Saturday, November 28, 2015   

The fashionably late wear us down

Thursday, June 13, 2013

With the release of Lauren Weisberger's book Revenge Wears Prada, sequel to the infamous The Devil Wears Prada, I thought it would be appropriate to address one of the most popular industry sayings: fashionably late.

The Urban Dictionary defines it as "the art of being just late enough to give the impression that you are a busy, popular person that was held up with other business."

One is often programmed to pinpoint an alternative arrival time, depending on the occasion, from coming five minutes late to a dinner, to being an hour late for a store opening.

However, it is always interesting to see how people abuse the concept of "just late enough," ending up in either frustrating or amusing results depending on whose shoes you're in. After a while, one notices that certain people tend to be ridiculously late, time after time, for no particular reason.


I have gone to the extent of telling them a "unique" meeting time for particular things just to get them there on the spot, or not more than 15 minutes late.

Another memorable occasion: I was working front stage at the fashion show of an independent designer once. Inspired by yoga and qi gong, the clothes were all white and drapey, almost monk-like.

The attendance of the show was frankly best described as scarce, and one relatively important editor sat alone on the "important people" bench.

As the clock ticked 20 minutes past the start time, I noticed attendees and especially the editor getting increasingly fidgety and annoyed. As it passed the 30-minute mark, I went backstage to check if something was wrong.

As I pushed back the curtains, I ran into a fellow assistant and saw a look of complete helplessness on her face.

Expecting chaos, I turned and to my surprise saw the designer and the 15 models all dressed up, seemingly ready, but strangely sitting in a circle.

One model caught my eye and gave me a confused look. It turned out that they had been meditating for the past half an hour.

In truth, there is hardly anything fashionable about being fashionably late.

Art student Gloria Yu is a designer, writer and a citizen of the world.

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