Fashion Week, as you may already know, is that special time of fall in New York when good friends gather to swap tales of summer fun in faraway places, amuse ourselves with skinny immigrant girls playing dress-up, drink our way through open bars, fight blonde Penn grads with powerful clipboards, and nonchalantly mention how lame the Marc Jacobs after-party was the next day. Great fun, say you? Of course. But lately, there’s been some grumbling from the normally exuberant party peoples who make the fashion magic happen. Stories of jaded fashion scenesters glumly sipping Vodka-of-the-Week & Sodas at drab lounges, whispers of widespread discontent at the tents — a general sourness has befallen the festivities.
Could it be George W. Bush’s bummer of an economy? There definitely didn’t seem to be the usual rash of slick, nightlife-redefining, secret-password-requiring lounges hosting fashion week events this year. Anticipating the inevitable letdown, we simply got the fuck out of the city and passed out under a trees in Cali. Upon returning, we set about understanding why this Fashion Week was getting such dismal reviews.
Shirley Cook, who runs a company called Proenza Schouler that makes expensive dresses and hats, sounded half asleep when we roused her by phone at 4:21 p.m. But we pried some answers out of her regardless:
Do you think fashion week sucked this year? No, I didn’t see any shows except for ours and I liked it.
Did you go to any parties? I didn’t go out at all.
Don’t you think that speaks volumes? In past fashion weeks you would have gone out, right? Not at all, because we’ve been really busy. It really is not like that at all. I do think there are too many things going on in Fashion Week, and that makes it hard to focus. It’s watered down. There’s way too many shows.
You mean like Art Basel? You could say that.
Would you say that? No. I don’t want to be quoted.
Would you say it’s lost its focus? Don’t write that. Just say, “It’s a little overwhelming.”
Done. So far, everyone we spoke with agreed: This fashion week was the worst one ever. On to the next expert. Finn designer Soraya Silchenstedt. A girl with a lot of spunk, knows the kids in the rag biz, parties like an Olsen, lives like the richest king.
Hey I heard fashion week sucked this year. I stayed in a lot.
Exactly! I’m anti fashion week.
Great. Can you give us an anti fashion week quote? The best thing about fashion week was Marc Jacobs’ fashion show. The collection was awesome.
I said anti. How about the parties, what was the worst one? It’s just all a little not special. Don’t quote me on any of this. I don’t want to be quoted. Call Chris Campbell. He will give you a great quote.
I intend to call him. I even got Shirley Cook to talk. [sound of car horn honking] I’m with two hot blonde girls in a Danali. [to hot blonde girl driving, presumably] “Hey make a right on 47th street!” I’m into sports fashion. Like Nike sportswear. I’m into Olympic fashion, I’m into Michael Phelps. It just feels congested and very commercial and everybody just dresses the same. There wasn’t anything new and different, except from Marc Jacobs. You should go to TMZ.com and search Michael Phelps, I’m in it. [to smoking hot blonde driver, again] “Park here!” [screeching brakes, screams, glass shattering, silence] Christopher Campbell is senior fashion editor at Departures, a stylist, and one half of fashion’s dynamic duo along with his twin brother James (the really shy one from Kimora Lee Simmon’s reality show).
Hey Chris! Why did fashion week suck so much this year? I don’t think it sucked. It’s the same as it always is. I will say that the shows were very spread out. You’re constantly going between the tents and Chelsea.
I made Shirley Cook say it was “watered down,” that it was like Art Basel. I wouldn’t say that.
Yeah, she didn’t either. I don’t have to go to all of those shows, and I don’t think she does either.
What were the best shows? Obviously Proenza Schouler, Isaac Mizrahi … and the Oumlil show (which I styled).
What parties did you like? The Club Sandwich party, which is a monthly party in Paris, and they threw if at Norwood for the first time in New York, and it was floors and floors of debauchery, on Sunday night. Alex, the head of PR for Burberry, threw it.
How about the Purple party? Yeah, the hipsters. But I’m talking about the real fashion people.
What’s going on tonight? Tonight’s dead. Sunday was the good night for parties. There was a big Calvin Klein party that was major. You know what sucked about New York Fashion Week is that usually there’s a European designer who shows and that makes it exciting, but this year it was the usual line up, and that was really disappointing.
For the kids’ perspective, we turned to photographer/painter/’tween on the scene Martine, who also runs a mysterious enterprise called Shot.
Hey, you’re 16. How is this Fashion Week different from other Fashion Weeks? Oh my god [rolling eyes, we assume]. I am not 16.
Do you think the whole thing was played out? I thought it was weak to be honest, I really didn’t like it at all.
That’s what I’ve been telling everyone to say! If you weren’t from New York, you wouldn’t know what the hell was going on. It wasn’t promoted properly.
Should they just quit and never do it anymore? New York Fashion Week? No, that’s impossible.
Impossible? I heard they’re thinking of deading it. No, they should make it more friendly. What are you doing tonight?
Going to Tribeca Grand to see some new DFA band or something for Fashion Week. Supposed to be good. Cool, let’s go.
Tommy Saleh, the Soho and Tribeca Grand’s Creative Director, is an international cat, followed by legions of cool kids from BK to Dalston to [insert new hip city/neighborhood nobody has heard of here].
Literally every single person I’ve spoken with since I got back to town says Fashion Week is done. Say it ain’t so, Saleh. Fashion Week is great, everyone was away for the summer, now they’re back, it’s a great time to see old friends and have a few drinks. I love it.
Love it as in hate it? I’m going to say only positive things. I love Fashion Week.
Damn you Saleh, there goes my thesis. Come to Tribeca Grand tonight, it’s gonna be fun.