Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Week of the Living Fashionistos

New York Fashion Week is finally over and I'd like nothing more than to fast forward to year 3010 when everyone will be wearing identical aluminum jumpsuits, and couture will have been relegated to art museum relics. Personally, I think Fashion Week should be renamed "Hell Week" because it turns New York into a petty high school caste system- where designers are the shot calling mean girls; models are the envied cheerleaders; and the rest of the public are wannabe posers trying to get in whatever size zero garment they can fit in.

I wouldn't hate Fashion Week if it was reserved to only those in the industry. But the desire to be in vogue and "hot in the streets" invades the air like bedazzled bed bugs and "POOF"- I'm subway surfing in four inch heels just so I can look like one of them. Although I consider Fashion Week to be the soft and pink equivalent to the Super Bowl, I can't fully appreciate it because I hate pretentiousness, I'm poor and frankly too frustrated to think about next spring's wardrobe when I'm still trying to score a pair of OTK boots from two seasons ago.

There was one peculiar trend during Fashion Week that irked me more than the introduction of the words "jeggings" and "treggings." A new population of fashion conscious males were burgeoning. I'm not referring the masters of the fashion universe- gay men; nor, the 2003 phenom- the metrosexual. These guys are different... I think.

While attending a pre-Fashion Week happy hour at a hotel bar aptly named "Fashion 26" (think it's "Turkey 26" in November?), I spied an okay looking guy spying me. Grateful for any attention in my tragic yet sensible H&M and Old Navy ensemblE, I checked my right and left sides to confirm I was his intended target, and then I smiled at him. He came over, introduced himself and we made the obligatory New York small talk about where we work, who we know and whether we live in Manhattan (Harlem counts) or an "acceptable" part Brooklyn. Just as I was about to deem him straight enough to exchange numbers, bodily fluids and vows, he derailed the conversation with the following rapid-fire succession of questions:

"Are you going to Fashion Night Out? Did you make it to the J.Crew off season sample sale? Will I see you at any of the shows?"

"No," I uttered once to all three questions.

The notion of a seemingly hetero male with no known affiliation to fashion being so concerned with Fashion Week's activities was suspect. I deduced he was using fashion as a pickup tool. You know, like how "Sportsnistas" feign interest in trivial baseball stats and Guinness Stout in order to impress guys?

If that was the case, I could have been flattered that he went through the trouble of memorizing the Fashion Week itinerary and risking blisters by foregoing socks in hard bottomed shoes just to get at moi. However, I found him to be a perplexing turnoff - kind of like those "Toddlers in Tiaras." It's cute yet repulsive. A guy who can distinguish Gucci from Pucci, and fully grasp the obsession with finding the perfect black pump sounds like the missing link necessary for everlasting harmony in male/female relationships; but in reality it's plain queer.

I rather enjoy duping my beaus into believing my closet full of chain store apparel is couture. One of the benefits of having a fashionably challenged boyfriend is that he doesn't care if my dress is a twelve dollar, poly-rayon blend, so long as it can be easily removed. Speaking of, aren't women already stressed out enough about what we look like underneath our clothes? Push-up bra - Check; Spanx - Check; Asymmetrical bodycon dress with apropos bootie - Boy, please.

While I do find fancy dandies aesthetically pleasing, I don't need competition in the looks department with my man. No offense to my past boyfriends, but I am used to being the head turner in a relationship. I couldn't fathom going to a wedding with a date who upstages me, while I'm surreptitiously trying to upstage the bride.

Dating a "Mr. Fancy Pants" would cause more anxiety for me than Snooki in a Kaplan course. It shouldn't take me more than three seconds to sum up and analyze a dude's outfit. And I definitely shouldn't be tempted to take a second glance- or worst yet, try to replicate it. Don't get me wrong, I have no interest in dating some schlub who thinks oversized sweatpants and a football jersey qualifies as casual sportswear. He would garner attention for all the wrong reasons. A man who can pull it together with the basics will suffice. My ideal fashion-mate would probably be a swaggerific Mister Rogers in a pair of Chuck Taylors.

I ended up passing on "Mr. Fashion 26." Chances are he was not a superficial, label-whore who had his tailor on speed dial. Perhaps his sense of style was intrinsic and he just couldn't help but know the exact right way to roll up his trousers without looking like Urkel. Either way, my hate coupled with false preconceptions and lack of a designer wardrobe would have eventually led to the demise of our relationship. Although when news broke about the super success of the Target Missoni line, I couldn't help but wonder if that could have been us.