Fashion Week FAQ

Why do models walk that way? And other questions answered.

Friday marked the beginning of New York Fashion Week (Feb. 3-10), during which designers will launch their fall 2006 collections. In 2004, the Slate staff found that many of us were perplexed by the annual event: Is Fashion Week, as one editor put it, “a snooty scam perpetrated by New Yorkers on poor slobs elsewhere”? Or is it an occasion for designers to present their artistic ideas and try to influence taste? We asked Josh Patner—fashion journalist, former assistant designer for Donna Karan, and co-founder of the popular label Tuleh—to answer these and other burning questions. In Part 1, he explains the basics of Fashion Week. In part two, he answers more of our queries: Where do models learn their walk? Are refreshments served? Do models diet or do they just have “fast metabolisms”? And can you boo at a fashion show?