I come up with cute outfits and can help others do the same. When I was the Fashion Producer at E!, I shared tips in weekly segment on how to wear new trends, and that’s what I have continued to do on my blog and on TV when I do my segments as the talent now. I make fashion seem more affordable and accessible. Style doesn’t necessarily come easily for everyone, and not everyone has the access to the coolest brands, stores and styles, so I love how bloggers around the world close that gap a little bit and get to share their personal style and advice with their readers, with whom their style resonates. That’s what I will continue to do as a blogger and TV Style Expert and personal stylist (I started doing a little personal styling and actually got to style someone for the Emmys this week). I don’t need to go to the runway shows in order to do that, so I sat out NYFW again this season. It’s not to say I’ll never go back, because I am sure I will again and would love to, but it definitely isn’t a priority in my personal life (I have a baby and husband at home who need me) and unless I am working on paid collabs with brands, then it is not a priority in my professional life either.

Anyway, I know this is very long-winded and if you are still here, thanks for reading this. I thought it was important to be honest about fashion week and let any ladies at home, who are dreaming about going or having FOMO, know that it’s not all it’s cracked up to be and you might just be getting a better look at the trends and clothes from your computer and the comfort of your house (not on the streets on NYC with blisters on your feet and sweat dripping down your back from running around because you couldn’t get an UBER)!

Thanks so much for stopping by – you can shop today’s look below! Would love to hear from you in the comments if you read this and what your feelings are about NYFW!

Ann Taylor Collared Eyelet Dress // JustFab Heels (similar Block Heels HERE) // Gucci Tan Disco Bag (More Crossbody Bags HERE) // Baublebar Drop Gem Earrings // Bare Minerals Matte Lipstain // Similar Gold Skinny Bracelets

Photos by Valorie Darling

20 Responses to WHY I DIDN’T ATTEND FASHION WEEK

  1. You go girl!!! You’re Such an inspiration, and so good for you for realizing what matters most and not comparing yourself to others! Youve proven that hard wrk does pay off and there is no value that can be put on simply being nice! Xoxo

  2. I think it sounds like you have your priorities in the best order. You have a little man at home 😊, a husband, a full time blog to write with freelance styling to complete as well. NYC is not just a hop, skip, and a jump away …..it would be a big time commitment and financial investment that you obviously don’t need to make right now.

    I enjoy looking at the media coverage of NYFW, but it’s all pretty much a level above where my life’s fashion desires take me. I’m a 4th grade teacher in Southern CA. I do LOVE to shop and stay current with trends, but within a reasonable budget and also with clothes that fit my lifestyle as well.

    I recently began following you after seeng you on the KTLA morning news this past summer. You are real and relatable and I appreciate that you show looks that will work for a variety of women’s ages as well. You are beautiful and so classy with your approach to style. In fact I think you’d be the perfect “personal shopper” for me! Lol!

    Keep doing what you’re doing. I love your blog!

    • Thank you thank Heather! I am so excited you found me through Ktla and to know I have amazing women like you in my court! And thank YOU for teaching! That’s the hardest and most important job in the world! Hope to chat again soon!

  3. I couldn’t agree more! It’s just not a priority for me at all anymore. As fun as fashion week is, it is SO exhausting and stressful and it becomes a who’s who of the blogging world. I’ve been happy to sit the last few out too! Love you Ash!

  4. Ashley I love the authenticity and realness of this post. You are so much better than fashion week because you are accessible. You make style doable. I can relate to the FOMO you feel and I’m grateful you shared about it because I got to learn more about you. but I’m so glad you took this path that you’re on. Thanks for styling me and helping me so much every day, even now!

  5. I completely agree with you! I spent 13 years working in the fashion industry. It was my dream job but there were many tears, sleepless nights and overall, just consuming my life. I “retired” 2 years ago to run a store, help in my family’s business and get MY life back. But every time NYFW rolls around I do get a little sad… It’s an experience I will always cherish and be grateful to have been a part of because no one truly understands all the work that goes on behind the scenes unless you have done it. On the bright side, we get to sit at home in our comfy clothes with our husbands and babies (I am 8 months along)& view all the shows on Vogue without the tears!

    • Hey Sarah! It’s so great to hear from you! Thank you so much for leaving me a comment.So glad to hear you are happier and that we have such similar experiences! Congrats on your baby! Home life is way more important and happier than NYFW!! xo

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