new york fugging city

Fashion Week Is All Fugged Up

Best of Fashion Week

André Leon Talley, Diane von Furstenberg, and Anna Wintour demonstrate joy.Photo: Getty Images

We were such innocents a mere eight days ago. Times were much simpler then; we had hope in our hearts and an unfailing optimism that our job covering celebrities in Fashion Week’s front rows would be like shooting fish in a barrel, minus the ricochet.

Even though not as many famous faces showed up as we’d have liked, we managed to come out the other end a very happy, sated pair. After all, we love clothes, Champagne, and sandwiches, and we got a lot of all three this week. Here are some of the highlights and lowlights of our second stint covering the celebrity turnout at Bryant Park — and, yes, of the 37 shows we saw, we did like a lot of the clothes.

Favorite Shows: We loved Ruffian, both because the National Arts Club, where the show was held, is amazingly beautiful and because the clothes themselves were cool and modern and creative without being overly wacky or precious. They’re clothes you could wear without looking like anyone else, but in an effortless way. We also coveted Catherine Malandrino’s sexy, colorful dresses, and we’re all over Marc Jacobs’s new look. He may have been inspired by boredom, but his current aesthetic, to our mind, is far from dull. Likewise, we wanted to go home with several of Proenza Schouler’s little black dresses, and even though most of the critics found him derivative, we thought Derek Lam delivered. We want to rip his blue, long-sleeved coatdress off its model and run away with it. And finally, while we suspect this may be terminally uncool, there was something delightfully, primly ‘60s about Tory Burch’s latest that we could not resist. So many well-cut pea coats! So many vaguely Sexy Stewardess looks. So many sequins! Like children and crows, we love the shiny.

Least Favorite Show: This one is a dead heat between two very different presentations. Although we appreciated its use of comparatively more voluptuous models, that’s about the only friendly thing we can think of to say about the horrifically trashtastic Rock & Republic show, except maybe that we’re grateful it wasn’t longer. Conversely, Vera Wang’s somber show was rather more emotionally distressing — it felt mired in grief over the tragic death of her father, which we can certainly understand, but which made it nonetheless hard to watch. Specific to the clothes, we thought the excessive layers she used felt a little dated, and found the styling of her grim models tromping down the catwalk in dreary Russian babushka head kerchiefs and heavily painted eyebrows to be bit jarring.

Favorite Stuff We Could Actually Buy: Sunday morning was icy, but the DKNY show warmed us up nicely. Donna Karan herself watched the show across the runway from us, and it was fascinating to observe her trying not to vomit from nerves, eventually actually retreating behind the comforting back of a Graydon Carter–esque man (if not actually Graydon Carter) to hide. No need to feel nervous, Donna. The show was delightfully realistic, full of cute clothes that aren’t going to change the world, but which we’re pretty sure would be flattering on anyone and which most women could actually go out and buy. Fashion Week is about fantasy and inspiration, but it was a nice palette cleanser to be able to think, “I’m totally going to buy that dress,” without having to add the qualifier, “after I win the Lotto.”

Show Most Bedeviled By Error: One of our favorites last year, Behnaz Sarafpour, was a little less slick this time around. A model stepped out of her shoe and almost fell at the end of the runway; another could barely shuffle in her tight gown. Perhaps due to these kerfuffles, by the end of the show the models had fallen way behind the music. When the lights and the music changed, the audience was confused to see one last outfit make the rounds instead of the final parade, stifling its budding applause. We recovered long enough to clap awkwardly for Sarafpour when she showed up, but the whole affair left the masses with an air of, “We’re not sure what we’re supposed to be doing now, but we guess we’re done here. Right?”

