56 hours until the kick-off of Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Swim at the Raleigh Hotel in South Beach and I am a bundle of fashion nerves. I'm fired up, I'm frantic, I'm nervous, I'm nauseous. This will be my first time attending the event and I'm more jittery about losing my fashion week virginity than I was when I lost my actual virginity.
I applied for press accreditation last month, hoping I might be able to sneak into a few shows. Here I am, three weeks later, my metallic clutch overflowing with invites to twenty something fashion shows, meet and greets, interviews and other i-can't-believe-i'm-invited-to-these industry events. I even have a free mani/pedi and blowout scheduled with a top celebrity manicurist and hair stylist! Have I died and gone to heaven?
I should be elated. I should be dancing on the ceiling. I should be thinking I'm hot stuff baby this evening. But in all honesty, I'm absolutely terrified and have found myself feeling similar emotions to the seven stages of grief.
1. SHOCK & DENIAL- Me?! They're inviting me?! No, there must be some mistake. I am not good enough to have an assigned seat at the Cabaña Grande.
2. PAIN & GUILT- As the initial shock wore off, it was replaced with the unbelievable pain of trying to decide what to wear. Guilty feelings and remorse follow after I spend exorbitant amounts of money on buying the perfect Fashion Week ensembles.
3. ANGER & BARGAINING- Frustration and stress give way to anger, and I find myself lashing out, my dog and boyfriend the poor, undeserving targets. I try to bargain in vain with the powers that be at the department stores - "Can I get a discount on this sample shoe? It's totally scratched."
4. DEPRESSION, REFLECTION, LONELINESS- I don't like the clothes I bought. Who am I? What am I doing with my life? No one is going to talk to me.
5. THE UPWARD TURN- As I start to adjust, sending back rsvp after rsvp, life becomes a little calmer and more organized. My physical symptoms lessen, and my "depression" begins to lift slightly. I realize I'm going to get a sweet goodie bag of schwag. I look at myself in the mirror, splash some cold water on my face and say "Dude, I'm going to Fashion Week".
6. RECONSTRUCTION & WORKING THROUGH- As I become more functional, my mind starts working again. I find myself putting smart outfits together, writing clever interview questions and planning a budget for the next 6 months to help me pay off all of my new purchases.
7. ACCEPTANCE & HOPE- I may be a new kid on the Fashion Week block, but this is a brilliant, once in a lifetime opportunity. I will have an exciting time, meet amazing designers, blog like I've never blogged before, drink tasty Chambord cocktails (the Official Liqueur of Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Swim) and maybe share a few words with some choice celebrities...and P. Diddy will just have to accept me for who I am.