The term fashion week is something of a misnomer. As those in the industry know, it’s really fashion month-and-a-half. By the time the tents at Lincoln Center are officially open, young designers in New York have been showing collections for 2 days already, models have been in and out of castings and fittings for weeks, and the thought of a good night’s sleep is best left to those who are California-dreamin’. When the last show in New York ends, our eyes are already glued to what’s to come from London, Milan and Paris.

Every girl needs her fashion-week-wingman, and who better than my best friend — a habitual twitter tweaker and New York scenester — to take on NYFW? While we might not have matching broken-heart-necklaces, we have been known to editorialize our outfits to fit. And so was born, FILLER’s favorite collab, GAB+AB.

The Model Roommate

For us, the frenzy of the SS13 fashion season began with a new temporary roomie that was an everyday reminder of the theme in the air. Her name: Tian Yi, the Chinese runway super star from Fusion Models. And then there were three…

Through Tian, we got a front row view of the life of a model leading up to and during one of the busiest fashion months of the year: September. From what we could see, it was a rigorous schedule of castings, fittings and shows while in New York that had our rommie leaving the house at 8:00 a.m., and rarely returning before midnight. Aged 18, this fresh face took on fashion’s 4 major cities, landing 64 shows in only her second season.

No wonder models have to be so young, only a teenager could work 30 days straight, and still manage to give off that joie de vivre needed to work the runway by the time they get to Paris. If it were us out there, the bags under our eyes would be so prominent by the time Paris rolled around, would feature them in their accessories report as the new “it” bag — so not the right look. As for Tian, she was a trooper, saying nothing more of her demanding schedule but: “When I have a fitting that goes all night…I get tired.”

So how does she keep her youthful glow? Tian’s remedy for tired is just: “take it easy and be happy,” which we think may be easier said than done, but we give her points for being positive!

Tian squeezed in 4 shows daily, walking the fashion alphabet from Alexander McQueen, Burberry, Celine, Dolce + Gabbana, Emilo Pucci, John Galiano, Louis Vuitton, Marc Jacobs, Marchesa, Missoni, Moschino, Narciso Rodriguez, Prabal Gurung, Thakoon, Versace, Victoria Beckham, Vera Wang… to Versus, and those are just our favorites we listed. As for her favorites, Christian Dior, Louis Vuitton and Tommy Hilfiger, with her favorite city during the long fashion-month being: “New York City — I love New York City,” she gushed to us.

From the Runway to the Scene

Any brand can throw a knockout bash, but Brian Atwood’s soiree at The Four Seasons Restaurant stood up to the 5-star-treatment his A-list guests are accustomed to. Kim Kardashian, Heidi Klum, Rachel Zoe, Iman, Paris and Nicky Hilton, Estelle, Mary Alice Stephenson, Skye Nellor, and Candice Swanepoel all partied around the large glowing pond that was the centerpiece of his event honoring the designer’s flagship store opening where “the sex is in the heels,” so the slogan went.

It was the night before Fashion Week, and the Atwood event was the 4th party we’d hit that evening, having stopped in at Saks Fifth Avenue to check out their Harper’s Bazaar panel, which celebrated the WEAR NOW floor launch; The Cut Blog launch party on the roof of the Nomad Hotel; and pre-shopped Kirna+Zabete at The Shops at Target, snapping up a few key pieces before they hit stores.

As much as GAB+AB love a proper party, we wanted more, and it came in the form of Marchesa. Grand Central Station set the stage that made our fashion dreams come true, and whipped up a social media storm as KK and Kanye took their seats moments before the glamorous gowns — soon to be worn by red-carpet royalty across the globe — strutted out before a captivated audience.

Since we’d not been home in what felt like days, it was a pleasant surprise to see Tian Yi walking in a divine burgundy fringe gown from Marchesa’s Spring 2013 collection — it was dazzling.

Backstage, we caught up with Mary Alice Stephenson, who playfully had a pose-off with Tyra Banks, exclusive for our cameras before sharing with us how much she loved the show. While we tried to interrogate her further, Mary Alice ran into Kelly Osbourne and Sarah Hyland, allowing us to witness first hand how she handles the social media madness that comes with being a fashion and beauty expert in this digital age. We’d not even spotted Marchesa’s glamorous designers Georgina Chapman and Keren Craig yet when a security detail worthy of the President, swept past us, sheltering the power couple of the week: Kim Kardashian and Kanye West.


 Tweet & Learn

Earlier in the week, we stopped in to hear the Future of Fashion panel at the second annual Independent Fashion Bloggers Conference (IFBCon). The wheels soon began turning…

Social media gives us all a chance to feel like we’re a part of a much larger community, it’s an opportunity to glance inside the world of others. The question that came into our mind though while pondering this was: what does that mean for fashion? We think it’s about quality over quantity.

When a brand’s worth is measured on the scale of their social media “Klout” — pun intended, and we’re all able to manipulate the numbers by investing just $19.99 to purchase 2000 friends, fans or followers, it all boils down to who your friends are, not how many you have. “It’s not taboo to be your own brand anymore,” Scott Lipps, CEO of One Model Management told the bloggers at IFBCON.

We are no longer just people, as everything we do and say, post or pin, tag or tweet is a reflection on who we are, and how we want to be perceived. GAB+AB agree that using social media to leverage and accelerate one’s brand identity is all part of the game, but there aren’t any fast track tricks that can replace the integrity that comes with building a brand from the ground up, and founders who truly believe in what their brand represents.

Tingling Our Inspiration

There is always an event that stands out, and makes us remember the magic of why we fell in love with fashion; this season, that moment took hold at the preview of director Matthew Miele’s Scatter My Ashes at Bergdorf’s, the documentary honoring the iconic brand’s 111th year anniversary at The Paris theater.

Sitting amongst the designers, editors, and influencers featured in the film, and hearing the history of how a small furrier grew into the brand that gave so many young designers their start, was — quite simply — magic. The evening left us energized and excited about the world of fashion, and of course, next season. Until then…


 Published November 14, 2012