Is Heatherette trying to go respectable? Yesterday's show was significantly toned down from the usual circus we've all come to know and — sort of — love. For a start, everybody could actually get inside, and proceedings began only an hour late. The freak-show retinue surrounding the runway was smaller than last season: Diddy and Lance Bass came but paled in comparison to Miss J. Alexander and Lady Bunny, who sported a rhinestone-studded jar of Vaseline and Burberry-checked nails, respectively. (Could there be a worse seat assignment than behind a giant drag queen with a towering blonde wig?) Rapper Lil' Mama performed to open the show, but her pleas to get up and make some noise were ignored.
The clothes weren't as deliciously trashy and fun as we expect from Heatherette. Pleats and ruffles? Did Richie and Traver actually sew this time? Chanel Iman opened with the first of several tight, lacey wedding-dress bodices without the silk skirts. Color and whimsy returned in the second half of the collection, which featured picnic-table prints and a green dress (modeled by an extremely busty Kim Kardashian) swiped from The Sound of Music’s costume closet.
The designers didn't completely forget who they were: A short feathered skirt and a glinty top were colored like peacock feathers, and the gingham Speedo with ants creeping down toward the crotch was classic Heatherette (thank God!). There was even a children’s line, though whoever lets their kid run around in Heatherette is just asking for problems. Still, not even the finale of Amanda Lepore and a butt-flashing from Jenna Jameson drew hollers from the jaded crowd. The audience loudly welcomed Omahyra but saved all their approval for the designers themselves. Could it be, we wondered, that Richie Rich and Traver Rains have actually designed clothes someone could possibly wear outside? —Aileen Gallagher