Last week, I watched "Bill Cunningham New York," the documentary on New York Times photographer and style junkie Bill Cunningham. The 80-something photographer's zeal for style is truly uplifting — he celebrates everything that is fun and wonderful about fashion without being a pain in the you-know-what.
During last week's défilés (fashion shows) in Paris, I couldn't help but notice the contrast to Mr. Cunningham's humble and relaxed approach to fashion to that of certain stylephiles. Maybe it's just me, but it seems that fashion week has become more populated with people who are hell-bent on getting their pictures taken, whether they are up-and-coming celebrities or princesses whose clothing budgets surpass the transportation budgets of their kingdoms. Even some bloggers appear more interested in having their own pictures taken than in taking pictures of others.
One can always tell who's playing this look-at-me game by what they are wearing. A see-though ball gown at 10:30 a.m.? That screams, "TAKE MY PICTURE, I'M IMPORTANT!" and it nearly always works. Another ploy is to wear enough makeup to be seen from across the Tuileries. A photo-shoot ready face, especially a pretty photo-shoot ready face, is very likely to be photographed over others. Of course, The Entrance matters too: it is essential to arrive late, just before the shows start, so that everyone will take notice of you. If your press agent can't swing that, be certain that your hired walker/handler guides you into the défilé carefully, giving you a wide berth so that there will be no chance of you blending into the crowd. Blending in is bad. Standing out is good. Repeat that three times.
And remember that while you're standing out, people are looking, so keep that expression of a queen having her portrait painted plastered on your face. When the photographers come to you, smile graciously as if you didn't really expect the attention. And if, God forbid, the photographers ignore you and shoot your neighbor instead? Hide your displeasure; try not to scowl. Remember, the world is watching. Just as you wanted it to.