Fashion / Style

A New York minute: Kim Russell shares her NYFW SS24 editor’s diary

kim russell NYFW editor's diary

On the eve of my big fashion week self-titled tour “@thekimbino Takes NYC and London” I had so many errands that needed to be completed with not nearly enough time. The one errand that ended up being neglected was my nails which is a shock to you and I both given I had three inch talons at AAFW in May. The mum guilt begins to sink in as I lug my 26kg suitcase with me down the driveway of my suburban bliss, going into autopilot knowing it’s game time. I got to the airport with luck on my side: I GOT AN UPGRADE TO BUSINESS. If you’re from Australia you know how special a business seat is for those long haul flights; it becomes a treat to do a 14 hour stretch in an inescapable metal tube. Before I knew it I was eating a full fry up on a plane with a side of fruit and pastries, green juice as an additive for health of course and the foggy Los Angeles horizon was upon us.

I was so refreshed and ready for my flight to New York with not a hitch in my journey thus far! I mean not even the notoriously heinous LAX immigration officers gave me a hard time. Little did I know the carnage on the other side of the glass that awaited me… a man mistakenly had taken my luggage as his own. Yes, my deliberately ugly luggage with all the vintage bags that I like to collect was in a taxi with a stranger. There I stood in LAX with two Qantas officers by my side fighting for the liberation of my luggage and me on the verge of tears thinking about a fashion week without fashion. Somehow the airport fairies had my luggage waiting for me at JFK and I just knew it was going to be a fabulous trip.

DAY 1: September 7, 2023

kim russell NYFW editor's diary

The heat in New York was all consuming and took everything in me not to complain every two minutes. It was like a solid wall of humidity that hit me when I left the fabulous apartment of Gabriella Karefa-Johnson – she gave me sanctuary while my Soho hotel was being made ready. My fashion schedule was carefully curated by the stellar META and Instagram team but my personal schedule… I went completely feral filling it in with things like Carbone, the MET and visits to the hottest showrooms in downtown New York. But tonight all I wanted was to relax and get my head ready for the highly anticipated show that would debut tomorrow: HELMUT LANG by Peter Do.

DAY 2: September 8, 2023

OKAY. How to dress for the weather that resembles the end of the world? Black dress, silver surfer sunglasses, combat boots and Louis Alma. I left my Soho hotel super early even though the venue is right down the road, the weather and traffic just permitted my neurotic behaviour. When I got out of my Uber, and my beautiful Puerto Rican lady driver said “I got you here mami, have a great day” I knew it was time to serve. For the first time ever people were taking my picture as I stepped outside of the car to join the line… AND I DIDN’T HATE THE PICTURES. How could everything be going so swell? It may sound bad but there’s something really special about PR recognising you in the line and whisking you straight inside to the show of your favourite designer of the time. Once inside I met some of my favourite mutuals that I’ve known and worked with for years and those include Alexander Roth, Brenda Weischer, Hari Nef, Taylor Wang, Hanan Besovic and Luke Meagher. My second row seat left a lot to be desired with a camera man blocking my view the entire time but the most important thing was the feelings I felt being invited into such an important room. I will always be a Peter Do stan, don’t ask me any other questions at this time.

Once we left the venue it had begun to rain. Yes, you read that correct. 35 degrees with sticky humidity and warm rain, none of this phased me as I met the incredible Christopher John Rogers waiting for an Uber! My ride waited for me below the concrete and it was a canon event for sure, the feeling of being in a sauna and trekking through Chelsea dehydrated after a 28 hour transit almost left me in a puddle on the floor, but it was all worth it for the show Grace Ling put on for us. The clothes were so sensual and powerful while being perfectly edited for the runway. It was such a lovely and niche crowd of people watching the show which I always love. Intimacy is so special for fashion shows, the message never gets lost.

Knowing all I had left on my agenda was a fabulous dinner at The Lobster Club got me through the jet lag. It was a stunning and scenic drive to the restaurant with us passing the Empire State Building and Grand Central Station. The food was like poetry. It was a journey and a ride that I never wanted to end, even though we had so many leftovers that we packed up and took back to the hotel. I had dreams about that Wagyu sando.

DAY 3: September 9, 2023

kim russell NYFW editor's diary

With the Proenza Schouler show at 12pm in mid-town Manhattan, I woke up pretty early to get ready so I could leave my hotel and make the show at a reasonable time and thank God I did! Once I got to Park Avenue I found out there was a parade of some sort going on which made it impossible for the Uber and taxi situation; roads were blocked off and traffic was backed up but that was a problem for later. Pamela Anderson being in attendance washed all my mini nightmares away even just for a moment. The runway was so tranquil and beautiful, there’s nothing better than a seating plan that allows everyone to have a front row seat. The glass skirt and dress were a highlight from the collection, it felt like really luxurious everyday wear that you can mix and match.

