There’s a point in every Fashion Week where the photographers get punchy — in mood, if not in actual fists — and we appear to have reached it. When the lights went down at Phillip Lim’s show on Wednesday afternoon, one of the guys in the pit yelled, “Get your hands out of there,” and the entire assemblage started guffawing. Then one of them started oinking (as you do). When the lights came up we expected to see three Greek letters hanging on the wall and somebody doing a keg-stand, but alas, it only felt like that crazy party where those dudes did that thing that time.
The front row also appears to be experiencing a mood slump — as in, the row itself is depressed because celebrity bums aren’t nestling against it as much. At Lim, the only boldface name — and if you are imagining us using air quotes around that phrase, you are correct — was Alexa Chung, formerly of the program It’s On With Alexa Chung, which is, of course, no longer on, although her name does continue to be Alexa Chung, so at least the title is not wholly antiquated. Guess the big tabloid editor in the sky apparently still wants Chung to be famous over here; how else to explain her Madewell line and front-row seats? She had on tights, a T-shirt, and a nubby olive-and-cream cardigan with orange bits, all of which is typical of her laid-back style, and her wavy bob was artfully messy, per usual. She also seemed to be seated in a special British section: Two doors down sat the great Glenda Bailey, and two down on her other side was the equally dishy Paula Reed from the overseas glossy Grazia, both of whom chatted amiably yet briefly with Chung before the show.
They didn’t know how good they had it. Afterward, reps hovered around Chung, making it hard for reporters to get in a word with her. “It was amazing, it was like Love Story. I want to have long hair and a car,” Chung said of the show, addressing a friend who was wearing ill-advised blue pants that had tiers of ruffle rings going all the way up the leg, like she had stepped into two identical wedding cakes. A girl with a voice recorder ducked into the scrum and a handler shooed her away. “Oh, I’m with Us Weekly,” the girl said. “No,” the handler said in clipped tones. There was a long pause. “No?” the girl parroted, almost as if she couldn’t believe her ears. “No, gosh, thanks so much,” simpered Chung’s handler. The Us reporter stood still for a second, then turned to her friend with a classic facial expression that is the universal translation of, “Is she f’ing KIDDING me with that?” And it’s true. When you are Alexa Chung and it is no longer “on” with you, and indeed nobody outside this borough can put your name to your face, it’s best to consider yourself lucky to have any and all comers — especially when one of them is a major magazine. Perhaps after this, the big tabloid editor in the sky will reconsider his or her affections.