1. Getting on the list

You know that whole fake-it-til-you-make-it adage? Well you’ve already made it this far—there’s no sense in letting a small hiccup like not being on a list stop you from attaining a coveted seat or heading backstage at the hottest shows. If you act like you’re supposed to be somewhere, most people will just assume that you are. Or you could just slip quietly past the red tape as a PR girl with a clipboard frantically searches for your name on “the list”. Godspeed.

READ MORE: Your insider’s guide to NYFW Fall 2015

2. Bring help

No matter how it looks from the outside, covering
Fashion Week is a DIY experience. Enlist the services of those around you to get ready: an intern to organize your schedule and ensure that your runway invitations arrive safely and on time in your hotel room. Or possibly a significant other to navigate the winding streets of Paris—whatever it takes.

3. Make friends with cab drivers

Since we’ve determined that a) you’re not Anna Wintour, and b) you’re responsible for organizing your own travel, your next bet is to befriend a cabbie to make sure that they get you from shows at the Lincoln Center to an obscure warehouse in Brooklyn on time. Smile, and tip well. On another note, a
model at NYFW once told us that a cab driver dumped his passenger to give her a lift, so having a runway friend handy probably helps.

4. Flats are also your friends

Racing around the frantic backstage area, elbowing your way through the horde of beauty editors to chat with hair gurus (Guido Palau, Orlando Pita) and face-painting
makeup artists (Dick Page, Pat McGrath) as they transform models can be exhausting—doing it in heels all day long, is masochism.

READ MORE: How to dress for fashion month Fall 2015

5. Dress for the elements

Speaking of torture, hailing a cab in the midst of a snowstorm to make it to a showroom appointment that started 20 minutes ago is barely survivable when dressed appropriately. Think layers—oversized coats, chunky knits and tech-friendly gloves are totally justified here, friends.

More insider tips to surviving fashion week in style on the next page…
2fashion-week-survivor-guide-mai.jpg6. Bring snacks

Load up on
veggies and vitamins on the weeks before Fashion Month as if you’re going into hibernation—seriously. Type in “green juice” on Twitter this time of year and you’ll retrieve the collective cries of exhausted, hangry editors itching for a kale fix (long days and no sleep will do that do you). Pack an apple, ask for an extra pack of peanuts on the plane—whatever it takes, just don’t arrive to the tents empty-handed.

READ MORE: 10 street style stars you need to know

7. Remember—you’re supposed to be there

The truth about
street style posers—the over-the-top dressed “peacocks” of the fashion world lingering outside the tents—is that some of them are just that: they frantically race out of cabs as if late for a show, then slow to a crawl as they approach the mass of photographers staked outside, hoping to be snapped. They’re the real life equivalent of being all dressed up with nowhere to go. The sooner you learn this, the less of a blow to your ego it will be when the photogs continuously overlook you as you make your way inside.

8. Pack the essentials

It’s hard enough to pack for a
weekend getaway with the girls, but the thought of five days spent in a fashion capital with essentially the most stylish (or styled) trendsetters on the planet is enough to warrant a call to the airline to inquire about a closet-shipping fee (which should be a thing). Edit your travel wardrobe down to the absolute essentials—classic pieces that can be easily paired and layered.

READ MORE: 10 fashion people you need to follow on Instagram

9. Charge your smartphone

There likely isn’t anything more distressing while covering fashion week than the fast-draining battery of a smartphone, without an electrical outlet in sight (we shudder at the thought). To avoid having to commit photo-op moments of Harper Beckham bouncing on her dad’s lap in the front row to memory, keep your battery at full capacity. Or carry around a portable charger just in case.

10. Be prepared for anything

It’s day three on the schedule, you’ve established a route from the hotel to the tent to the nearby burger joint opened late—you basically have fashion week figured out. And then all of a sudden you’re in the middle of a show and a streaker jumps on stage or a part-Kardashian (almost completely nude) model comes down the runway and catches you off guard. Keep your camera app open, always. This is Fashion Week and pretty much anything goes.

Read more:
10 Fall 2015 fashion designers to watch
10 celebs with the best airport style
How to dress for fashion month Fall 2015
ELLE Canada editors on what to pack for fashion week