Most of the hype surrounding New York Fashion Week has little to do with the clothes. Other than parading around outfits you could never afford to wear, the purpose is to see the spectacle that is born out of free booze, hypebeasts, and famous people you kind of recognise. We love to wait in line for an hour, while street photographers swarm around like a pack of hungry hyenas, to see our favourite designer’s handiwork for 15 minutes. But it’s moments like Mya performing "Lady Marmalade" on a three-foot long bench in a crowded bar, that really keep us coming back.
So, in the hopes of conveying the shitshow that was New York Fashion Week's Spring/Summer 2015, here are some shiny GIFs.
Everyone knows that drag queens are great at face contouring, manginas, and strutting their stuff on the catwalk. So it’s no surprise that they were allover fashion week. Sharon Needles and William Belli from RuPaul’s Drag Race put to shame their fellow models – a group that strangely included three Real Housewives of Orange County – when they closed the Betsey Johnson show in tacky wedding attire, bare nipples, and six-inch stilettos. The last time I encountered a drag queen, she told me that I couldn’t play one of the Kardashians in her make-believe game in the women’s bathroom of a boozy brunch. Now, I have an irrational fear that drag queens will insult my femininity before making me lip sync for my life to Madonna’s “Like a Virgin.” Regardless, I was really impressed at Fashion Week by their perfectly arched eyebrows and toned legs. I was especially in awe of Jodie Harsh, the glamorous queen who did a sick DJ set at the Jeremy Scott after-party.
Fashion involves leather and fur, which means dead animals, which naturally means Fashion Week attracts crazy animal activists, who stand outside in the heat in ugly baggy shirts screaming, “ANIMAL ABUSER.” We covered one protest and since then activists have yelled at us in comments and over email. We’re cool with that though, cause we’re down with freedom of speech, the First Amendment, and yada yada yada. We just wish the activists dressed better. :-(
If there is one thing that Fashion Week doesn’t have enough of, it’s booties. All week long we were forced to stare at Miley Cyrus-looking asses walk down the runway in size 00s. There isn’t anything wrong with a flat ass, but big behinds are the one trend that most fashion designers still have not caught on to. So, it was refreshing to see plus-size models with healthy derrieres walk in cool structural garments for Chromat and Zana Bayne, while Nicki Minaj’s backside took two seats in the front row of Alexander Wang. But other than that, there still wasn’t a lot of rump. Maybe since the white people at Vogue finally discovered the phenomenon of big booties, we will see an influx of ass next season.
Since D-listers either star on reality shows or rep lifestyle brands sold at Kohl’s for a living, Fashion Week attracts hoards of decaying starlets. Like a drunken evening at a Boca Raton retirement home, D-listers parties are way more entertaining than Michael Kors’s latest Wall Street-financed bore fest. Our personal favourite celebrity shit-show was a vape-sponsored party hosted by Carmen Electra. A mob of reporters stood in front of a fake white wall, snapping photos of people I had never heard of as top 40 songs played, until Electra arrived. Electra’s alleged Botox and fillers were unreal in person.
This season’s hottest, most exclusive party wasn’t Alexander Wang’s Bushwick warehouse party or Pharell’s bash at 23 Wall Street. It was Joan Rivers’s invite-only funeral, where New York City Gay Men’s Chorus sang “What a Wonderful World” and Inside Edition host Deborah Norville ranted about the New York Post demoting Rivers’s death coverage from a full page. Miley Cyrus's titties were nowhere in sight. Outside the venue – a Synagogue, naturally – the commoners stood, gawking at the onslaught of icons like Barbara Walters. One 13-year old girl watching the festivities wore pearls. “[Rivers] probably would criticise me for not wearing heels,” she told the New York Times.
Like you, I came of age with the internet. I still remember the moment when it made made way more sense to download hardcore fetish videos off of Kazaa and iMesh than it was to sneak downstairs and swipe my Dad's relatively tame Playboy magazines. I also remember the first time I went to the web for fashion – it was to lurk on NikeTalk. From then on, I rode the wave paved by the fashion nerd conversations on the web – whether it was allover-print hoodies that zipped over my face or not washing my jeans for months to get "sick fades."
When I perused the shows and collections of NYFW this season, the impact of dudes who came to fashion via dial-up, then DSL, and now fiber (if they're lucky) was pretty apparent. I caught the runway show of Robert Geller, a designer who told me last year he often checks out the discussions on StyleForum to catch vibes and feedback... That must keep him pretty busy considering the main Robert Geller thread on StyleForum has over 6,000 posts and counting.
And, as per usual at nearly every NYFW show, I had to jump out of the way of the paparazzi as they gunned down Nick Wooster – a fashion director who has become the living embodiment of tasteful menswear thanks to his image getting micro-blogged on Tumblr. I also sat in the front row of Marc McNairy's show – a designer whose clothes are often like an echo chamber of jokes and self-reverence culled from hashtags and newsfeeds. He even had Travis $cott, a rapper whose entire catalog is available for free on DatPiff.com, rock the first look and literally run down his runway.
These designers aren't just a part of the conversation – their prominence is in part, a product of it. The people who grew up educating themselves on fashion with those forum threads are now writing and editing for fashion magazines or are designing behind the scenes for prominent labels… And that's probably the coolest aspect of the whole thing that makes me most excited for the future of menswear. I can't wait to see what fashion looks like when the kids who grew up on tub girl and Mr. Hands get to take the reins.
—WILBERT L. COOPER