Fug Girls: Naomi Campbell Works Hard

Photo: Patrick McMullan

If you’re wondering whether Nemo impacted attendance at Fashion Week on Friday night, just look to the alcohol: On any other evening at the tents, that place would have been packed with people wearing questionable ensembles and elbowing each other in the hustle to swill more free booze. Instead, it was deserted. If folks aren’t even coming out for an open bar, you know things have gotten real.

Lucky for Nicole Miller, nothing got real enough to keep away the potpourri of celebrities she’d invited to her show. Kathy Hilton had a front-row seat, as did one of the Brant boys (with a girl on each arm) and Tinsley Mortimer, who is somehow still happening, at least in her own mind. We owe the aforementioned Tinz an apology for almost running her over in an attempt to see what rapper Eve was wearing, although, in our defense, it was worth it. Eve looked great in a tailored black-and-white shift dress, accessorized with red lipstick and long, sleek hair. She gamely posed for pictures with fans, one of whom turned to us and clutched her camera to her chest while announcing, “I am sooooo in love with her.” Ashlee Simpson may be, too, given that she and Eve spent much of the show chortling with each other, and enthusiastically seat-dancing. Between that and her impromptu photo session with Jaime King at Rebecca Minkoff, Ashlee may secretly be Fashion Week’s most enthusiastic seatmate. We would love to plop her next to Anna Wintour and watch her rock The Bob’s world.

Noted fashion photographer and semi-professional world-rocker Nigel Barker sat a few seats down – that is, after reclaiming his seat, which was stolen by somebody while we were in the middle of chatting with him about his new show The Face. We had heard him say to somebody, “Have you ever met a supermodel? Have you ever sat next to one? They’re a force to be reckoned with,” so of course we wanted to know how it was transitioning from working for just one (Tyra) to three (Naomi, Karolina, and Coco). “They were absolutely real and forgot about the cameras half the time, so you see the real person, very unproduced, like you rarely see in reality TV these days. It harks back to how reality TV was in the nineties,” Barker said, while we resisted the urge to ask him and his mellifluous accent to record our outgoing voice mail message. He praised the show’s idea of having clients judge and then book the girls for actual jobs that would be published — your move, Top Model — but noted that what he actually enjoyed most was seeing the coaches in action: “I didn’t know Naomi very well. Obviously the things you read are overblown, so I wouldn’t say this surprised me, but despite the fact that she’s a supermodel and an icon and a legend, she was there every single day. We worked 38 days straight, from 7 a.m. to 2 a.m. almost every day, and she was there working it out, calling her friends, making it happen. She was tireless, and I think that, for me, was like, ‘Wow, that’s why you’re a supermodel.’” Well, that, and the small matter of her genes.

And what of Tyra? Had his former boss given him a call to wish him well on his new rival modeling venture? “She has not,” Barker said simply. But regarding the once-infamous feud, he also refused to pick a side between Team Tyra and Team Naomi. “Right now I’m on Team Nigel Barker,” he laughed after blowing out a breath. Very diplomatic, sir. The weather may have us all in danger of wiping out on the Lincoln Center steps, but at least you wriggled out of that storm unscathed.

Click here to see the fall 2013 Nicole Miller collection.