After eight days, 26 shows, and a handful of parties, we are reduced to a sputtering heap (not unlike that Zac Posen dress) on the floor of Newark Airport. But it was an amazing week — an education in celebrity-spotting, line-standing, champagne-guzzling, socialites, and fashion itself. So in honor of what a great, intriguing time we had — and as an homage to the man playing the Sound of Music soundtrack on the steel drum in the subway — we’ve decided to use our last Show & Talk post to highlight a few of our favorite memories from Fashion Week.
Favorite Show: Our choices were Vena Cava and Brian Reyes. The latter showed unusual but still wearable cavalcade of dresses, skirts, and jackets in flirty fabrics and colors (we loved seeing olive on the runway), and Vena Cava did a modern spin on a twenties garden party, coupled with an unusual presentation. Rather than stomping down a catwalk, the models lounged for an hour on makeshift grassy knolls and mimed picnics in the park on a balmy spring afternoon. Plus, they gave us wine. You know how we feel about wine.
Least Favorite Show: Luella Bartley’s show on Sunday. It ran so late we missed our date with Thakoon; the seating was so clumsily arranged that you could barely see unless you were in the front row; the music — an obvious playlist of eighties hits — was poorly mixed; and the clothes were flat-out uninspiring. Frankly, we wish we’d gone to Thakoon instead.
Show Most Likely To Kill Us, Literally: Although nearly all the crowded evening shows put the fear into us, doom was most imminent at Phillip Lim. Take 100 hairsprayed fashionistas, hand them champagne, pack them into a small, dark foyer, turn out the lights, and light lots of candles. Drunkenness plus open flames equal the headline “Tragic Warehouse Conflagration Mars Fashion Week.”
Show Most Likely To Kill Us, Emotionally: Alexandre Herchcovitch, whose models appeared to be wearing giant Live Strong bracelets as belts, bus conductor hats, and floaty tails made from sheer fabric. Such shenanigans demanded a sense of whimsy, which only means that Lindsay Lohan could show up somewhere with a giant plastic rubber band slung around her waist. If this happens, please know that we cannot be held responsible for our actions.
Favorite Description By a Designer of His Inspiration: Jeanisis designer Anand Jon used the word “alchemiste” in the write-up of his new collection. We didn’t see the show, but we love what adding “iste” to a word does, especially if you intone it dramatically. Try it at home. Loving your cheese grater? Make a meal that’s grateriste. Want to dub somebody a sexual conqueror? Try rodgeriste. And so forth. Genius.
Better Looking in Person Than We Expected: Chloë Sevigny, whom we saw at the Benjamin Cho show. We were anticipating giant freaky Elton John sunglasses, hot pants, aluminum-foil gladiator sandals, and some kind of kooky headgear. Instead, we got a sleek, sexy cocktail dress; hot shoes; and understated, pretty makeup. Well played, Sevigny. Damn you.
Worse Looking in Person Than We Expected: Kevin Costner, who is inexplicably blond. Contrary to popular belief, he did not appear to be having more fun.
Most Surprising Absence: Nicole Richie’s absence was surprising indeed considering the fact that we spotted her stylist, Rachel Zoe, all over town (Look at that! We didn’t say anything mean about Zoe at all. Maybe people can change). We definitely expected to see La Richie working the front rows, and we’re disappointed we missed ogling her. We would have been willing to help her avoid Paris Hilton, if that was part of what kept her away. Just something to bear in mind for the future, Nicole.
Most Likely To Have Us Killed: Stylist Rachel Zoe, to whom we are, we admit, really, really mean. We don’t even know WHY. We just see her, and mean things come out of our mouths. We feel sort of bad about it, but we just can’t stop doing it. Is there a support group for this?
Secret Girl Crush: We are utterly enraptured by the dab, slightly wild gray bob and constant smoky eyes — day or night — of Lauren Ezersky. Seriously, we are infatuated with her and her kicky accent, her casual suggestion that she spackles her makeup on with a spatula (seriously, — watch her Video Look Book), and her kooky sense of style. And that is saying a lot, because we saw her one day committing the transgression of cuffed knee-length denim shorts paired with a jean jacket in a lighter wash. Even if it was head-to-toe Ralph Lauren, that’s still crossing a line. So if our love can survive ridiculousness of that magnitude, then it’s forever.
