NEW YORK - It's not just clothes and catwalks. New York Fashion Week isn't complete without insane scheduling, chard juice, braving the cold and A-list toddlers competing as queen of the front row.
Four months shy of her second birthday, the daughter of Kanye West and Kim Kardashian, North West, presented three-year-old Harper Beckham with some serious competition in the paparazzi stakes.
But while David and Victoria Beckham's fourth child behaved impeccably in the front row of her mother's catwalk show, North bawled her eyes out—not once but twice.
She screamed her head off at dad Kanye's debut line for Adidas, provoking icy stares from Vogue editor Anna Wintour, and then cried again at her second catwalk experience, the gothic grunge of Alexander Wang.
It seemed that not even her own custom-made Wang dress was enough to keep her quiet. Or perhaps the silver studs on her little black dress hurt.
The question is—how young is too young to appreciate a runway show? Is it really suitable for a one-year-old who is presumably still in diapers?
"Why not? It's very good for them," German designer and Chanel creative director Karl Lagerfeld told the Daily Front Row.
New York has been gripped by near-record low temperatures that got the better of many fashionistas who traditionally pose in bare legs and stilettos outside the show venues in the hope of getting noticed.
But in the front row, VIPs are kitted out in their usual barely there dresses and strappy shoes—proof of the chauffeured limos waiting outside. Wintour meanwhile has favored an array of sumptuous fur coats.
Designers are starting to phase out magnificent embossed invitations to catwalk shows.
Invitations and RSVPs are increasingly digitized, with guests waving smart phones at burly bodyguards to get in off the street and seat numbers emailed ahead of time... making it harder to swap invites.
At least two designers also chose to email their style notes as soon as the catwalk show began, saving lavish spending on the embossed notes on creamy paper tucked into folders or fashioned into little books.
More is more in Fashion Week parlance. Some 350 catwalk shows and presentations take place in little more than a week, with as many as seven events scattered across town at the same time.
"How many of these designers, especially young, struggling designers are going to get anybody to pay attention to them?" said Patricia Mears, deputy director of New York's Fashion Institute of Technology.
Some designers send out "survival kits" at the beginning of the week to the select few: drinking water, an energy drink, a bar of chocolate and a few beauty products. But no mittens and no scarf.
One designer sent out a plastic waterproof poncho, perhaps for those wanting to go to his show in Brooklyn by water taxi.
An army of PR women with headsets and clipboards name check arrivals, usher guests to their seats, guard designers from unwanted intrusion and make sure everyone is sitting before—lights, camera, action.
Dressed in black, typically skimpy dresses with towering stilettos, that these women stay on their feet all day is no easy feat.
Among the free samples dished out by promoters at Fashion Week headquarters at Lincoln Center are juices made from kale and chard, the green vegetables that have outstripped broccoli for anti-carcinogenic coolness.
"You will immediately look younger," said one promoter, before realizing that might sound a trifle rude. "It's also good for kids who don't like to eat vegetables."