Monday, February 13, 2012

Wilder Musings: On Integrity, and Being Here for the Party

I'm having a existential crisis. I just had a meeting with an editor at a big magazine to pick his brain aboutwriting, blogs, and the editorial life. And I left feeling completely confused. Because he asked me why I was at fashion week, and I realized I'm at fashion week because I feel like it's a cool thing to be at. That didn't sound like a great answer to give someone whom I admire and would love to write for someday, so I ended up talking myself in circles and then ultimately saying, "I'm here to figure out what the hype is all about." Not "I love the clothes" or "I want to decipher the trends in fall clothes." No, I basically said that I was here for the party (more after the jump).

Later on in the conversation, he told me that the best way to keep readers and write interesting material is just to be honest. And not worry about what you should say or what certain people whom you'd like to impress want to hear. So that's what I'm doing in this post. It's what I did in the recent post about prep school and anxiety, and it's what I always strive for.

To get back to why I'm here at fashion week: I love clothes, but I really want to be here because of what I told the editor: I want to see what all the hype is about. I want to know what it's like to be on the inside of these parties and shows that I've read about in magazines like Vogue and People. I'm fascinated by the culture of celebrity; we put people in glossy pages. And I want to know what these people look like outside of them. I want to be able to see that they're just people. I want to tear down the curtain and find the man (men?) behind the machine.

And yes, I do love the aesthetic of the different clothes, and I like talk to designers to understand their process. But I could talk to designers and see clothes outside of fashion week, so ultimately, I want to be here to see what it's all about and experience the hoopla. Part of me thinks the amount of weight we put behind famous people is kind of messed up, and another part of me is totally into it and taken by the whole thing. And that part of me that is taken by the whole thing kind of embarrasses me. And a part of me feels disappointed in myself, like maybe I should be in an MFA program for poetry instead.

But I think that's me being too hard on myself. Because I can come at this week from a cultural point of view and try to understand how I feel about the hype and why that is. I admire things and people because they're interesting, beautiful, or weird (and hopefully all three). Continuing to stay true my aesthetic and only my aesthetic is going to be my challenge, because sometimes the Kool-aid surrounding a particularly hot designer or celebrity tastes really good. And it's in my nature to want to please people.

I'm grateful to that editor for prompting me to think about why I'm here more deeply and inspiring me to write this post. All I've got is my voice and my opinions. So yes, I'm here for the party, yes, I can't wait, and yes, that's okay. I hope I'm not disappointed.


  1. Amen! This is so refreshing to hear, good for you!

  2. Well, SOME one has to go to the party to check it out and I'm glad it's you. I have to agree with that big-time editor - people like reading honest things. I know I do. But it's hard sometimes, isn't it?

    So glad you got to go experience this!


  3. ah thank you both so much! yeah, it's so important but definitely a constant struggle. it's when people like you two read and comment that it makes it worth it!
    xx thanks so much,


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