Best Entrance: When the house lights at Proenza Schouler slowly crept down, Victoria Beckham, Demi Moore, and Ashton Kutcher blew in together from the back entrance in a whirl of handlers and flashbulbs. We’ll say this for Posh — she may not have a career anymore, but she is a pro at knowing how to pump up the drama.
Best Business Move: At the end of the Zac Posen show, Sean “Oh, Whatever” Combs conveniently leaped out of his seat to give the designer a standing ovation that we’re sure was entirely spontaneous and merit-based and had nothing at ALL to do with the fact that Combs is a major financial backer of Posen’s. Yes, we enjoyed the show, too, but we have to give a nod to Combs for acting fast and getting the rest of the front row on their feet to applaud his investment.
Best Uncorroborated Celebrity Quote: At the Marc Jacobs party, we brushed past a Chris Robinson doppelgänger who was in mid-conversation with a pal and uttered the following: “What difference does it make? My wife already left me.” Then he looked us square in the face and shrugged with a rueful smile. Obviously, this is dishy if indeed it was Chris Robinson; however, due to the lighting, and the fact that he was a tad shorter than we imagined the stringy Black Crowes front man to be, we have never been able to confirm it. So we’re just throwing it out there and letting the grapevine do what it will. See? We are benevolent.
Best Handling of an Awkward Moment by a Socialite: At the Zac Posen party, we found ourselves standing next to Alexandra Richards at the bar. A small, nondescript blonde woman approached her, tapped her on the shoulder, and said, “Hello! I’ve really been looking forward to meeting you. I’m [redacted]!” Alexandra smiled, shook the woman’s hand, and said, “Hello, I’m Alexandra.” At which point the woman’s face fell and, with an aggrieved look, she said, “Oh, my God, I totally thought you were somebody else.” Alexandra just laughed this off, patting the woman on the shoulder and saying that it was nice to meet her anyway. We would have thrown a drink in her face. Of course, we watch a lot of Dynasty.
Most Overexposed: This would have been handed to Kristen Bell, if she’d kept up her early-week momentum (we saw her at Verrier, Brian Reyes, and Alice Roi right off the bat, and we know she took in at least one other show). But, she apparently got tired of seeing herself photographed with her stylist and toddled off home. That left this spot open forEmmy Rossum, whom it felt like we saw so often that by the end of the week we got bored of documenting it. There are only so many times you can wonder aloud if she’s a real person or just an animated china doll.
Biggest Unsolved Mystery: The identity of a particular man-about-the-tent gadfly, whom we refer to as Number Three. Say it in your best Austin Powers voice: “Who does Number Three work for?” Let us explain. On our first day, at the Verrier show, we spied an ebullient guy sitting in the front row next to Nina Garcia wearing a black Ralph Lauren shirt with a big white “3” emblazoned on each sleeve. He seemed quite friendly with her. Unable to recognize him, nor to understand why he would voluntarily number himself, we got punch-drunk and devised a pet theory that Nina makes all her assistants at Elle wear shirts with different digits on them. That way, she has only to snap her fingers and bark out a number to call them to arms: “Number One, coffee. Number Two, dry cleaning, and call Michael Kors’s mother to see if I can borrow her glasses. Number Three, Bryant Park, immediately.” But then we saw him again, with his number on but sans Garcia; throughout the week, we realized he was not only attending almost every show we did but that he was always sitting in a different person’s front-row seat (once he replaced costumed man-diva Patrick McDonald). More than just a seat-filler, he had notebooks, he knew everyone (chatting animatedly with Jane editrix Brandon Holley at the Behnaz Sarafpour show about plans for that night that involved Kirsten Dunst), and he seemed constantly chipper and well liked. He never wore the infamous “3” shirt again after the first weekend — not that we saw, anyway — but in our hearts, that’s forever his name. Although we realize other people almost certainly know who he is, his identity and affiliation remain a riddle to us. We salute you, Number Three, and the myriad mysteries of your cheerful front-row life.
And with that, we bid New York adieu and head back to Los Angeles to observe celebrities in the wild. Thank you to all the friendly journalists and random spectators with whom we chatted all week, and everyone else who made our jaunt east so enjoyable. Eat a bagel for us.