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From 9 a.m. presentations to 3 a.m. shenanigans at the season’s hottest spots, WWD nightlife photographer Steve Eichner sees it all through his viewfinder during fashion week.
NYFW Day 1, September 5
10:38 a.m., BCBG Max Azria: In the midst of B-list celebrity mayhem the cry, “Clear the runway!” is heard. We know we’re expecting Heidi Klum and there’s a seat for her. I say to the security guy, “It’s not time for auf Wiedersehen. Heidi is not here yet!” I do the dance, trying to be invisible, shuffling around the catwalk, finally she appears. I say, “Heidi! Big smile this way!” Click, click, click. As I pass the security guard, I say, “Now, it’s time for auf Wiedersehen.”
11:28 a.m., Midday street-style shoot: I spy the ultimate selfie invention. A guy has his cell perched at the end of a telescopic rod, for the ultimate in self-portraiture. Dude, I gotta market that thing!
10:36 p.m., The Top of The Standard fifth anniversary party: Models Jessica White and Julie Henderson saunter in. I pull some golden balloons from the ceiling. They ham it up. Great shot!
NYFW Day 2, September 6
10:37 a.m., Jenni Kayne: I’m photographing the looks one by one before the presentation begins. So as not to dirty the white cyclorama, an assistant is helping the model put her shoes on and off. I witness as the assistant stands up quickly and the back of her head smashes into the model’s nose. A scream is heard and out of my mouth comes, “Don’t bleed on the clothes.” The poor girl’s eyes tear up but luckily, no bloody nose. The model shook it off and carried on like a true professional.
12:37 p.m., Jason Wu: Leaving the backstage area, I walk the runway out. I’m startled by the voice of God: “Please get off of the runway, we are still rehearsing.” Oops.
12:41 p.m.: The selfie stick post on my Facebook has gone viral. Alina Cho says she wants one. She poses for a pic near a prop structure at the show.
9:31 p.m., Saks party sponsored by Dior: “It’s a crazy week for you, huh???” is a comment that comes my way a lot during fashion week. This time it’s from Alexandra Richards. “Yeah,” I say, “but I look forward to it in a sadistic kind of way.” She says, “No, you must mean masochistic.” After Googling the words, I’m very red-faced…I’ve been using that line all week.
10:11 p.m.: Host Jessica Biel is ushered into the VIP area. I’m waiting with Billy Farrell of BFANYC photo agency. Jessica’s publicist motions to us as if holding an invisible camera as they walk in. Billy says, “It’s OK, let her get settled first.” Big mistake. Seconds later, a security detail forms a human shield around Jessica. Billy politely argues that we need our shots. It’s a battle of wills, but I’m betting on Billy as he turns to me with a wink and says, “I guess they don’t know what our job is.” After a 10-minute standoff, the Saks p.r.’s come over: “Ohhh...you guys need this?” Snap! Click! Flash! Pow! Amazing photograph.
NYFW Day 3, September 7
11:15 a.m., Fashion Café: Fashion week tip: Sip small amounts of coffee all day long. Keep your caffeine level even.
11:43 a.m., Prabal Gurung: Sipping coffee backstage (following my own advice). A publicist grabs me to snap Allison Williams and Prabal together.
3:23 p.m., Hervé Léger by Max Azria: Three kisses is what I get from Petra Nemcova. Onlooker says, “Wow! Three kisses!” Me: “Yes, I’m so lucky, I get three kisses from Petra.” Petra replies, “No, I’m lucky I get three kisses from you.”
4:50 p.m., Alexander Wang: Outside this show in particular, it has become evident that street-style photography has almost escalated to scary paparazzi level.
11:11 p.m., Alexander Wang after party: Earlier in the day, I received the news: Only house photographer allowed to shoot. So nice to enjoy the party as a civilian. But I could not resist snapping a few iPhone photos of Nicki Minaj.
NYFW Day 4, September 8
12:43 p.m., DKNY: “OMG naked people!?” I scream upon finding an impromptu body-painting troupe outside the show.
12:59 p.m.: Alexandra Daddario looks like a Siberian husky…big blue eyes.
4:01 p.m., Diane von Furstenberg: “Who’s that?” newbie photog asks. “I get a dollar a name,” I reply. “But I’ll give you the first one free. That’s Tina Brown, now get your cash ready.” “I can’t afford that,” says newbie. “How about hugs?” Nice embrace, feels good.
4:07 p.m.: 2002: I risk my life to get a shot of Paris and Nicky; 2013: Who cares?
7:17 p.m., Zac Posen: From across the room, Molly Sims waves me over: “Can you show me that iPhone photo thing again?” “Yeah,” I say, demonstrating, “Touch what you want in focus.” “Wow! Yeah! Thanks. I love you!”
8:09 p.m., Opening Ceremony: Tongue out, Rihanna poses Miley Cyrus–style.
8:12 p.m.: Leave it to Bieber to make my life hell. Encompassed by massive security guards. Hands on my lens. Flashlights used to freak my focus. Game on! On my hands and knees. Get clear shot through bodyguard’s legs. I win!
9:14 p.m.: Giant muscle-man protector fending off smartphones. His celeb charge, Rihanna. SLR-wielding woman approaches. “Not while she’s smoking!!” he yells.
10:51 p.m.: Back at WWD offices. I review the night’s work. Supersharp extreme close-up of the Biebs. Looks like peach-fuzz mustache. Puberty.
NYFW Day 5, September 9
10:14 a.m., Carolina Herrera: “Look at all my amazing iPhone photos!” Molly Sims exclaims.
12:04 p.m., Holmes & Yang: Katie is fluttering about as I document the line. “Do you want a shot of the designers?” Katie high-fives me and poses with Jeanne. “It’s a beautiful collection,” I say…pretending to know something about fashion.
4:00 p.m., Donna Karan: Fashion week tip: Never pass up the opportunity to use a restroom. Following this advice, backstage, I enter the men’s room; there’s a line and the door bursts open. “I need this for the girls!” Guess I’ll have to hold it.
9:06 p.m., Burberry Acoustic Presents Tom Odell: P.r. gives me proper caption information: “Sleep No More” at the McKittrick Hotel.…The theme of my fashion week.
9:58 p.m.: Mwah! Right on the lips! Genevieve Jones plants one on me. “Now I’m wearing your lip gloss!” I say. As she’s reapplying, I try to grab a frame. “Not of that!” she says. “I’ll go naked, but not that!”
NYFW Day 6, September 10
6:43 a.m.: Up early to type. Online, I see page one of WWD is my runway photo from Hilfiger show. With a buzz like this, who needs morning coffee?
9:07 a.m., Tory Burch: Cradling an SLR camera, Emmy Rossum snaps from the front row.
2:06 p.m., Street-style shoot: “Art is what you can get away with,” a woman’s leg tattoo reads. Her shoes are rad as well.
2:42 p.m., Naeem Khan: If the dresses are so well-made, why are there a thousand beads, feathers and sequins left behind on the runway after the show? Just askin’.
8:06 p.m., Narciso Rodriguez: “‘Miser-Alba’ is never nice to me,” says one shooter waiting for Jessica Alba to take her front-row seat.
10:17 p.m., Barneys New York party: Too much garlic in the whipped fava-bean spread on toast.
11:38 p.m.: “Don’t look at this!” barefoot lady, relieving her shoe pain, declares. I offer, “Would you like them massaged!?” “Very tempting,” she replies.