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Fashion Week 101: Everything You Need to Know About NYFW

Badgley Mischka, New York Fashion Week Jacqueline Lee/E! Online

Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week officially kicks off in New York City Thursday, Feb. 6, and the fashion set is descending upon Manhattan, ready to take in all the runway shows.

Luckily, we're prepping you for the big event with a bit of Fashion Week 101. So if you're clueless when it comes designer fashion, we're schooling you on all things New York Fashion Week.

Or even if you're a total sartorial star and you can spell "Proenza Schouler" in your sleep, you'll still appreciate boning up on the basics with our guide.

1. Location, Location, Location: New York Fashion Week runs from Feb. 6 through Feb. 13, and the official central hub for NYFW is Lincoln Center, where some of the biggest names in fashion will show their Fall/Winter 2014 collections. The official venue is also referred to as "the tents," and it's a real coup for a designer to score a spot at Lincoln Center. While some designers show offsite (like Alexander Wang, who will show at the Brooklyn Navy Yard), designers like Carolina Herrera, Monique Lhuillier, Nicole Miller and Naeem Khan (just to rattle off a few) will all show at Lincoln Center. 

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Nicki Minaj, Anna Wintour Mike Coppola/Getty Images

2. Scoring an Invite: Fashion Week isn't like the Super Bowl where anyone can potentially buy a ticket if they're willing to cough up the cash. You don't really get a "ticket to Fashion Week"; you get invitations to individual shows. It's an industry event, meaning that everyone with an invite is somehow directly connected to the fashion industry: stylists, buyers, editors, reporters, etc. Or, they're a celebrity.

3. The Politics of Seating: There is definitely a hierarchy to seating at Fashion Week. So how does it all break down? Celebrities are always seated front row, as are editors for all the major fashion mags. You'll never see Sarah Jessica Parker or Anna Wintour in the second row. Buyers and reporters who are reviewing the show are typically seated fairly close so that they can get a good look at the clothes. But really any seat at Fashion Week is a coveted seat. If instead of a seat assignment you get a slip of paper with an "S," then that means you're in standing room, standing at the back behind the seats. Even still, not bad! 

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4. Fashion Week Swag: It isn't uncommon for designers to leave gift bags (or "swag bags") on the seats for attendees to take home after a show. Sometimes they'll have goodies like beauty products, little accessories or sweet treats. Sometimes every seat will have a gift bag, other times it's just the first few rows. In which case, beware of "swag swipers." Meaning those in the third or fourth row who may try and steal your swag if you're not looking!

5. E! at Fashion Week: We've got you covered on all things New York Fashion Week. E!'s own Giuliana Rancic, Alicia Quarles, Zanna Roberts Rassi and EJ Johnson will be reporting live from the runway. And every day we'll be streaming live footage from NYFW on Eonline.com, bringing the runway straight to you.

Also, several major fashion insiders will be sharing their diaries about all their personal NYFW adventures. Plus, we'll have all the best street style pics, runway looks, celeb spottings and more! Get in on the Fashion Week social media action and follow us with the hashtag #embfw. Consider E! your official backstage pass to Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week. 

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Opening Ceremony, Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Spring 2014 Mark Von Holden/Getty Images

6. Expect Spectacle: Some fashion week shows are tame and bare bones, just featuring models wearing clothes set to music. But others are totally nuts. Like last season's Opening Ceremony show, featuring a fleet of uber-expensive cars carrying models, Rihanna and Justin Bieber sat front row, and everybody got a cronut in their gift bag. What more can you possibly ask for in a fashion show? We wonder how they'll top it this season. They'd have to have indoor fireworks and a performance by Beyoncé.

7. There Will Be More Diversity: Fashion Week has gotten flack in past years for not featuring enough diversity on the runway, but recently there has been a great effort to change this. This season there will be more of a representation of different ethnicities and more plus-sized models than in past years. We love to see how NYFW continues to evolve.

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8. Rachel Zoe Canceled Her Show: And last but not least, Fashion Week veteran Rachel Zoe won't show her collection at New York Fashion Week this season. Rachel made the tough decision to pull her show from the lineup since she has so many commitments and because her newborn son is too young to travel with her. You will be missed, Rachel! 

So, are you feeling fully prepped for NYFW? Thought so. Now bring on the fashion!

Ask your favorite celeb or designer a question! Upload a video to Instagram using #AskFashionWeek and your question could be answered live at Fashion Week!

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