Social Skills I Picked Up at My First Fashion Show

Written by: Susan Hang


A little over 48 hours since I’ve returned from Paris and only one word to describe the entire experience: Magnificent!

Backtracking a bit here, but the intent of my ubiety in Paris was to assist Zanita on a massively special photoshoot so I had no other major plans, but there were absolutely no complaints when Day 1 commenced with a fashion show – Chalayan FW16 – and my first ever to be precise. Bri had experienced the fracas of NYFW and wrote about her pleasant fashion show experience(s) a month ago and she’s absolutely right. Aside from the palpitating emotions that spur as soon as the upbeat music starts in congruence to the clouting steps of the runway models loping elegantly across the runway, there’s much to be observed and acquired around you – that’s if you pay attention of course. And since I’m someone who’s essentially ADD-inclined, I paid attention to every single detail. If there are social skills to be learnt in fashion, let it be at a fashion show…

– Act with confidence

If you just act like you’re important and you do it with confidence, people will believe you. Zanita and I weren’t exactly sure if I’d be able to get in with her on an exclusive backstage preview at Chalayan and clueless as I was, I just followed her lead – “We’re both here together on behalf of Swarovski” – sure enough, we both made our way backstage and watched the magic happen without having to say much at all.

– Be kind

Not that I saw any spectacular acts of kindness, but watching someone be an asshole was even more validation that you should always take the high road – be kind. From getting yelled at for unknowingly standing in the runway before “practice” to being forced out of seat (only to return with no apology), no one likes an asshole. And asshole remarks and demeanor will NEVER be forgotten; not only that, but people are sure to talk about your asshole behavior more often than your kindness (i.e. me right now about that guy). So do yourself a favor, no matter how much stress or pressure or anger you feel, be nice.

– Learn to shrug it off

Pretty much right in line with the point above, if someone is an asshole, you have to be able to shrug it off. You cannot be sensitive in a highly competitive industry like fashion – you’ll just be eaten up alive because assholes are prevalent everywhere especially when you’re quite a nobody (to them, that is…). Despite experiencing a bit of an unpleasant person at my first-ever show, I just ignored it and still had the time of my life. My first true Devil Wears Prada experience.

– Flexibility is the key to success

Fashion is ongoing and can feel even faster than the rate of a normal life. The adrenaline and the pressure exposes a lot of unexpected emotions and many times, unwanted. There’s a lot of uncertainly and sometimes things fall apart; other times, they fall together, but regardless of which way they’re falling, the only one way to win is to adapt. Everything you say and/or do should be a positive reaction to someone else.


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