Fashion Week Might Literally Kill You, Says The Times


The fashion industry is nothing if not intense. Thousands of designers churn out new collections each season, while a host of glossy-magazine editors and industrious bloggers traipse from show to show, awarding their seals of approval to the worthy.

A lot of cutthroat stuff goes down in the process. Have you seen The Devil Wears Prada? It’s not an industry for the faint of heart.

But sometimes, we have to wonder if it’s really that life-and-death. It seems like fashionistas have a tendency to exaggerate — after all, if two people wear yellow shoes in New York this week, is it really the Next Big Trend? Must we rush out to buy yellow shoes, only to quit wearing them next weekend when someone declares that our new shoes are “so last January”?

Yes, says the Times. You must do this very seriously, as you must do all things, because fashion is serious stuff and PEOPLE MIGHT DIE. There is a flu going around, guys!

Here’s what Mickey Boardman, editorial director of Paper magazine, told the paper of record:

By the time we finish the New York shows, we’re already a wreck, because New York simply has too many shows. Then you get on a plane and hit the ground running in London, where there’s always fun parties. You’re eating French fries for dinner and drinking Cokes from your minibar, and your sleep patterns are messed up. You’re putting your life at risk.

Ugh, New York. So pedestrian with your copious runway shows, so gauche. London is where all the classy stuff happens, like parties with French fries and Coke. But it’s not easy to do this kind of dangerous investigative reporting. You might literally, seriously perish from the glamour, and if that doesn’t get you, the flu or the stomach norovirus that are going around will.

We know what you’re thinking. “I’ve had the flu before,” you say, “and I didn’t die.” Well, it’s not the illness that will kill you, but the loneliness, because all of your friends and co-workers will turn their backs on you. Forever.

In past years, sniffles in the front row could prompt icy stares and social ostracism.


Stressed-out designers recoil in horror if someone coughs within earshot. Frail models shiver their way between fittings, terrified someone will spy their runny noses. And frenemies everywhere are reconsidering the wisdom of the double-cheek kiss, the standard greeting of the global fashion tribe. Air kissing seems safe for now.

It’s true; cough in public and everyone nearby will slowly spin their head around, Exorcist-style, to stare, wide-eyed, at you. Just yesterday, we spent an hour sobbing in the bathroom at the thought of our impending death after one of our frenemies said they didn’t want to make out anymore.

We might still be saved though, because we’re already on top of the next trend — the flu shot.

While keeping the world trendy has its hazards, fashionistas have developed stylish tactics to avoid getting the bug. Many have dutifully gotten their flu shots.

The sacrifices we make for fashion are dire, but we know better than to question our guiding principle — beauty is pain.

Others follow variations of what could be called the standard fashion-world starvation diet, whether it’s drinking large quantities of SmartWater fortified with packets of the vitamin supplement Emergen-C, or force-feeding themselves nothing but raw greens, like koalas munching eucalyptus leaves.

We actually tracked down a foie gras farm upstate to help us with this part — we’ve had them coming down to the Voice offices at lunchtime and punching kale down our throats like skinny, sexy geese.

Designer Rachel Zoe, in a frenzied panic that her catchphrase, “I die,” will inevitably catch up with her, recommends another tactic for evading the Grim Reaper. She told the Times:

I never touch doorknobs, wash my hands constantly, and I can’t pass a sanitizing dispenser without using it.

All the sacrifices are worth it, though. Before all else, fashion is about getting the look, and a runny nose just isn’t part of it.

But despite their best efforts to maintain high-gloss good health, fashionistas are mammals, too, and sometimes break down. Such a sight is never pretty, especially at a runway show. “I’ve seen people faint,” said Simon Doonan, the creative ambassador for Barneys New York. “It’s never a good look. Your legs are akimbo.”

You heard him, ladies. It’s never a good look. Keep those legs together.

For more tips on staying healthy during Fashion Week, which starts next Thursday, refer to this brilliant Times article. You’ve got to read it, darling. It’s simply a must.