The rows at Phillip Lim on Wednesday were so long, stretching so far down the Park Avenue armory, that we were afraid we'd miss a few famous faces simply by virtue of being unable to squint that effectively. So Kanye West did us a solid and arrived in a bright-pink sport coat — not as obvious as being walked in by bikini-clad girls carrying placards, or something, but really pretty darn close. We are sure he was trying to make the job easier for all us media grunts, and we felt the love. No need for some maudlin melodramatic ballad to tell us he's good people, ahem, TAYLOR.
Kanye sat near actress Rashida Jones, and across the vast runway from model Coco Rocha, who had a very smartly dressed older lady in tow who we thought might be her mother. Down the way, Alexa Chung sat quietly texting. Now, full disclosure: We didn't mince words after last season's Lim show about how Chung wouldn't talk to people, since interviews seem part and parcel with front-row attendance. But maybe that was just an isolated bad day, because when we approached her this time, she was friendly and receptive, and perhaps even a little nervous as she picked at her skirt. "You know, it's all right when you've had hair and makeup [help]," she said, with a wry smile, of the front-row media frenzies. "It's not the ideal scenario, but you get used to it. [Without it] I wouldn't be allowed to come, so it's really sort of six of one thing, and half a dozen shitty flashbulbs of the other."
Chung said she was excited by the warm reception for her Madewell line, particularly the Hello bat shirt she designed. "I'm just happy it's taking the bat out of Halloween. Now it can come out in September," she said. "Or wear it in April, fuck it!" Aside from how much ink the design is getting, the bats must be pretty grateful to feel relevant more than one month out of the year. "Oh, they love it," Chung said. "They're all in caves somewhere and patting each other on the back. They're very happy."
Last we heard, Chung hadn't said whether the Madewell partnership would be ongoing, but she professed a desire to stay in fashion regardless."As a kid I was such a loser about it — I would write essays that weren't set as my homework, or anything, all about models and stuff," she groaned, wrinkling her nose. "And I was very much an avid viewer of all the clothes shows they have in England. But my father is in graphic design, my sister is in package design, so design in general is something I probably would have gravitated toward even if I hadn't been so immersed in models." She cited as her favorites the clothes from Isabel Marant, Marc Jacobs, and Chanel — "But, what dick hates Chanel?" she joked — and confirmed for us that she has indeed met our favorite gloved maestro, Karl Lagerfeld. If that day ever comes for us — likely the same day Satan gets his Christmas cardigan out of mothballs — we plan to open and close our mouths wordlessly like possessed fish, before fainting. "No, he's so funny, and he's actually really easy to talk to because he knows everything," Chung said. "So if you're stuck you just say, 'Um, tell me about Medieval times.'" We assume she meant the era, not the theme restaurant Medieval Times, but then again, she did say he knows everything, so maybe on a random shelf in his manse there's a paper-framed photo of him in a knight's bib holding a goblet of mead. And now if we meet him we know what to ask.
See more: 3.1 Phillip Lim's Spring 2011 Collection