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What I've Learned at Fashion Week So Far

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A Letter From Camp Fashion Week

Dear Mom and Dad,

I’m having a great time at men’s fashion week. Good thing you let me go through all of great-grandpa’s stuff before coming; it’s really come in handy since everyone here is pretending they live in a Charles Dickens novel. It’s interesting!

I’ve been learning so much here, like suck up to anyone getting their picture taken or holding a clipboard, or else you won’t get invited to any of the good parties. And if you don’t run out after the show, everyone will think you’re a Non-Important and then you really won’t get invited to any of the good parties. It’s kind of like sinking ship rules, but instead of women and children first, it’s men with the best pair of sneakers. 

Have I told you about the shows, though? Remember when Zach was six and we gave him the box with all the Halloween costumes? And then he just mixed a bunch of different costumes into an outfit that made no sense but he wore it out on Halloween anyway and people gave him candy all the same? It’s kinda like that.

Except these people don’t have a box of last year’s Halloween costumes, so they use rugs or those old crowns you can get from Burger King. Did you know that as long as you wear something and tell everyone that it’s cool, they have to believe you?

A woman in a nice dress.

So, yeah, we have all these presentations that we go to and I found out that the really cool kids sit up in the front. Had me stumped. I showed up on the first day, sat way in the back, and started passing notes and blowing spitballs at everyone. That was not a good decision.

And you were wrong about the food. It isn’t bad, but no one eats it anyway. Think they all heard the same rumors as me. But that hasn’t seemed to affect anyone, they still have lots of energy and there’s this song everyone sings. It goes like this:

Fashion Week is soooo crazy
I am just way too busy
Last night is a little hazy
So many emails unread
Oh, fuck, my phone’s dead

Oh, and I know you warned me about fashion week romance, but I saw her and I can already imagine us spending lots of time together. She made her introduction during the Balenciaga show, a sweater printed with the word “Kering.” She just seems really funny and I can’t wait for you and all my friends to meet her. It’s complicated between us, though, I’ll have to wait until August or September for us to truly be together. She’s old-fashioned like that.

Gotta go — there’s a show tonight and apparently we’re all going to be gathered around some fire!

Love,
Cam

Feature
PETA Will Keep on Protesting Your Favorite Brands
Protesters at a PETA demo

Some people talk about the choice to go vegan as if it’s a religious conversion. Christopher Merrow is not one of those people. Merrow went vegan to impress a girl, which maybe would have worked, except that she wasn’t actually vegan. The relationship didn’t go anywhere, but Merrow didn’t immediately drop veganism, and after doing a little research on the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals website, he committed himself to the lifestyle.

That decision eventually lead Merrow to apply for a job with PETA, which he got. In that job, he spent a great deal of time on the Warped Tour crisscrossing the country to man a PETA booth and tangentially made use of his degree in music entertainment. That was then parlayed into a gig at PETA’s Los Angeles office, where staffers are encouraged to take time outside of work to volunteer at “demos,” what they call the animal rights protests that have made PETA famous.

This is how Merrow ended up inside a giant, inflatable snow globe alongside another staffer, Heather Faraid, beating several fake skinned sheep for approximately one hour on ritzy Rodeo Drive in order to convince somebody — anybody — not to wear wool this winter.

“They are troopers,” a fresh PETA recruit named Cyrus observes cheerfully, holding a stack of pamphlets explaining why wool shearers are akin to murderers. Inside the globe, Merrow and Laird are wrapped in faux wool sweaters, gloves, hats, and scarves while kicking around in ankle deep “snow” and pummeling rubber animals. The backdrop in the globe reads “WOOL HURTS” and below: “Leave Cruelty Out of Your Winter Wonderland.”

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The $27 Hand Cream I Bought for Its Instagrammable Packaging
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Aesop Resurrection Aromatique Hand Balm, $27

I won’t lie, I initially wanted what is now my favorite hand cream — excuse me, hand balm — just to Instagram it. I had no idea what its claims were, if it would be good for my skin type, or even how much it cost.

All I knew was that the pink metal tube of Aesop’s Resurrection Aromatique Hand Balm was cute, and that it would look great artfully placed alongside a cup of coffee in an obnoxious Instagram still life.

When I went into the shop to test it out IRL, I was immediately greeted by a sales associate who offered me a sample of exactly what I was looking for. It only took a few laps around the store (read: 20 seconds, because the store is very small), for me to be pleasantly surprised that this silly based-on-aesthetics-only purchase I was about to make actually worked. The balm that had gone on a bit oily had become completely matte, and my palms were seemingly cured of all their winter wear. My hands felt amazing.

(I’d also like to note that the label includes the following: “This luxurious formulation will transform even the most abused and life-weary hands,” which is dramatic, but not wrong.)

The scent is a mix of mandarin rind, lavender, and cedarwood; bold enough to appreciate, but subtle enough as to not be overwhelming. Though intended as a hand cream, it also works wonders on my tired feet and dry cuticles, too. Plus, it’s the only product that my boyfriend and I both use.

At $27, it isn’t cheap, but considering one tube lasts me about three to four months (when I’m not insisting everyone I know give it a try), it’s an easily justifiable purchase that I intend to continue making until the end of time. —Tanisha Pina, associate market editor

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