One of the best parts of going to the tents in Bryant Park is chilling in the W Hotel lounge backstage, where celebs sip on mimosas before making their last-minute trips to the front row. Already, the Olsens and Gwen Stefani (and baby) have made appearances, along with Mya and Teri Hatcher. Demi Moore was supposed to come before Miss Sixty but accidentally got swept into the IMG lounge, where she was swarmed by the crowd from a party-in-progress. We caught up with model turned TV host Molly Sims and got the scoop on her shopping habits as well as the meta-experience of watching her former profession from the front row.
What’s your schedule like?
I’m only seeing a couple of shows. I’m seeing this one [Max Azria]. I’m seeing the Lumberjacks, who I love. Costello Tagliapietra, but I call them the Lumberjacks. Do you know them?
They’re amazing. They’re small but amazing — and they look like lumberjacks.
What are their clothes like?
A little Narciso, a little Proenza. Honestly, they’re like Alexander McQueen — very high-end, very feminine, very flattering, and inside they’ll have a little garter belt or something. They’re all about the details. And then I’m going to see Phillip Lim on Sunday. Don’t you just love him?! I like to go to the shows that are for the clothes I wear. I know I can talk about them.
Do you own a lot of Max Azria?
Oh, yeah. I buy and I get them. I wear a lot of Max Azria on my show. And then with Costello, I bought and I wore in a Vogue shoot. And Philip Lim, I freaking score wherever I am. I put in a huge order. The cardigans for fall are sick. I bought the headband.
How much did you spend?
A lot, probably five [thousand] on all my clothes for fall, including a couple pieces from Rachel Roy that I love.
Are you glad to be done with runway?
Oh, yeah. I mean, I appreciate it, I love it. It’s something that I did. I’m too old to be walking, you know. I love clothes. It made me appreciate fashion. I learned so much. I just don’t want to be out there. Different career.
Whose show did you like walking in the best?
The best show I ever did was Givenchy with Alexander McQueen. It was amazing. We had to dance around these poles on a cobble-stoned street. It was insane! My second favorite show was Ann Demeulemeester in Paris. Amazing. Here, God, I walked in a lot. Probably my favorite would be Ralph. It’s American classic.
What’s the difference between doing shows here or in Europe?
American designers tend to be a little more safe. A little more of the moment. Paris is more avant-garde, and London’s in between. But I loved Milan, especially Bali. They have such flair in Italy. I live in L.A. I live in Uggs and flip-flops, and it drives me crazy sometimes. A girl has to dress up and treat herself to clothes and maybe a big hat.
Do you judge the models walking down the runway now?
Oh, I can break a hot sweat watching the girls sometimes. I’m just worried they’re going to fall. They’re so thin, some of the girls, especially now. Very thin. Verrry thin.
Thinner than they were in your day?
It was just a different time. I started when Kate Moss broke out and anorexia became chic, so everyone was very thin then, but then it went into beautiful Gisele — and [now] it’s come back even further. It’s really thin.
I feel like the lower-end shows have thinnest girls, like the better-paid ones look more well fed.
Yeah, that’s interesting. I see the same thing, too. Like the Alice + Olivia show last year, two girls should not have been walking.
What I’ve always wondered is what goes through their heads as they’re walking.
Oh, you’re just trying to figure out if you can get down there and do a nice pose. You’re always worried you’re going to fall. But the nerves end once you take your first step.
Did you ever fall?
I never had an actual fall, but I definitely tripped. Alexander McQueen on cobblestones in six-inch heels: That was difficult. —Jada Yuan