Forget everything you know about the rules. It's Fashion Week in New York City, and when cameras (and iPhones) are aloft, anything goes. All of the industry's peacocks are coming out to play, and they're bringing out their finest plumage.
Only it's not about attracting a mate, as in the animal kingdom. (Man Repeller put into words the unspoken fact that great fashion should, in fact, repel a mate.) It's about attracting the right street style photographer's lens to launch you into internet infamy, the color blocking and texture play that inspires endless Pinterest boards and infinite retweets for seasons to come. It's also a time to exhibit your best rag-doll pose - one that you'd never admitted that you've been practicing all summer - and your most convincing "Oh, me? Gosh, I really wasn't expecting to be photographed today!"
And so, at NYFW, you're likely to seem some rather odd displays of behavior. An overall absence of logic prevails, with adults putting themselves into dangerous situations, uncomfortable clothing, and impractical stilettos all in the name of that one perfect photo.
Because if you weren't immortalized in a street style slideshow, were you really even at NYFW at all?
Here are seven strange things that are totally odd in the real world, but totally acceptable, even commonplace, during the planetary alignment that is NYFW:
1.) BFF's Strolling Hold-In-Hand:
Your BFF - or, more likely, frenemy - can be your best accessory. Grabbing the hand of a similarly-dressed friend is a great way to maximize surface area, thus attracting the gaze of potential street style photographers. Matching mini-purses are a plus.
2.) Dysfunctional pieces with hidden functionality:
This hat may not do a great job at keeping out rain or sun, but all is not lost; you can spy through the peephole to be sure that you are actually being photographed.
3.) Someone wearing a shirt all wrong:
The more creative, the more photographers will clamor for a shot.
Step 1.) Miss as many buttons as you can.
Step 2.) Shred the shirt into strips.
Step 3.) Tie the strips up in a bulky knot. It's all about architecture here, so make it as assymetrical as possible.
Pro-Tip: This will not have hanger-appeal once you've taken it off.
4.) Cultural Appropriation:
This season, the face decor at Givenchy, which was inspired by ceremonial adornments worn by women in Djibouti, Ethiopia, and India. In any other circumstance, this would be considered cultural appropriation at it's worst; the exploitation without reference or credit where credit is due of cultures that are, it's clear to see, definitely not represented in the show. But, since this is fashion, we can call it "art". Just don't try this on the red carpet, folks.
5.) A grown woman wearing every single trend at the same time:
Menswear, asymmetry, brights, seventies. All at once? Why not.
Wacky, colorful hair: Check. Mirrored sunglasses: Check. Statement necklace: Check. Patterns on patterns: Check and check.
You've been told to avoid this fashion "don't" since you first started flipping through Seventeen Magazine. But at NYFW, it's a surefire way to demonstrate awareness of the trending trends, and fearlessness in expressing oneself and one's artistic abilities in ways that no one else could have possibly dreamed up.
6.) A bunch of people standing in the middle of the street:
This is just dangerous. But taxis make the best backdrops.
7.) People wearing clothes without really committing to wearing them:
It's a great way to be ready for a quick outfit change.
NYFW is a strange place, people. Thankfully, we have three more weeks of Fashion Week - and all the odd phenomena, er, "art", that comes along with it - to look forward to.