At any rate, however, I learned a few valuable lessons from the experience, including but not limited to how to get free drinks when you can’t afford to pay for them (just ask; duh), how to sit in the front row when you aren’t supposed to be there (don’t ask; never ask) and how to wear heels for eight hours without breaking your ankles or walking like a drunken eighty year old man mixed with a baby velociraptor on stilts (picture that; ha!). But perhaps the most important thing I learned was the shocking fact that not everyone involved with the fashion industry is a total ***hole.
I know what you’re thinking: But what about John Galliano, who hates all the Jews? And what about Anna Wintour, who has Marc Jacobs shaking in his boots and the rest of the fashion industry with their heads literally (click on that one; it’s hilarious!) in her lap for a Vogue feature? And WHAT about Karl Lagerfeld, who has on multiple occasions insulted women and men alike for being one pound over emaciation (and has also, perhaps not unsurprisingly, said things like, “I have no human feelings,” “I avoid thinking” and “I only care about my opinion”)? Yes, yes, I understand that these things happen, but I’m really starting to believe (read: hope, pray, beg the Lord above) that these people are the exception to the rule. At CFW, I’ve got to be honest; I had a great time and found almost everyone to be quite friendly. The South prevails again!
Of course, even Charleston has its fair share of pseudo-celebrities who think they’re God’s gift to the fashion world. For the most part, though, the people rocked. I must admit, I was rather surprised to see that even rich people know how to party; but it’s true! Once they all let their designer label guards down, it was easy to see that fashion people aren’t much different from us regular people. Case in point: When arriving to a multi-DJ warehouse party, a young, successful fashionista-lady was handed a classic red Solo cup and responded to no one in particular, “Um, I don’t exactly do keg beer…” When she realized A) that no one was paying her any special attention or even listening for that matter, B) that her other fashionista-friend was by that time totally doing the keg beer thing and C) that she was already really drunk and consequently wanted to get really drunker, she shrugged off her own comment and made her way to the man pumping out the PBR. She still may have refused to stand in line for her beer, but hey, she drank it.
So what does all this have to do with style, seriously? Everything, I say! Fashion is a trend; it’s inherently self-destructive in that it can only thrive on its own transience. That is to say, if we were all still wearing Victorian petticoats and carrying parasols to class every day, then clothing and dress would be way less interesting than it is (not to mention everyone would have one or both eyes poked out from the number of umbrellas on campus). Style, on the other hand is definitive. It transcends the restrictions that fashion imposes and becomes both timeless and universally discernible. Just because you have a Birkin bag or some (really killer S/S 2011 silver and green and navy striped about 2/3 of the way down the page) Prada platforms doesn’t mean you have style, and just because you shop at Target (holla!) doesn’t mean you don’t. Style is in your presence, your attitude and your outlook and down here in the good-ole-boy (and good-ole-gal) world of the South, I do believe we’ve got it!