On the Outside Peeking In: My Givenchy NYFW Experience

By sheer will (and the magic of AutoFill), I found myself one of the lucky 1,200 members of the public invited to attend the Givenchy by Riccardo Tisci Spring/Summer ’16 show. If there were such a thing as a golden ticket, this is the closest I have ever come.

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I picked up my ticket the morning before the show, making the trek way downtown to the Nantucket, docked at Pier 25. It was pouring rain, cold, and absolutely miserable, but having the ticket in my hand (and later seeing it in all its glory) was priceless.

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The day of the show, I gave myself a *conservative* 4 hours to get ready. Because getting ready is half the fun, right? I took a few shameless selfies (below) before heading to the show.

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I arrived at the venue (Pier 26) roughly 15 minutes before check-in, and there was already a line forming just outside of the entrance. After 45 minutes of sweating it out in the hot sun and enjoying the views of the water and Manhattan skyline, we were let into the show.

I immediately experienced a sensory overload in the best way possible. The combination of the sounds of soft, musical chanting, the captivating performance art on elevated platforms throughout the venue, the almost tangible, hushed excitement among fellow guests from the public, and the gorgeous New York skyline illuminated by the setting sun left me breathless. I took my place in the front row of elevated black platforms bordering the venue and continued to take it all in.

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For the next hour or so, I proceeded to people watch the most fashionable group of people that I have ever seen. My roommate and I oohed and aahed at the fashion choices of the show attendees, highlighted by the appearance of a VIP every now and then.

Celebrities aside, it was fascinating to see the pre-show dynamics. Prestigious industry giants spotting peers and acquaintances, embracing and quickly catching up; paparazzi and press swarming each new VIP arrival to get that perfect shot, quote, and every minute outfit detail–all this while we stood at the sidelines, sometimes receiving a glance or two from the attendees but most content with simply being watched.

An hour after the show’s set start time and the arrival of one superstar celebrity couple later, the lights went down and the show began. The prerecorded chanting was replaced by live singing with instrumental accompaniment, a variety of religious songs featured throughout the show. The passionate singing filled the venue and brought it to life and for the next 20 minutes, all attention was focused on the models, the stunning creations they sported, the emotion-filled singing, and somewhere in the distance, the beautiful New York skyline–most notably the illuminated World Trade Center, which held so much significance that day.

Riccardo Tisci made his entrance and was greeted by a standing ovation, marking the end of the show. The lights went up, bringing everyone back to reality and I walked away in complete awe of the entire experience, which still seems unreal.

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