The fashion quotient on the streets of New York went up a notch or two on Wednesday, when New York Fashion Week (Sept. 5-12) officially began. 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 2, 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?
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