One of the funniest things about being in New York during Fashion Week is the understanding that dawns, every so often, that most people in the city have no idea what’s going on, and what’s more, they don’t care. Take the scene outside Marc Jacobs last night.
What was happening outside the Lexington Avenue Armory was, in a word, madness. There were two lines: one for the ticket holders, and one for what I think was people who might, for whatever reason (I suspect that many of them might have been press, but of the less prestigious kind, a.k.a not the New York Times) believed they might have a chance of getting in. And then there was this writhing mass of people, many of whom were dressed up, vainly hoping that through some divine accident, they might be granted access. Yeah, right.
Finally, there were the passersby (and plenty of them), people on their way home or out to dinner or to the gym who were probably just annoyed about the traffic and the holdup. People who, like the Honey Badger, did not give a shit.
All of the hoopla (and look, I was there, so how sarcastic about it can I reasonably be?) was for a show that lasted, I kid you not, about ten minutes. It began reasonably close to the scheduled time of 8pm–unlike other shows I’ve been to (or been outside out, I should say, since the door is about as close to the clothes as I’ve gotten)–and was finished by about 8:20. Seriously.
What was really kind of cool was seeing all the luminaries in the flesh. Writers, editors, bloggers, models. Somehow I was standing at a particular place in the crowd where I managed to spot a large number of them: Suzy Menkes, Andre Leon Talley (who is a giant, BTW), Anna Wintour, Anna Dello Russo, Emmanuelle Alt, Carine Roitfeld, Kate Lanphear, Hanneli Mustaparta (I’d been wondering where she was), Susie Bubble, Rachel Zoe (who was there with Rodger but sans baby), Vivienne Westwood. And then there were plenty of other people whose faces I probably should have recognized but did not. Next time, I guess.
Today is the craziest day of all (plus, it’s my birthday): Tory Burch presentation at 9, J. Crew presentation at 9:30, Badgley Mischka at 10 (at least these three are all at Lincoln Center), Rodarte at noon, Sachin and Babi at 3, Marc by Marc Jacobs at 4, and Sophie Thiallet at five. At least that’s the plan, although I suspect it’s not all going to happen. Then I’m meeting friends and my brothers for dinner at Rouge et Blanc at 7:30. And somewhere in there I need to eat and go to the gym and shower (again, I suspect that not all of this is going to happen).
Before I leave you, a few lessons (among many) that I have learned thus far:
1) The reason that everybody looks so serious when they’re going to the shows is because they are actually there to work. They have to pay attention to what’s going on, they have to be thinking and analyzing while they’re watching (not that easy to do when there’s so much to look at) because then they have to go to the office and fill the magazines and websites that we consume on a daily basis. The glamour is a by-product. I’d never thought about it that way before.
2) Fashion Week is exhausting. I can’t imagine how much more tired and worn out I’d be if in addition to trying to show up to as many things as possible I also had to think about what to wear every time. Since I’m photographing, which involves running after people and kneeling on the ground and standing around, I’ve been going with a combination of comfort and simplicity: bell-bottom or slim jeans and pants; white or black cotton T-shirts or tank tops or collared men’s shirts tucked in with a belt; Swedish Hasbeen sandals, Minnetonka moccasins, Converse sneakers, boots, or black Kork-Ease studded wedges; and generally some kind of jacket. A jacket has always made me feel put-together, a trick I learned when I was teaching.
3) Yes, everybody really is that skinny.