Prison and Fashion Week might not be quite as different as you think: They both feature confined spaces with lots of regulations, cranky guards, and roaming gangs of women with ever-changing allegiances. (So far we haven’t witnessed a shivving, but let’s get real: It’s just a matter of time — some of the manicures we’ve seen look like they could draw blood.) Maybe that’s why BCBG, a brand known for stocking its front row with up-and-comers, enticed an Orange Is the New Black star to the show Thursday morning. Samira Wiley, whose character, Poussey, on the Netflix prison dramedy has the kind of name that just FEELS like Fashion Week (one part glam, one part French, one part crazy), was the first body in the fancy seats and was easy to spot because she was clad in exactly the color you’d expect. “Well, I’d call it coral,” she hedged, referring to her bright pants and long top. We’d humbly call it the new black. And also effective advertising.
The other boldface names to brave the chill were Giada DeLaurentiis (and a man we hope was her husband, given how cozy they looked), and The Originals’ Phoebe Tonkin, who is very tall, very tiny, and was very chatty with Cosmopolitan editrix Joanna Coles. We’re starting a rumor that Tonkin is getting a cover soon, and unlike many of our rumors, this one might even be true.
But it was Wiley’s moment. For a brief time, Wiley sat quietly, showing her stylist’s assistant some pictures she and her mother had been texting each other from an OITNB photo shoot. But once people realized who she was, she got a lot of attention from just as many fans who wanted handshakes as those that wanted photographs. “This definitely all happened in a big whirlwind,” Wiley said of the entire OITNB phenomenon. “The show came out on a Thursday, and by the time the next weekend came, everything was different.” Including, presumably, the things people want to discuss with her: Wiley kindly put up with an incredibly lengthy interview with a woman who would not take no for an answer when it came to season-two spoilers. Seriously, she’s not going to change her mind the sixth time you ask — and indeed, the good news for producers (and sad news for fans) is that Wiley’s lips were locked tighter than a jail cell on that front. She did, however, speculate on what Poussey would have worn in this situation, once the very idea stopped giving her the giggles. “She’d probably wear a hat. And some Timberland boots,” Wiley said. “Actually, I don’t think they’d let her in, to be honest.” To which we say: You’d be surprised.
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