Stuck on the Runways as Fashion Week Takes Off

Diary of a mad housedress

4:24 p.m. Bored waiting for Marc by Marc Jacobs to kick off (Day-Glo stripes; punky zippers), I check CNN on my BlackBerry and see that the Dow has dropped 370 points.

10:05 p.m. I take a break from watching Keith Olbermann announce election returns and walk down to the packed Prada party, where a film called Trembled Blossoms, featuring a cartoon gamine in an art nouveau dress, is being projected over the store’s zebrawood staircase. The hors d’oeuvres—hardly bigger than hanging chads—include, according to a waitperson as handsome as any model, “truffle foie gras on a raisin crisp.”

February 6
1:55 p.m.
On a crosstown bus after the VPL show (brassieres sewn into shirts), a photographer tells me he was appalled at the vast sums expended on some of the shows—Sass & Bide; Rock & Republic—earlier in the week. “What are they doing?” he says. “Don’t they know about the recession?”

February 7
5:25 p.m.
In the sepulchral light of the Calvin Klein show (double-faced wools; grown-up coats), I leaf through today’s Women’s Wear Daily: On page three, an article entitled “Armory Scandal: Marc Jacobs Intl. in Bribery Probe” (exciting! fun!) shares space with “Macy’s to Cut 2,5550 Jobs in Restructuring.”

February 8
6:22 p.m.
Here is what Harvey Weinstein, Helena Christianson, Spike Lee in an Obama T-shirt, and other denizens of the front row at the Sean Jean show (toreador silhouettes; spangled scarves) get to witness: a model in a fitted fur-collared jacket and a pair of sharp trousers trailing a piece of toilet paper stuck to a gleaming shoe all the way down the runway.

7:17 p.m. Why is Vogue’s Grace Coddington flying like a flame-haired bat out of hell down Lexington Avenue? Because crazy Marc Jacobs, who was roundly castigated for keeping his audience waiting over two hours during last fall’s Fashion Week, has, in a childish fuck-you gesture, begun his show (blue-white ghosts; maybe hats?) ridiculously early—earlier than any show has ever started since Coco Chanel sent mannequins down her staircase in 1922. When I arrive in the K-Jelly-sponsored Town Car (you don’t want to know), I can no longer reach my ignominious sixth-row seat and linger with the other “latecomers” (some of them famous!) near the photo pit. I can’t see a thing, leaving me to stare off into the darkness and wonder if anyone in the great buying public will use her $600 government stimulus rebate to purchase a single MJ boot or a half pair of his pants?

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