Bankers Flood Fashion Week’s Farewell Party

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Weird. Photo: Patrick McMullan

Last night’s closing celebration of eighteen years of Fashion Week at Bryant Park featured something we'd seen little of at the tents before: hordes of straight men, many of whom were probably bankers. Drawn by the several free open bars and the assumption that the tents would be teeming with beautiful women, a few were disappointed by a shortage of the latter. “Where are all the models?” moaned one fellow in a polo shirt to his friend while they waited in line for the bathroom. When a portly woman cut the queue, he became enraged: “That lady was definitely not cute enough to cut everyone,” he fumed. “Did you see her? She was like, the size of two models.” He then noticed us in front of him and apologized for his outburst. “Sorry, I didn’t mean to offend you.”

The bathroom shortage was owed to teams of workmen who were literally loading portions of the tents into huge trucks while the party carried on in the Salon and the lobby; many of the portable restrooms had already been carted off. The Salon had been hurriedly refurnished as a dance lounge, complete with leather couches, low tables, and a bar. The transition had been so swift that the photographers’ spots in the pit were still marked off with masking tape. Alas, partygoers were more interested in dancing — we even spotted an impromptu mosh pit around midnight — than marveling at what was.

Artist duo Cole Nahal and Garret Bowser (best known for inhabiting Keith Haring’s former digs) wore outfits fashioned out of “found” objects from Bryant Park, including pieces of snow fencing and plastic bags. Most randomly of all, we heard a familiar voice giddily exclaim, “Oh, there you are! You look so pretty!” and turned to see People’s Revolution staffers Stephanie Skinner and Emily Bungert joyfully embracing one another. We later spotted them on the dance floor, where they seemed to be enjoying life, for a change.

The spell was quickly broken, however, when a man in a button-down shirt skeazily (and laughably) asked if we were a model, which left us with no doubt: it was time to bid farewell to Bryant Park.