I got up early this morning, wondering what I could wear that would be acceptably chic, but also comfortable. The answer? Nothing I own fits those requirements. I settled on a pair of black, stretchy pants, and a flowing, peach-colored tunic embellished with silver sequins, layered over a coral-colored cami. On my feet I courageously wore $10 sandals from Target (they’re old, they’re broken in, they don’t hurt me feet and I can walk and stand in them).
Good thing I did.
I walked to my train stop and found that the entire station was closed. Not to worry, I was directed to the next closest stop, just about a ten minute walk away. I turned on my IPOD, and walked confidently and briskly to the other station.
But when I got there, I found out that it wasn’t just the one station that was closed (for a fire, they said) but the entire West Side train service.
I got on another train on the East side line and then had to switch for another train that instead of making express stops (which would have taken me about 40 minutes), was going local all the way up the West side of Manhattan. I had to get uptown, somehow, so there wasn’t much I could do but sit (grateful I had a seat and the train’s air conditioning was actually working) and wait….and wait…and wait…and wait.
The first show, David Rodriguez, was due to start at Noon and I had left tons of time, but by the time my train got to Times Square and I walked to the Stylelounge on 44th street and Broadway, I was sure the show would be half over. Not to worry, it hadn’t even started (I have subsequently learned that virtually no show starts on time). I got in a huge line of people with invitations, and waited…and waited…and waited…I chatted with a young woman name Monique, to pass the time. Suddenly, I began to cough..and I coughed…and coughed…and coughed..I really couldn’t control it. I felt consumptive. I could see Monique turning away in disgust. I was standing on the street in Time Square, practically coughing my guts out of my chest. Monique came to the rescue, offering me her own bottle of water–probably because she couldn’t stand my disgusting hacks and wheezes. But the water worked and finally, we worked our way up to the organizers with the list. Monique had a seat. I was given the dreaded standing room pass. I had expected a seat assignment but by now, I have realized that if I didn’t get a seat assignment prior to the event, the chances of gettting one, even with a press pass, are remote. You can get IN to the shows, but you are not going to get a seat unless you are very lucky.
Undaunted, I asked one of the organizers if there was any chance of a seat. She pointed–to a lone seat at the very back at the very start of the runway where the models first come out, which is a difficult place to see the clothes. But it was a seat, and it even came with it’s own goodie bag (a few treats from AVEDA including a great, Rosemary Mint soap). I accepted an Evian water from a cooler, introduced myself to my seatmates (all in similar circumstances) and the show began. I could only see the clothes from the knees up, but I liked the muted tones of the clothes, and the pairings of Khaki safari type jackets with black pants, and pleated pants and skirts with delicate, silvery designs.
Show over, I wandered to the Bryant Park tents. Since I didn’t have another actual show until later, I got a standing room ticket for Rosa Cha. I got in a huge line of people without invitations, and waited…and waited…and waited…I chatted with some young women who also had press passes, to pass the time. The show started nearly an hour late, but when we were finally allowed into the tent, there were a lot of empty seats. Not wanting to be stuck standing, but also not wanting to be humiliated by being shooed out of a great seat, I took one towards the top row, in the middle. It had a fairly decent view of the runway, and a gift bag (with swin goggles which I don’t wear but someone I know will want them). I chatted with Steve Tilley, an entertainment writer from the Edmonton Sun in Canada. Soon, the lights went down and the show started. It featured Naomi Campbell — as gorgeous in person as she appears in print and on television. The collection was beatiful, but the suits for both mena nd women were so body-conscious that the average woman couldn’t possibly hope to wear them without ridicule. I had a feeling that would be the case as the as the first model strutted out in a ruffled thong. But the suits, as miniscule as they were, were beautiful in turquoises, purples, golds, black, orange, and pink, some mixed with metallics and sequins. There were also some really beautiful cover ups and caftans in jewel-tones, short, long, every which way, feminine and flowing. They probably cost a small fortune, but I’d adore one!
Show over, I went immediately back to the check in for Atil Kutoglu, a Turkish designer. I supposedly had an actual seat assignment, but I wasn’t in the book. I managed to convince the young woman with the list that I did indeed have a seat, and although I didn’t get the same seat had been assigned previously, I did get one. Once in the venue, I realized that someone was already sitting in my assigned seat but that there were seats one row up that were empty. I was too tired to fight with someone about a seat, and I didn’t really care if I sat one more row up, just as long as I sat. So I grabbed a third row seat instead of my second row one, poked around in the gift bag for a moment (a great wallet, lipstick, Sebastian hair products, bronzer) and waited…and waited…
The show was supposed to start at three, but it was nearly 3:45 by the time it started. I chatted with a really cute man and his friend, until showtime. Again, Naomi Campbell strutted her stuff on the runway. The clothes were spare, unconstructed, and at the end, there were a few caftans, long skirts, and pants, made out of gauzy material in soft ivory and rainbow stripes. One standout was a gauzy tunic, reminiscent of the 60’s with gold stripes. I could see wearing this to a party, over pants, or just by itself, with strappy sandals.
Show over, I arranged to meet my husband at the Columbia University Club, just a block away. There were some after-party invites, but I couldn’t manage to hang around for another couple of hours, just to go to some crowded club somewhere, so I bagged the thought. I was just happy to call it a day and get to the club to sit down and relax.
Alas, when I got to the club, the bar was closed (but the bathrooms weren’t, and they were cleaner than the ones in Bryant Park). I met my husband a block away at Spanky’s barbeque, where I had a martini, and a smoked chicken salad. It immediately made me sick, and we had a long ride home on the train, taking the one subway line that seemed to be working.
So now I’m home, nursing serious heartburn, and writing this down. Tomorrow I have a few shows, but I do not have seat assignments for any of them and only know that I am supposedly “on the list.” This means another day of waiting in long lines, then waiting in standing room only lines. The routine is getting familiar, but not any more comfortable.