#2116 Gisele, Shalom Harlow and Carmen Kass walked Alexander Wang (and I watched from the bleachers)

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?

Shalom Harlow.

Karolina Kurkova.

Carmen Kass.

Julia Nobis.

Abbey Lee Kershaw.


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  1. Jenny says

    What a diachromatic collection. Very cool, very severe. I quite like the aesthetic of the mesh half face/ mouth covers. Any symbolism intended, do you think? Is he trying to muzzle/ muffle his women? Or just keep their faces warm in the wintry blasts? 

  2. Fashion Westie says

    I knew the muzzling-of-women aspect would crop up…maybe it’s just a mesh turtleneck-slash-bandit kerchief? Maybe it’s just a styling idea. Not everything has a hidden agenda. So, it’s time to dust of my puffa’s I see? Not averse to that idea at all. 

    Anyway, it’s good to see ole sneaky Ise back in action. Well done sir for gift-of-the-gabbing your way into a top show. Another story in the archives for the Grandkiddies.

  3. Taracedia says

    When the supermodel superhero disassociates from her body in
    the latest New Yorker Sci-Fi story, Black Box, the model’s features on the
    cover photo appeared to rise too — off the page into a stark white sky so
    cloudy her nose appears as a distant bird in flight and her floating lips  beckon like a giant red air bus headed
    for a heaven lit by Shalom Harlow’s eyes – of course — the cover of Making
    Faces by Kevyn Aucoin.


    Covers evoking one another across time – why it’s almost science
    fiction! But is it true?  Yesterday,
    while searching for confirmation I found your blog and read you’d seen her at
    the show (though bummer about the mouth mask) and would really appreciate your insight.



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