Retro toned New York waterfront at night, USA.

Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in NYC is a major event, held twice a year, where the top designers unveil their latest collections for the upcoming season. Admission is by invitation only and is mainly limited to VIPs in the fashion industry and press, along with some A-list celebrities and other people who have a place in today's pop culture. If you don't fall into any of these categories but are eager to attend, you may have to get very creative to work your way in.

Consider taking on a part or full-time job at one of the many exclusive boutiques or high-end department stores in Manhattan. If you make a name for yourself in the field, you may receive an invitation to one or more of the designer's shows. And even if you don't get a personally addressed invitation, you may be able to get a pass to attend from the one of your co-workers.

Volunteer your time to help out during Fashion Week. You can contact IMG, which runs the event, and ask if you can be added to their volunteer list. Just make sure to do so well in advance, since many people are competing for limited openings to do this.

Sign up for some fashion classes at one of the well-respected fashion schools in NYC. Many students are invited to help with the shows or to at least to come and watch, so they will get some first-hand experience with this important event.

Become friendly with salespeople at the better stores where you shop. Sometimes they have passes that they can offer to their best customers, so don't be afraid to ask.

Start writing for a fashion magazine or website, or start a fashion blog. If you have press credentials, you can apply through the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week website to cover the events. Understand, though, that space is limited and goes to the well-known media representatives first (see Resources below).

Get dressed up and stand outside the guards at fashion week if all else fails. Once all of the invited guests are seated, if there is extra standing room, well-dressed people who are on hand can sometimes be allowed in. (Just keep in mind that the more well-known designers shows are usually packed.)

Realize that each designer makes up her own guest list, so you will need to be invited separately to each show you plan to attend.

Understand that there are a few ways to buy tickets to attend. American Express offers special seats to a small number of its cardholders. In addition, Couture Fashion Week sells tickets at different price points to see the high-end international designers' collections (see Resources below).