In a dark warehouse parked on a particularly desolate stretch of Bushwick, where green strobes of light circle a crowded dance floor like neon eels, a stranger's clammy skin brushing against yours doesn't feel like anything special—until you realize that stranger is Miley Cyrus. And that she is barely wearing any clothes. Except for black leggings and a pair of tasseled pasties, swinging just so slightly from her perfectly adorable (and perfectly bare) boobs.
She turns around, looking at you but also through you. Her big features, even more cartoonish with her hair pulled into two tight knots, are crinkled with impatience. Her look says, "What is taking you so long?" But also, "Who is watching me?" Seconds later, a boulder of a man rumbles after her, and they both disappear backstage.
Something happens when a celebrity enters a room unannounced, especially the ones with the power to launch a million thinkpieces with a simple shake of their ass—the quasi-divine ones. The energy radiated by their mere presence ripples through a crowd, picking up intensity as word-of-mouth goes from ear-to-ear. You hadn't noticed it before, but now you do. The entire current in the room has shifted from cool, detached afterparty mode to celebrity-ogling mode.
What the fuck is even going on here? Why is Miley Cyrus sitting on stage now, next to the modelesque DJ Nire, who is splicing together swampy A$AP Ferg remixes with happy hardcore? Why is she wearing an animal mask? Who gave her that flashing LED rave-ring? Oh shit, is she rolling?
Some of these questions are answered when Ladyfag, a glamorous giraffe of a woman, strides on stage. She is the promoter who pulls the invisible strings behind the fashion world's most rambunctious parties—including that infamous Harajuku mall-themed afterparty for Alexander Wang last year. Tonight, she announces into the mic, is also an impromptu celebration of her good friend's sartorial skills. Wang skips on stage next to her, with the bounce of an Olympic gymnast. He looks preternaturally dewy-skinned for someone whose runway show was just a few hours earlier. "I didn't want to do a big party this year because I knew everyone would be coming here anyway," he says in that fashion-y drawl. Ladyfag and Wang embrace each other, swaying like two ferns in the wind, before Ladyfag turns back towards the rest of us. "We've got a bunch of special guests for you tonight, including… Tyga!"
The lights dim and the rapper steps out. The crowd decides to abandon all pretenses of aloofness and erupts in shrill cheers.
Rack city, rack rack city bitch…
Miley is still sitting on stage, still topless, still possibly rolling. She sinks into her hot model friend Bella Hadid's lap for a second while a fuccgirl who looks like Kendall Jenner—oh shit, it is Kendall Jenner—looks on. She sits back up, popping her back as Tyga entices the crowd to chant, "Molly, molly, molly…" Shit is getting real weird.
Surrounded by equally (if not more) beautiful people, Miley still commands the Instagrams of the entire room. She is beyond magnetic—she is a black hole pulling in the surrounding attention and bending it to her will. Everyone is just bopping around while watching, waiting for her to do something spectacular.
DJs Mess Kid and Michael Magnan come up next, and their efforts to pull the crowd out of their celebrity-induced stupor via percussive house tracks and hip-hop hits are commendable, but of questionable success. It is only until Jersey Club queen UNiiQU3 commands the decks in the wee hours of the morning—when it becomes clear that Die Antwoord is not performing, contrary to popular rumors—that everyone finally lets loose.
Outside in the near-dawn light, the streets are deserted save for a few society kids arguing over drama they're too drunk to fully care about. The paparazzi mill around dejectedly, cameras drooping off their shoulders. They were expecting Rihanna. This is New York Fashion Week.
@MichelleLhooq will never forget the time Miley Cyrus' breasts brushed against her bag.