The Longest Day
Today was going to be the longest day, so far. I set the alarm, got up at 6AM, and stumbled around my apartment, looking for something suitable to wear. I finally settled on black pants, a red camisole, and an overlay of red chiffon embellished with beads (and flat sandals). I decided to treat myself to a car service to the Glamour Tea & Touchups breakfast at the Royalton Hotel because I thought I had to be there at 8am (it turned out the event was from 8-11). The car service uncharacteristically arrived on time, there wasn’t any traffic, and I found myself at Fashion Week 40 minutes early (minutes I would dearly love to have used for much-needed sleep). I tried to get into the tent (at least to use the bathroom) but the security wouldn’t let me in, since the “press breakfast” was being set up.
I went around the corner to the Columbia University Club, where I got a smile and a bathroom (a clean one). Then I wandered into the press breakfast, only to find that it consisted of serve-your-own coffee, and a few pieces of cut up fruit and some tiny muffins. I ate a small scone and wandered back to the Royalton, up to the Penthouse. There was a beautiful view, and the welcoming face of Alicia, my gracious contact from Essie. Alicia had her hands full, because even at this early hour there was a long line of eager women for manicures featuring Essie Nail Products, which I totally adore (see my reviews of Essie Cosmetics in the current What Works Beauty Reviews) and in the What Works Archives. I let the others enjoy manicures, but I signed up for a makeup re-do (putting mine on at 6 in the near-dark –without coffee –didn’t make for great results) by makeup artist Brianne, using Estee Lauder products (Just lovely–see my reviews of the newest Estee Lauder products in the What Works reviews as well. Another highlight worth waiting for was to opportunity to have my always frizzy hair blown out by a stylist from Frederick Fekkai. It is amazing how great a true stylist can make hair look. I am so hooked! I even got a mini massage. And while I waited for the various treats, there was juice, coffee, muffins, scones, bagels, and smoked salmon. What a fantastic way to start the day! Thanks Glamour Magazine and Essie!
Feeling fairly spiffy, I went back to the Bryant Park tent, and joined the crowd for the Carolina Hererra runway show. Standing room was all I could get, but I bumped into Chani, a writer for Fashionista.com with whom I’d enjoyed some fun conversation on the standing room line previously. She had a colleague, Julie, with her as well. The show was about half an hour late, and we didn’t get seats, but we did get to see the beautiful, classic clothes that typify Carolina Hererra. They collection was supposedly inspired by the freedom and artistic expression of Vienna just before the 20’s, evoking the feeling of effortless glamour. The clothes were beautifully cut, in subdued colors. My favorite was a silk gorgette gown in brown and ivory gown with a flowing ruffle. If I had pots of money, I would have bought several of these elegant fashions (a girl can dream, can’t she)?. Once in the main lobby, we immediately went en masse to the line for Oscar de la Renta. For this biggie, we didn’t even get in the standing room line, so we remained on our feet another half an hour and watched the show from inside the tent, on the monitor. Beautiful clothes, but I found it hard to concentrate due to my throbbing feet.
The fashion show over, I wandered around the neighborhood for a while. I stopped by an event on a wrong day (it’s tomorrow). Embarrassing, perhaps, but they did give me the wrong date!
Shopping Therapy * Reem Acra
Two hours later, I had also visited the Chanel counter at Lord and Taylor, and I had some lunch at a local sandwich shop. Then I went back to the tents to get in line for Reem Acra, the next show. I didn’t have an invitation but I bumped into Chani again, and she had one. We both got standing room. I’d been up for hours and standing on my feet for hours, and this one was also delayed. Standing in one place, every hour or every other, really takes its toll on your legs and knees.
This time we got seats, enjoyed the gorgeous gowns, many opulently beaded, many in feminine, flowing styles. My favorite was a stunning, silver cut-out skirt with an embroidered waist, worn with a taupe (they called it “Fawn) georgette, camisole. Right after Reem Acra was Betsy Johnson. I had a ticket last year, but this time I couldn’t even get standing room! So I wandered back to the Columbia University club for a white whine (well, I did complain to the bartender that standing for hours was brutal and I was overly tired and very cranky). On the way back up the steps to the tent, I discovered the Hilton Sisters (Paris and Nicky) being chased by a pack of photographers so ferocious that they literally forced the girls into the street and moving traffic on 6th avenue. Shocking–and I was beginning to realize why celebrities loathe these people who care nothing about them as people, and only want the picture at any cost.
