I Wore a Stained Forever 21 Dress to Fashion Week & Got Photographed

Fashion is a whole lot of bull shit.

Seriously, this is coming from someone who spent four years and way too much money studying Fashion Design & Merchandising in college. Fashion and “style” is rife with outfits that are so ugly they’re chic, and so tattered they’re trendy. You could probably wear a burlap sack, tell a reporter that it was a statement, and end up on the front page of WWD.

Don’t believe me? Well I’ve got a story to prove it. Let me walk you down memory lane to my first fashion week where I wore a Forever 21 pleather dress with a huge white sticker and got photographed.

I was interning at BCBG and we were instructed to wear all black. BCBG clearly overestimated how many unpaid minions they’d need, because the majority of the time we were all sitting on the floor of the “intern room” (aka closet). Because of this, suddenly we were all super eager to do any task that they’d assign us. If someone asked someone to go do a Starbucks run, we reacted as if someone had asked us if we want to marry Justin Bieber, “Oh, yes, me! I’ll go!”

When one of the actual BCBG employees popped her head in on a sleepy afternoon and asked if two girls would go to a book signing for her boss, I could not have volunteered faster.

Another intern and I went off in a cab with our supervisor’s credit card and a book that we were to get signed by some chick. What we realized as we stepped out of the cab on the curb outside Lincoln Center was that this was actually a legit event. It wasn’t open to the public, there were free drinks, and Joan fucking Rivers was getting photographed outside. Suddenly all the days spent in the coat closet at BCBG didn’t seem so bad.

In attempts to look cooler in my Forever 21 pleather dress and Pacsun gladiator sandals, I quickly tried to rip off the name tag that BCBG had forced us to wear (because they couldn’t be bothered to learn our names, obvi).

Working #NYFW! #ootd #oftd #oftn #wiwt #wdywt

A photo posted by Ashley (@ashleyuzer) on

To my dismay, I realized that the glue from the name tag had completely adhered to my cheap Forever 21 dress. I was cursing BCBG once again for making us wear those stupid things. Here I was, at a fashion week event, and I was going to be forced to walk around with a big square of white shit on my hip. FML.

But to my surprise, as we walked closer to the venue, the same photographers that were previously photographing Joan Rivers were now photographing me. One photographer exclaimed, “Wow! Love your look! What’s the white sticker symbolize?”

If I was older and wiser, I could’ve gone into a longwinded speech about how the white square symbolizes the eternal importance of the fashion cycle or my feminist agenda against the patriarchy, but because I was 19 and awkward, I explained that a name tag got stuck on my dress. He continued taking photos of me.

I went into the event feeling a little better, got some free swag, hung out for about an hour because I knew that nobody at BCBG would ever notice we were gone, and went and bought some Goo-Gone as soon as I returned to the office in attempts to save my Forever 21 dress because even though it was probably $30, I really liked it.

Moral of the story? If you’re ever feeling like your fashion week look isn’t up to par, remember that it’s all about confidence and faking it until you make it. If you want to stand out of the crowd, go into the nearest Duane Reade and find something ridiculous to add to your ensemble, like a pool float around your waist or a big bandage wrapped around your head. You’ll probably become a new style icon or some shit.

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