Fashion Weak

Tales of fatigue, confusion, and humility from the runways and celeb-choked after-parties

I am fashion-challenged. I go shopping at Joyce Leslie, Target, and the Gap. So when Fashion Week rolls around, I get really confused. Why are we looking at fashions for spring when it's almost fall? Is there a height requirement to get into the shows? (I'm only 4'11".) What's a Balenciaga?

Bewildered, I put myself in the trusty hands of Heatherette, the club kid's link to the Sixth (or is it Seventh?) Avenue set, and go to my first real fashion show Tuesday under the big tents at Bryant Park. At the backstage entrance, I approach a tall, handsome man wielding a clipboard: "I'm not sure, but I believe I'm on your list." He barely looks at me. "You're not." How would he know that? "Because this list is for the models."


I gather what's left of my pride and call Aimee Phillips of Heatherette (and the gal of the Trinity trio). She explodes through the backstage doors like the Tasmanian Devil. She's got a clipboard and an earpiece and is texting up a storm—no mean feat considering she's got long, ghetto-fabulous nails.

From all directions: "Aimee!" "Aimee!" "Hey, Aimee!" A guy watching from the door says, "Aimee's a good person to know."

That she is, even if it isn't Fashion Week. Aimee secures me a spot at the top of the stairs next to the Trinity's Drew Elliott. I feel blessed—apparently people were counterfeiting the tickets and backstage passes, creating mondo mayhem—even if my all-important view of Paris Hilton strutting down the runway to her own terrible song "Stars Are Blind" is mostly blocked. Next time I'll just buy Us Weekly.

Heatherette fashion shows are more like a theatrical event—props, dancing, etc.—than a regular fashion show. Instead of anorexic, dour-faced models sternly strutting down the catwalk, they have models who weigh over 100 pounds and commit the ultimate fashion crime: smiling. It was celebs and socialites galore: Patricia Fields (the Sex and the Cityand Devil Wears Prada costume designer), professional dandy Patrick McDonald, drag divas Brandywine and Brenda A-Gogo, and Rob Iler and Jamie Lynn Siglerfrom The Sopranos. On the runway: Mena Suvari, Kelis, Theodora Richards, Lydia Hearst and Tinsley Mortimer, and a brunette Nicky Hilton. However, they were all overshadowed by supertranny Amanda Lepore. Afterward, designers Richie Rich (on roller skates, as per usual) and Traver Rains came out to rapturous applause.

Team Heatherette headed to Sol, where Michael Cavadias and a newly shorn Miss Guyspun the tunes; over in the V.I.P. area, Suvari was served birthday champagne with sparklers, non-drinker Lydia Hearst sipped her favorite drink (Tab Energy), and I was ashamed to be so turned on by the sight of JC Chasez, formerly ofNSync.

As I was leaving, doorman galore Thomas Onorato started talking in a strange language. "Did you get shots of MariaoplogosModelistis Ipesuperand TvRoberiliam?"

I gaped at him, glassy-eyed. "I'm sorry. I don't speak Fashionista."

"Woman," he explained with the patience of one speaking to a small child. "Did you get pictures of Robert Verdi and supermodel Omahyrah Mota?" Just then, famed paparazzo Steve Sands showed up and pitched a fit when he wasn't on the list. He started shouting, "Aimee wants me in!" (Aimee! Aimee! Aimee!) She did. So he got in.

Wednesday night it was off to Marquee for the Satine event (a chic, celeb-favored L.A. store due to open an NYC branch in January). Spiky Phil DJ'd rock 'n' roll tunes while celebs Michelle Williamsand married Sonic Youthbandmates Kim Gordonand Thurston Moore sat around being famous. Just as I was getting suicidal over the fact that Gordon's shoes were more expensive than my monthly rent, doublemint-twin art pranksters Andrew Andrewturned up in matching suits. They had just come from the New York Philharmonic for black-tie night; they'd also done a quick drive-by at the Diesel party, where James Brown was performing—they skipped the line because someone waiting to get in said, "Hey! You're Andrew Andrew! You're V.I.P.s!" and pushed them up front.

We dashed to the Tribeca Grand, where there was no line as Max Pask spun the Big magazine party. Then up to Happy Valley for the Missbehave magazine launch jam thrown by Roxy, a/k/a Oxy Cottontail; we watched as Merlin from got yet another drunk woman to take her clothes off, DJ Star Eyes (of the Syrup Girls) danced with sober hipster buddy Michael Cohn to bootylicious tunes from Low Budget and Dave P., and another couple approximated sex on the dancefloor. A shower would be necessary immediately after leaving.

Unwashed, we headed to the new Ian Schrager–designed Gramercy Park Hotel for a nightcap, where the Andrews upstaged a legitimately famous Jimmy Fallon, who might have been able to compete with one blond guy dressed in a tux and wearing black circle glasses, but had to fold when faced with double trouble. We finally folded and called it a night.

I had gone to one show and four parties in two days, and it was only Thursday. That night Casey Spooneraccompanied me to Zac Posen's after-party held in giant igloo-like tents outside the Soho Grand. Classy. They had sushi and real celebs—Kate Bosworth, Gretchen Mol. It was very grown-up—"Yeah, they feed you and nobody's any fun," cracked Casey. Next door at the Soho Grand, at a party in the penthouse apartment celebrating 10 years of William Sofield's design for the hotel, we ran into Fred Schneider of the B-52's,who reported that the band's busy recording a long-overdue new record.

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