The halfway point of this fashion week began with two moments of silence for the 15th anniversary of 9/11, at the Victoria Beckham show, just a brisk walk away from the World Trade Center and ended with Opening Ceremony’s pageant in a convention centre by the West Side Highway. If you looked up you could see the two remembrance beams of light shooting up into the sky. Perhaps it was a mere coincidence that on this day shows from the city’s young designers were notably politically-minded. Either way, they were welcome.
The 'Rock The Vote' banner in the middle of the enormous foyer where guests gathered before the show would have sufficed, really, as a nod to the upcoming election. Carol Lim and Humberto Leon stared the election right in the face and used their platform to raise some key issues, showing some clothes along the way. The collection acted as a backdrop to Pageant Of The People, a beauty pageant/opening ceremony (get it?) mashup, complete with flag-bearers, and hosted by Carrie Brownstein and Fred Armisen. By Presidential decree, these two will now host every fashion show ever. They managed not to only make a fashion audience laugh - a lot - but also interact with each other beyond just passive aggressively wiggling their butts for more space. “Tonight we’re going to ask you to look at yourselves,” they announced in their introduction. We had come to look at clothes but it wasn’t as if this audience has any problem directing their gaze back to themselves. The Portlandia duo then proceeded to offer interesting insights into the models that walked by, each bravely trying to keep a straight face.
'There’s one robot here tonight. You have to guess who it is. It’s not easy.'
'This model is sixty years old!'
'This one actually gave birth this morning! She looks great.'
'This one is NOT Opening Ceremony. It’s by someone else.'
'This goes on sale in two years. Or twenty.'
Sporadically, a friend of the brand, like Rashida Jones, Jessica Williams and Ali Wong, would walk instead, stopping to answer a topical question. Jones talked about Syrian refugees. Williams spoke about feeling at ease with herself (at home when she takes off her bra). Wong was asked The Woman Question; 'How do you balance work and a personal life?' With a $3000 per month nanny. Sarah McBride, the press secretary of the Human Rights Campaign, who is transgender herself, spoke passionately on LGBT equality. And then Whoopi Goldberg, getting the biggest applause of the evening, gave her simple answer as to why should we vote - 'If you don’t vote you can’t bitch.' The voting registration reps waiting outside were lost on the international audience but the point was made. You can see the clothes online and in-store. Now, go vote.