Last time we were at William Rast, it was a total bloated celebrity fiasco. Aubrey O’Day was there, toting both her dog and her Playboy cover, and Paris Hilton spent the whole show texting people and reapplying her makeup. There were countless other celebs, both random (Gerard Butler) and connected (JC Chasez). It was a crazy, exhausting crush.
This season, William Rast was about 1000 percent more sophisticated. It’s moved from the tents to a venue we most closely associate with Narciso Rodriguez, so at the very least, the show brought with it a kind of chic sense memory. There was a live band, Free Soul, who are on JT’s record label, and who played a funky, bluesy accompaniment for the show. There were only two celebrities in attendance: Estelle, in a great cozy sweater, and Jessica Biel, who looked casually chic in a white leather jacket. (Irina Lazareanu arrived late, in a sequined gold top and matching skirt, and had to watch from the doorway.) Segments of the front row were even sipping glass flutes of Champagne. As we wrote in our notes, Justin totally classed up his operation.
But there’s only so much a guy can do by banning Playboy models and Hiltons. When we left the venue after Justin and Trace Ayala’s modest bows, we heard the girls behind us giggling with glee. “I’m just here because Justin’s so cute,” one said, and all we know is that we hope he didn’t overhear her. Giving your runway show a face-lift is one thing, but we don’t want Justin to get any cockamamie ideas about his personal hotness preventing people from taking him seriously. Some things in this crazy world, after all, ought to be sacrosanct.
View a slideshow of the William Rast collection.