Worst-Run Show: It would have been Rock & Republic until Heatherette swooped in and took the prize. We couldn’t believe how poorly managed it was. The PR company, People’s Revolution, should have known what to expect considering the heinous mob scene in September, and for God knows how many seasons before that. It’s nice that their many friends got in to see the show, but Richie and Traver need to realize that leaving a throng of media screaming furiously outside the doors does not create the illusion that their show is the most coveted ticket of the week. Instead it just makes them, and their PR firm, look like disorganized douchebags. Had we been given the option of skipping Heatherette in favor of a glass of wine at a bar, we’d have chosen booze every time. And come September, we will.

Best Fall Trend: Black sequins, corseting, and short, sleeveless, mod silhouettes are all things we’re excited about, but by far the best news of the week for us was the sheer quantity of designers who showed tights under their clothes instead of leggings. Since they befouled their first starlet lo those many months ago, we’ve been aching to ring the death knell for these nefarious Lycra/spandex devils, and now we seem to be getting some backup from the fashion world. All hail!

Worst Fall Trend: Call us crazy, but if high-waisted jeans looked like crap on us and everyone else the first time, why should we take a ride on that rickety, stank-ass bandwagon now?

Most Rockin’ Trend: Old-school musicians made it to the shows in droves, from Marky Ramone to Joan Jett to David Byrne, who graced the Marc Jacobs front row with Debbie Harry and her awful dye job. Next season we’ll be downright crushed if Axl Rose, Nikki Sixx, and Rick Springfield fail to make an appearance.

Weirdest Trend:
Bringing kids to the shows — and we don’t mean those in the designers’ own families (that trend is sort of charming). This season we saw tons of random tots in the tents; if it happened in September, we didn’t notice. In theory we have no problem with bringing a child to a runway show as long as he is well behaved. But at Tory Burch’s otherwise lovely installation on Thursday evening, we were increasingly harassed by a throng of kids who ran at top speed in zigzags through the crowd of cocktail-swilling (and spilling, thanks to them) attendees. And no parents seemed to be reining them in, to which we say: Look, asshats, we live in a society, okay? A fashion show is not a play date. Deal with it.

Most Terrifying Near-Miss: Walking down the packed runway pre-show at Michael Kors, one of us got trapped between a clutch of reporters and a camera crew and caught her stiletto between the carpeting and the runway itself. Our heroine nearly lost her balance and pitched directly into the lap of Anna Wintour, but managed, with great force of will prompted entirely by fear, to right herself. Had she had less muscle control, this piece would have been written by only one Fug Girl, because the other would have been forced to commit ritual suicide.

Most Bizarre Use of a Flatbed Truck: Sunday, we found ourselves being stalked. Sadly, not by George Clooney, desperate to love us, but by three models in nurse costumes dancing and waving from the back of a Bourgeois-branded makeshift van. Because the temperature was hovering around absolute zero, the truck was tented with clear plastic, giving the impression that these three perky lasses were being chauffeured around in a glass box, like some kind of updated Boxing Helena, only with more lipstick. We have absolutely no idea what they were doing, other than executing a hilarious publicity stunt. Were we supposed to go in for some lipstick samples? Were they actually dispensing Restylane to thin-lipped fashionistas? Was it all just to be cutesy? We have no idea, but they certainly looked awfully warm and quite happy. So much so that we considered asking them for a lift.

Most Pressing Question Solved: Does the top editrix of French Vogue use a Port-A-Potty? Indeed, she does. For the second season in a row, we bumped into Carine Roitfeld in the loo line at Bryant Park, a sighting that frankly we found to be pretty bitchin’. Who knew she was such a woman of the bourgeois? We would have thought she was too chic to ever have to pee.

Potential Sign of the Apocalypse: The well-documented straight hair of Tinsley Mortimer. She’s oft-begged by Socialite Rank to get rid of the overly precious cascade of curls that almost always frame her face, ostensibly because they are sick of her trying to look like a 12-year old child bride. Yet the Tinz was spied no fewer than four times by us this week with either a slick ponytail or stick-straight loose hair. Now, it’s been a long time since we read the Bible, but we’re pretty sure this is in there as a sign of End Times, right up there with the locust plague and the headline, “Nicole Kidman Lets Stray Wrinkle Appear.”

