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Clothes and Skin

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It was a week of high frivolity, as the city gave itself over to ogling frocks (and the preternaturally beautiful models who wore them), erecting enormous artworks, and arguing about porn. Laura Bush became the first First Lady ever to attend a show in Bryant Park, delighting designers by announcing, “I like fashion—it’s fun!” The previous night, her daughter Barbara had managed to evade the Secret Service, drop into a paparazzi-infested wedding party for Fabian Basabe, and then hit Bungalow 8, where a party for John Kerry campaign workers hosted by Chris Heinz happened to be in progress. At a panel discussion after the screening of a documentary about Deep Throat—the classic seventies porno—feminist scholar Catherine MacKinnon condemned the film (and the film about the film), saying the late actress Linda Lovelace had been “throat-raped,” while professor Alan Dershowitz categorically denied that porn is bad for you. (Inexplicably, no one raised the issue of how hard the plot of Deep Throat is to follow.) Broadway mourned the death of the author of Death of a Salesman, Arthur Miller. In Central Park, volunteers joyously busied themselves raising Christo and Jeanne-Claude’s The Gates. Among them was former Texas governor Ann Richards, who said, “I’m having a ball.” Back at the runways, one person not having a ball was the ineffably grand Vogue editor-at-large André Leon Talley, who was turned away from the Baby Phat show because of “overcrowding.” “Bling-bling has gone too far,” he protested, claiming that music-star Usher had been whisked right in (Usher’s reps later said he wasn’t even in town). The even grander Anna Wintour had to wait a historic 90 minutes for the chronically unpunctual Marc Jacobs show to start and then got jostled by the retinues of the late-arriving Beyoncé and Jay-Z. For setting an example to city residents of how to bear the little indignities of life with stoic grace, Ms. Wintour is our New Yorker of the Week.


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