John Varvatos Likes His Male Models Tipsy

Gang of street toughs not pictured. Photo: Getty Images


Walking backstage at John Varvatos's show at the top of 7 World Trade Center last night, we were a little taken aback to see some 30 high-cheekboned man-children throwing back Peronis and Champagne. We’d be shocked to learn that more than one of those models is of legal drinking age. (And if so, we’d need to meet their dermatologists.) Varvatos explained that the tipsy modeling was actually by design. “I’m just making them relax a bit,” he said. Plus, he figured that the drinking might correct for some of the men’s inherent disadvantages on the runway. “They just don't walk as nice,” Varvatos admitted. “The girls have been trained unbelievably well, and there’s just this sense of the way they carry themselves. The guys, whether you coach them or not, are just a little clumsier.”

The boys backstage did not need to be prodded to pick up the sauce. “No one told us we had to drink,” said one stunningly handsome Canadian. “We just saw the Champagne and went for it.” (He also told us that some of the boys have been going for it a bit too hard at night. One model threw up before Z Zegna on Saturday, and another got sick at Y-3.)

Varvatos had other directives for his boys. A poster on the wall read, “You are a fucking badass! You own these streets!” Our handsome Canadian said that they'd been instructed to walk with swagger (no one really pulled it off in the end, alas). “Last year,” he said, “the instructions were to walk like we were stoned. I was kind of hoping they'd hand out joints, but no such luck.”

Elsewhere, Grey's Anatomy's McSteamy, Eric Dane, was standing around, “feeling old,” and commiserating with the models. “I would be drunk, too,” he said. “I get stage fright.” Meanwhile, the “completely clueless” — about fashion! — Chace Crawford was having a different kind of anxiety attack. Each and every model on that runway walked out rocking the signature, tousled Nate Archibald rich-pretty-boy hairdo (see also Zac Efron). “I saw that, too!” Crawford exclaimed at the end of the show. “I was, like, ‘Wait! That hair looks really familiar.’” A hint of dread flashed across his face: “I hope I’m not copping anybody’s style." No, dear, don’t fret. You are the original fucking badass. —Jada Yuan

Browse a slideshow of the John Varvatos collection.
Browse a slideshow of the Y-3 collection.