Gisele walking Alexander Wang. Photos: Greg Lewis
There are two shows at New York Fashion Week that are impossible to get into without an invite: Marc Jacobs and Alexander Wang. They’re both run by powerhouse PR agency KCD, and security is tougher than US border control – they smell fear, and they’re quick to deport. When it comes to hype, celebrity, spectacle and all those other good things that keep me loving this business, those are the two that you have to be at in New York City. So after the Band of Outsiders show, we headed up the West Side Highway to try our luck at Pier 94 for Alexander Wang. There were two entrances: One for ticket-holders on the left, and one for those of us hoping to be on the list, on the right.
Just approaching the PR team is no mean feat. If you get rejected, there’s a highly embarrassing walk of shame back down the long corridor and out the front door. And you can’t show your nerves – if you look like you’re not supposed to be there, you’ll be turned away on the spot. So you stand in line, hoping you’ve chosen the kindest-looking face, and plead your case. I was sent to three different agents before I got the right one. I said who I was and explained my situation, and she told me to wait while she radioed a colleague inside. She asked me a couple of questions, sized me up, then, satisfied with my responses, nodded her head and sent me back to the desk. A lady scribbled ‘ST’ on two bits of card and ushered us in.
Inside, the party was already in full swing. A bunch of mirrored boxes were set up at irregular intervals inside a semi circle of bleachers, and shook as Biggie and Lil Kim were mixed into Snoop and Dre, then Bone Thugs N Harmony. Carine Roitfeld breezed by with her daughter; Terry Richardson threw his thumbs all over the show; and a four foot 10 girl in head-to-toe gold scuttled past as photographers scrambled to take a shot – was it Lady Gaga? Kreayshawn? No, a member of South African rap group Die Antwoord, apparently.
And then the show began. Read the reviews, and they’ll toss around words like, “Downtown cool,” “Power,” and “Amazons,” and no doubt they’ll all be correct. From my perspective, there were a lot of quite sexy body con dresses, leather and puffer jackets in black, with some maroon sprinkled throughout. But my favourite pieces were the heavy mesh turtlenecks that stretched over the models’ mouths like bandits’ kerchiefs. Speaking of models, besides the regular Alexander Wang show walkers like Abbey Lee, Sara Blomqvist and Frida Gustavsson, there were a bunch of oldies (but still very much goodies), like Shalom Harlow, Erin Wasson and Karolina Kurkova. And cementing his spot as the zeitgeist-prince of New York City, Gisele closed the show. That’s sure to shut the Giants’ fans up for at least a couple of minutes, right?