Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week, the biannual fashion colloquium in which Maxxinistas from all over the globe gather in New York to learn which fashions are legal to wear, was thrown into chaos last night, as a storm with no name bore down on the city. With London Fashion Week scheduled to begin February 15, an event-wide postponement was off the table. It was either catwalk through the blizzard or enter grimly into a Year Without Style.
And while no events were technically cancelled (organizers have promised to put tents up, around the other tents), Michael Kors wore Ugg boots to the Project Runway presentation, which is essentially a cancellation of the entire endeavor. So unless you're reading this from a tent within a tent within a tent within a tent in Lincoln Center, odds are the snow or your crushing agoraphobia kept you trapped at home. Here's how to host your own New York Fashion Week with friends (lovers? strangers!) in your apartment:
Arrange artful honeycombs of Diet Pepsi throughout your apartment, making sure they look intentional rather than slovenly. Disregard your animal instinct to serve Diet Coke instead of The Poor Man's Brown Water; everyone prefers it, but we must honor our sponsors.
Speaking of which: While cans of low-cal caffeine will fly off the shelves with no trouble, Fiber One® bars (provided by NYFW sponsor Fiber One®) are tougher to move than a big BM in a low-fiber diet, because no one likes them. Combat this problem by dropping them in paper gift bags set under various chairs/tables/countertops around the apartment. Inside each gift bag, place four Fiber One® bars and then one more Fiber One® bar.
Instruct your guests (friends; neighbors; shanghai'd deliverymen) to dress "vaguely famous." If they request clarification, tell them to "be effortless." Elaborate no further. (Ideally, a layperson will be unable to tell if all or none of you are "that girl on that Bravo show" or "the friend of that girl on that Bravo show".)
Note: Precipitation falling from the sky in any form will render it impossible to burn curly hair into submission for much of the weekend. Leave a plugged-in flat iron dangling on the rim of your bathroom sink so that guests may touch up their pin-straight coiffures at will.
Discretely place around the apartment "conversation starter" index cards to help elevate the discourse of your reluctant sartorialists, e.g.:
"Like everyone, I treasure clean lines but wonder: Is it possible for a line to be too clean?"
"I found the silhouette to be, frankly, offensive."
"The fabric of the kaftan was to die for."
"How has your favorite designer incorporated smokey textures for fall?"
TIP: Any time someone compliments your outfit, lean forward and say "Sorry?" so they have to repeat the compliment. Now you have two compliments.
After they have spent few minutes awkwardly shuffling around your cramped apartment while pretending to text "editorial," show your guests to out-of-the-way seats. Direct one person to the arm of a couch; another, to a step-stool in a closet. Frown at your clipboard and tell the delivery man that you don't see his name, but add that he's "welcome to stand" in the corner. If anyone tries to move from their assigned seat, shake your head; all other seats are reserved.
Observe your guests as they sit nervously, waiting for something to happen. Quietly dismiss anyone who does not appear to be effortless.
Watch an episode of Say Yes to the Dress to the first commercial break.
Twenty-eight minutes after the guests arrive, shoo them back out into the snow; "I'm sorry, I'm sorry. We've got another group that needs the space."
Drop an extra Fiber One® bar into everyone's bag as they leave.
[Image via Getty]