Three designers on how they stay healthy during fashion week

We all have those weeks where it actually feels like we're running around with our hair on fire. For designers, that would be fashion week.



We all have those weeks where it actually feels like we’re running around with our hair on fire. For designers, that would be fashion week. And so we decided to check in with some very busy ladies and ask them about how they stay healthy during on of their biggest weeks of the year: World MasterCard Fashion Week in Toronto.

1. Eat your veggies, drink in moderation
Patty Nayel, designer of sustainable wedding dress line Pure Magnolia, says eating veggies, drinking smoothies and not going crazy with the booze is what keeps her balanced: “Eating properly is a huge challenge! When you’re flying all day to get where you’re going, and then staying in a hotel, it’s hard to get a proper meal at a proper time. Whenever I go out to eat, I avoid the pizza, pasta and meat and go for the veggie option. It’s incredibly busy and you’re exhausted at the end of the night. When I get home, I’m always exhausted and I always get sick. But I’ve learned that if I can get in a couple of eight-hour nights of sleep, a nice fruit smoothie in the morning, and something light for lunch, it’s much better. There’s a lot of alcohol floating around, too, but it’s all about moderation — you have to talk to so many people and you don’t want to be slurring! Stress is a big part of it, and it can really affect your sleep, but you have to have confidence and accept that people want you here to do what you’re doing.”

2. Find time for exercise
Caitlin Power, designer of androgynous, futuristic womenswear, explains that fighting the urge to stress eat and getting enough exercise are key to her health arsenal when times get busy: “It’s definitely a stressful time, and I stress eat. I try to stay away from it, but I do indulge in ice cream and chocolate from time to time. Sometimes, when I get to a certain point in a garment, eating the food is easier than working through the problem. I try to drink a lot of water and remember that I’m not actually hungry. Fashion week involves long hours so a full eight hours of sleep every night isn’t possible — it’s maybe half of that. I try to eat healthy and ride my bike and do yoga; getting exercise on a daily basis really helps. It also helps to get out for a walk, to get away from my studio for a while. I always try to have one salad a day and eat whole grain cereal in the morning with flax seeds. I also drink a lot of lemon water and peppermint tea.”

3. Focus on yoga and relaxation
Golnaz Ashtiani, designer of clean-cut, modernistic womenswear line Ashtiani puts a premium on relaxation and taking things too seriously: “Lack of sleep is the big one during fashion week. After a couple of seasons, you get used to it. I really try not to take it so seriously that it stresses me out. I don’t want to kill myself. A couple of weeks before fashion week, I try to prepare myself by taking it easy and really getting enough sleep. It’s really difficult to cook during fashion week, and fast food is a big no, so I try to go with a healthier option, like sushi. I go more for relaxation instead of exercise during the show. When you’re running around, that’s exercise in itself. I also try to relax by doing yoga in the mornings. I try to drink more water and tea than coffee — partly because I don’t want it to affect my sleep.”

What do you ensure you’re doing to stay healthy when your schedule gets hectic?