I made my way up Madison Avenue as finding an Uber was going to be an impossible task, I embraced the madness and smelt the smells of the city all while curating painful blisters on the back of my ankles. My next event was a cute cocktail with the Instagram and META team, a much needed drink to decompress from the fast paced chaos of New York. I paced myself knowing I had the Dion Lee show at 10pm and it was one I just couldn’t miss, as a fellow Australian it was my duty. It was definitely one of the standout shows for me, the building of a world was really successful with the way it was produced from the venue to the music and clothes. The Dion Lee team excelled in creating the perfect show for their identity as a brand.

DAY 4: September 10, 2023

Today was a selfish day. I had a Tommy Hilfiger brunch to rival all brunches with a crowd cooler than you could imagine. Amidst the sea of cool people I found a fellow Aussie and clung onto her for dear life: Gab Waller. We spoke and laughed and drank the champagne floating around the room and couldn’t believe this is what Tommy considers a brunch. It was so much fun and every so often I would catch a glimpse of someone more famous than the last person I would see. I kept my eyes peeled for just a glance at SZA but unfortunately I failed miserably! I did see some rappers, TikTokers and socialites and its always so fun just people watching and remembering where you are and how it looks compared to your normal day to day.

With the after party cosplaying as brunch I left with my toes being pinched by my Dior’s and dreamed of the night to come… my highly anticipated dinner at Carbone. I haven’t mentioned it yet but I dragged my sister to New York with me and so she will also be dragged to Carbone (I wish I had these problems). We got ready in our best threads and full faces beat, even decided it was time to bring out the heels for the night. As we made our way out to the street to wait for our Uber, we realised it was torrential rains outside and the error of our dress options. When we got to the restaurant everything that had lead up to that moment made sense and was worth it, even the 20ml puddle I stepped in on the way into the restaurant. The bread was warm and savoury, Caesar was crunchy and creamy and the pasta were just as good as you’ve heard about. I love being able to give myself these experiences as well as my sister, as a black woman it’s such a fulfilling moment. The hazelnut tiramisu was so decadent, I almost thought about leaving my husband for the chef.

DAY 5: September 11, 2023

What an unexpectedly fantastic day this was! Started out with a tour of the META/Instagram offices and of course a photoshoot with all the cool features inside like the game room, the tiny conference room, sorbet/gelato cafeteria, endless snacks, plant wall and many other incredible things. Then my sister and I went to the Kate Barton presentation in the Lower East Side on a fabulous rooftop. Kate has so much potential and she’s come so far given her brand is only 11 months old and she’s already dressed Heidi Klum. The construction and wearability of her collection is something a lot of young brands seem to be missing. I love that she took the approach of a presentation as it’s still controlled and intimate, it becomes less about gimmicks and more about the clothes.

I got a DM from my fave PR girl in the city: Nikki Martinez at Diesel. I’ve spoken with Nikki over social media and from time to time emails when talking business but I’ve been dying to meet her. She just oozes rockstar in the way she carries herself. We got an amazing tour of the Diesel showroom and to my surprise (and my sisters) Nikki let us go feral in the sample room. We each picked out two bags and again it was one of those moments I’m so grateful for, that I can show my sister what I do and the people I work with. Just don’t get used to it girl!

That night the rain POURED and POURED and we ordered Birria tacos and called it a night.

DAY 6: September 12, 2023

My day started with a mild wild fire that I was slowly putting out since 5am. I had an event that I was styling Sabrina Elba for and what we asked for wasn’t available to pull. That’s just never something you want to hear two days out from an event. However, I stayed tuned for good news and bought two tickets for the MET Museum, maybe some contemporary modern art could make me feel better? And it did! I really wanted to fit some touristy things into this trip and what better than the MET? Culturally, it's very significant to me as a Gossip Girl connoisseur and fashion nerd I had no choice but to manifest on the steps. We spent over two hours getting lost in the museum before we had to go to the Brandon Blackwood presentation at 3pm.

The BB showroom was so camp and beautiful with every colour of the rainbow in bag form on the walls. I was like a kid in a candy store with not enough eyes to soak everything up. I also had a sneak peek of their outerwear and the quality is really something special. I can’t wait to come back soon and see how far Brandon can take his booming business.

We walked canal street with a TikToker stopping me to ask where I bought the Brandon Blackwood pieces inside my huge press bag. I told him unfortunately, it's a private showing and these were gifts (it was a canon event for me). We bought tacky souvenirs and swatted off the fake Fendi and Louis on the streets, bought big cups of sliced mango and headed for our hotel. Couldn’t have been a more stylish and stunning day.

DAY 7: September 12, 2023

My last day in New York and I finally had a slice of pizza… the best pizza I’ve ever had actually. The suggestion came from Eva Chen who made the booking for us at Rubirosa and GOD does she know her pizza. It was so crispy, thin, saucy and savoury, washed down with a limoncello cocktail of sorts. As all travel days are for me I was very anxious, waiting for 10:30pm to roll around so that I could get on my flight to London. If there’s one thing I hate about New York, it's the ridiculous lines at security and the smell of feet as we are all forced to take off our shoes to be scanned and checked for “B” words.

I made it to my gate and can’t wait for this seven hour flight to be OVER!

Want to read more fashion highlights from NYFW SS24? Here is a rundown of all our favourite shows and the moments that mattered.


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