Best Hair on a Male Celebrity Couple: One of the first shows we attended, John Bartlett was packed to the gills with TV gays of note: power couple Simon Doonan and Jonathan Adler, Carson Kressley, and our beloved Tim Gunn. But the duo that really captured our hearts that day was dancer Tommy Tune, currently sporting a LOT of mullety hair, and his man-candy, whom we thought at first glance was actually Fabio. Although the idea of Tommy Tune finding true love with Fabio is delicious, this man turned out to be Robert DiMauro, according to our photo sources. We still don’t know who he is: Google claims he could be anyone from a car mechanic from Goleta, California, to a Harvard-educated pediatric radiologist. But frankly, we think both of those options are kind of hot, and we’re thrilled to see the vast amount of follicular dynamite this couple is shamelessly sporting. We’d love to pop into their bathroom and rifle through all the product they must own.

Most Amnesia-Inducing Celebrity Sighting: Actress Piper Perabo, whom we always forget exists, and whom we did in fact forget we saw (even though it was only a few days ago) until we went back through our notes. We vaguely recall having the urge to run up to her and beg for a Coyote Ugly sequel, but… yeah, we’re not sure; it’s already slipped our minds.

Biggest Blush: The one on Natalie Morales’s face on Monday’s Today show. During a segment about her participation in the Heart Truth Red Dress Collection show last Friday, Al Roker cackled numerous times, “We hear you flashed the First Lady.” Morales good-naturedly swore that her hearty spins at the foot of the runway didn’t reveal anything untoward and even demanded that they go to the tape to prove it. Big mistake. We were there, and we knew what was coming: Not one but two replays proved her Tracy Reese frock had indeed flipped up completely and revealed her ladybits for Mrs. Bush’s contemplation. “Oh, my God,” Morales gasped, sincerely mortified. “I hadn’t actually seen the tape.” A lesson to us all: Don’t throw down the gauntlet unless you’re sure your ass is quite literally covered.

Most Daunting Triumverate: Anna Wintour, André Leon Talley, and Diane von Furstenberg confabbing at Calvin Klein’s first showing on Thursday, the latter heading straight for them upon arrival and squatting down to the floor for about ten minutes during their gently whispered chat. We adore that lack of vanity from the designer we most want to be when we grow up. And my God, do we want to know what they were discussing. We dream that Diane was saying, “I simply must send those Fug Girls some free dresses,” but we’re not holding our breath.

Most in Need of a Hot-Oil Treatment: Broadway star Kristen Chenoweth. At the Heart Truth show, she skipped out with a dog on a leash clad in matching red (how very precious) and blonde hair so fried you could’ve given her a trim just by breaking some off.

Two Seasons In, And Still Our Girlfriend: Silver fox Lauren Ezersky continues to enthrall us with her Über-smoky eyes, and her wiry shock of hair (if we don’t grow up to be DVF, it’ll be because we’ve turned ourselves into Ezersky instead). She further won our hearts the day she wore a giant fur hat with four flaps that were all willy-nilly and coming undone. That woman can pull off anything.

Favorite Totally Uncorroborated Celebrity Quote: At Badgley Mischka, when a blush satin number came down the runway near the end, we could swear Rachel Bilson leaned over to Amber Tamblyn and said something like, “I’d totally wear something like that at my wedding.” But for all we know, she was really whispering, “Let’s meet up after and go sledding/My ratty hair extensions are totally shedding/That dress looks like my new bedding.” Hard to say; all are plausible. Nevertheless, we’re planning to call Star Magazine as soon as we get back to Los Angeles and give them the scoop. Look out for their “Rachel’s Surprise Wedding Joy!” cover any day now.

Thanks for bearing with us as we complained endlessly about the celebrity drought. Let’s all bow our heads to our shrine to renowned fame whore Tara Reid and pray that things are much juicier in September. —The Fug Girls

Fashion Week Is All Fugged Up