The experience of the Carolina Herrera show on Monday morning began at the front door of the Lincoln Center venue: Two parallel lines of (very hot) guys — T-shirts bearing the Herrera Twitter handle — formed a Hall of Men through which attendees had to walk, leading from the entrance to the main lobby area; in fact, anyone with a Herrera seat who’d been at a show beforehand was, unusually, funneled out of the building altogether so they’d have to re-enter through the Tunnel of Love. The men generally stared straight ahead, pleasant but not engaged, like royal guardsmen in England, but without the kicky lids. We couldn’t decide if the entire experience was stranger for them or us, but, frankly, there are worse things than starting your day in a Dude Chute.
Dita Von Teese — who we assume starts each and every day passing through a bewanged corridor of humanity — had a slightly different arrival route. Presumably having spent the pre-show hanging out backstage with Carolina Herrera herself, Von Teese ventured into the tents from one of the doors right behind the back rows of seats, where we just happened to be lurking. “Oh my god, it’s DARK back here,” she said, before she had to gingerly descend the stairs amid guests who were all moving in the opposite direction, like swimming against the current except in a sea full of extremely pointy elbows and weaponized purses.
We’ve seen a lot of pants in the front rows: Von Teese sported a pair along with a fur-trimmed blouse, and Emmy Rossum (whose makeup looked fantastic) modeled wide-legged white trousers with her black halter-style top. After posing for a couple of photos, we saw Rossum plonk down next to Anna Kendrick holding a fresh Polaroid, which she waved slightly to hasten its development before tucking it behind herself in her seat. We assume it was handed to her, and that it’s also of her, but we don’t know if it was from a friend or fan. It’s unusual either way, but it’s especially odd if a fan essentially offered Rossum a souvenir of their brief time together, as if to be like, “Here is the gift OF MY FACE.”
Rossum and Kendrick talked very animatedly before the show, cracking each other up, and, in Kendrick’s case, talking with her hands and making what appeared to be a knife-and-fork gesture at one point. Once again, we wish we’d taken that Learning Annex class on lip-reading, but maybe they were just pantomiming how tasty the Man Passage was — which, incidentally, awaited us again, longer this time, as we were guided straight back out of the tents. The only thing that could have improved them would have been if they’d handed out Champagne as we left — something ELSE we like to imagine happens to Von Teese on the regular. Maybe she should plan this thing next time.