Strikingly similar.

Words by

Brandon James Cook

I’ve been a frequenter of the clubs for several years, working as a nightlife photographer. Long nights have been spent shooting nightclub babes, who slink past the velvet rope in droves, then chug tap beer and cocktails which cost as much as your rent.

I’ve also relished in #fashun, having snooped around with my lens several years in a row at Melbourne’s fab Fashion Week and events, shooting street-style, runway and backstage. This is contrary to the fact that despite utterly adoring fashion and all it entails, I have no personal style to speak of, preferring jeans, tees, and overworn leather jackets that repel passers-by with the party smell.

If there’s one thing I do note, however, it’s how strikingly similar both are to one another, in terms of patrons, etiquette and my general sense of ennui.

So let’s delve, shall we? Put down your gin for a hot minute, because here are a few reasons why nightclubs are just like fashion week.

They’re really not that hard to get into

Contrary to what bloggers and professional Instagrammers would have you believe, fashion shows are no longer the refuge of business executives and fash mag magnates. Nay, gaining access to a fashion show is about as easy as punching in your credit card details and buying a ticket.

Just like nightclubs, they want you to believe they are exclusive events for the crème-de-la-crème of society. As long as you don’t dress like you spend your weeknights at the pub, you’ll be just fine getting through the door.

Gay people reign supreme

Unless you’re the type of gal who hits up clubs that play Melbourne Bounce, the chances are you’re going to run into your fair share of homosensuals while visiting upon the local discotheque.

And why wouldn’t you? In spite of being a marginalised group, we’ve managed to plant our roots in every creative industry we set our minds to. We are the fashion execs, the stylists, the directors and the producers. We practically invented disco.

If you’re a bit of a bigot, I would shy well away from Fashion Week and quality nightclubs. With our gal pals by our side, we are the queens and kings of the fash-club circuit, watching models sashay down the runway.

As RuPaul famously says, “now sissy that walk.”

The ‘cool girls’ exist – with much embarrassment to be had

With every new club opening and runway show, there exists a conglomerate of known socialites who flock to designer threads and free booze like A Current Affair to suburban hoarders. These familiar faces frequent each launch on the social calendar, being somehow acquainted with every executive, designer and public figure in the room.

Sure, they might seem like your typical fashion-forward culture queens with an interest in the arts. But after a strained conversation involving much Stepford smiling and subtle digs on their part, it becomes clear that they’re less interested in fashion and nightlife, and more keen on boosting their Instagram following. Just smile and back away slowly.

The personal style will ruin your life

As mentioned previously: I am not particularly fashionable. That is to say, I’m not ‘on trend.’ I am both a glamour lover and a serial re-wearer. You can call me a fashion lover undercover.

If you’re someone who desires fashion icon status, but can’t seem to achieve it (like me), your self-esteem will be crushed like a kitten in a blender. Though many outfits stalking nightclubs and Fashion Week range from smart-casual to utterly disastrous, every now and then your eyes will fall upon a look that is so innovative and on point, it turns your future Vogue dreams to dust.

I look down at my floral shirt with cream chinos and sulk. Find me at McDonald's for a post-event feed, after feeling woefully inadequate for five straight hours.

I guess the most important similarity between Fashion Week and nightclubs, is when the going gets tough – when the vapid babes and superficial banter gets a bit too much – there’s a bar around the corner. And a Cosmo with your name on it.

And when a man takes his shirt off… he’s probably a model. And he’s probably about to stalk the runway, all for your viewing pleasure. Unless you’re at a club, in which case he’s some drooling bloke from the western suburbs looking for a root. If the latter happens: take that Cosmo, and drink yourself to oblivion. You have my permission. I believe in you.

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