Facing Fashion Week With a Frozen Face
The life of a high-flying fashion personality is thrown into chaos when he’s struck by a debilitating facial paralysis on the eve of the industry’s most important see-and-be-seen party.
Illustrations by Max Schieble
It was the 1st of September, 2013, when I lost myself, or thought I did.
Glancing into the foggy bathroom mirror that morning, I didn’t immediately sense that anything was wrong.
It was the cusp of Fashion Week and I was anxiously styling my friend Ann Yee’s show while simultaneously covering others as a writer for various fashion outlets. And I was excitedly waiting for my younger cousin Lisa to finally trek from Maryland to step her size-eight stilettos out of her provincial suburban life and into my world.
I’d never felt more alive than I did that year, hustling for multiple assignments, jetting cross-country to report them and writing remotely, everywhere from a coastal city in Italy to the mountaintops of Austria. In addition to writing, I was styling for Capitol and Virgin records, developing looks for young artists, and also lending my eye in putting looks together for fashion shows. Simultaneously, I was an on-camera personality for three shows: one o…