I discovered that Courtney Cox Arquette was due to arrive to promote Kinerase–an event that we were not exactly invited to but as usual, were allowed to watch standing from the back. She looked lovely on a demure, high necked day dress, although she didn’t know what designer she was wearing (you’ve got to be prepared–it’s fashion week, after all).
Event over, we went to wait on line for Alice Roi, the next show. We went to the standing room area and foudn that we were the first two in line. Alas, there is always someone who thinks they should be ahead of you, regardless of the circumstances. In every show line there are a few people who push their way to the front of the line, feeling that they are subtle and ever so clever about it (they’re not). Much like the gypsies in Rome, that you can sense are coming if you have your wits about you, these “moochers” and poseurs are easy to spot.
The Pig With The Birkin Bag
One such example was a very flamboyant young man carrying, of all things, a women’s camel colored birkin bag (it looked real, but the man was terribly phoney). We chatted for a while, but when the show was nearly 45 minutes late and by the time we got into the tent, I was in serious pain. The man, Chani and I wandered to standing room, and I nearly hobbled into a crumple. At some point we were told to take empty seats. There were two right in front of us in the second row, and one in the first row. I started to head for one of the seats in the second row, primarily because I wanted to sit with Chani and it was one less row I had to walk to.
Before I could make it to the seat, the flamboyan with the bag literally pole-vaulted past my right shoulder, knocking me two seats into the second row as he grabbed the seat in the first row. Stunned and in some pain, I sat down. He was right in front of me. “That was horribly rude of you,” I said, in shock. “You really shouldn’t be knocking over women old enough to be your mother,” I added. I figured he would say something snotty about my age (but I had asked for it) but instead, his head snapped around. Without looking me in the eye he hissed, ” “honey, I’d knock over my GRANDMOTHER and kill her to get the first row…welcome to fashion week.” And, as his head snaked back towards the runway, he added: “don’t you talk to me!” as if I had somehow offended him by suggesting he was a flaming pig.
…I think I figured out where he got the ladies birkin bag!!!!
I ignored him, figuring that if someone treats others with the type of disrespect and ridiculousness that apparently, Fashion Week endgenders in some people, all you can do is feel pity for their silly little lives. It’s not like there were only three seats on the last plane out of New Orleans. The professionals are there to network and behave like adults.
Alice Roi was a short show with a very long wait. A standout of the collection was an all-ivory outfit with a long, beige sweater over it. Ivory is one of my favorites color choices– it always looks classic and elegant. Afterwards, I went back to the Columbia Club, ordered a pot of coffee, and waited for my husband to arrive for the last show of the evening, a fashion show at the style lounge on 44th street featuring Wal-mart clothes mixed with vintage pieces, and modeled by some of the Americas next top model winners and contestants. Apparently a lot of girls who watch Americas Next Top Model had gotten the world, and there were several layers of people behind ropes, wishing they were us and could get in. I kept wishing the could get in, too. We had (you guessed it) standing room so we sat against the wall, next to what I found out later was one of the models from the jeans and handbag show I had attended at the Style Lounge the day before. We perched on a ledge for a while, but eventually I was finally forced to stand up because so many people were standing in front of me and I am short. But the show was quite long, and actually interesting–and the Wal-mart fashions looked genuinely chic–especially broadcast over Times Squares on the jumbotron while tons of “fans” screamed for their favorite models from the show (Americas Next Top Model). I had hoped to see Tyra Banks there supporting “her girls” but she wasn’t (I later found out that she did some sort of promos for her new talk show back at Bryant Park in the MAC lounge). There were a few celebs (Ashanti was in the front row), along with a number of the Americas Top Model folks and the guy with very blonde hair that gives “beauty tips” for Cover Girl on the show.
Sniffling Man/Spaghetti and Peas
Show over, we took the train home, enduring a sniffling man who smelled like a brewery. I was hot, tired, and every bone in my lower half ached. I took a shower. My prince of a husband made Spaghetti and peas. I tried to confirm tomorrow’s shows and find something to wear.