Screw upholstered furniture, plumbing, and standing around with nothing to do but drink. What was perhaps the coolest party of Fashion Week, thrown last night to celebrate Alexander Wang’s spring 2011 collection, made a naughty appeal to the fashion crowd’s childlike sensibilities. The party took place in a parking lot under the High Line on Tenth Avenue and 17th Street, as rumored, and boasted Porta-Potties and a full-fledged rented carnival that included bumper cars, a carousel, various games, and an inflatable bouncy castle. Guests’ six-inch heels and finest Fashion Week wardrobes didn’t stop them from climbing into the bumper cars or bathrooms. Similarly, butt-cheek grazing minidresses didn’t stop a lot of girls from having a romp in the bouncy castle or straddling a carousel horse. To top it off, everywhere you looked there was someone really good-looking (Alessandra Ambrosio, Behati Prinsloo, Agyness Deyn, Iris Strubegger) or famous (Terry Richardson, Russell Simmons, Alexander Wang). Overall, one would assume that either spending money on these shindigs is back — or parking lots and carnival games are relatively cheap to rent, if not exactly demure.
The label’s strategy of passing out wristbands before the party to invitees was a smashing success, and the blessed band-owners walked right in. This was quite unlike Wang’s last after-party, held at the gas station across the street, which had a scary line snaking down the block before it even started, prompting many guests to just walk away. Last night’s three spacious open bars were four people deep by midnight, while the food table that included pulled-pork sandwiches, burgers, and mini cupcakes (no one serves a full-size cupcake at anything fashion-related anymore — it’s a true shame) remained relatively crowd-free. Guests guzzled vodka and champagne while riding the carousel or throwing balls into jars in the hopes of winning a prize: a branded Belvedere-vodka teddy bear.
The music seemed to alternate almost exclusively between Katy Perry, Lady Gaga, and Rihanna. Sometime before 1 a.m., Wang jumped on stage (obviously, there was one of those, too), where M.I.A. was rumored to be performing later. He shot T-shirts into the crowd, like this was some kind of sporting event — indeed, diving for a piece from Wang’s T line is probably as sporty as many of last night’s revelers will get this Fashion Week. Somehow Agyness Deyn and an entire crew ended up on stage shortly thereafter, and Wang had to pull his hair back as he danced with the model for the very encouraging audience. The energy was so good that no one up there so much as flinched when Miley Cyrus’s “Party in the U.S.A.” came on. This was a party in the U.S.A. after all, right? We didn’t see M.I.A. take the stage before leaving at around 1:30 a.m., but it hardly matters when you stumble out drunk after riding a carousel all night. We suppose we can forgive the Wang team for not renting a petting zoo.