We missed last season's show by The Blonds, but we heard that the larger-than-life costumes proved to be everyone's favorite experience of Fashion Week. So it seemed only fitting that on our way into this year's event on Wednesday at Milk Studios that the first thing we saw in the elevator queue was the naked derriere of the equally larger-than-life Amanda Lepore. Her naked booty was followed by her naked everything else — yes, everything else from the waist down — because she was wearing her very sheerest red lingerie. In fact, Lepore's toes were nearly the only appendage we didn't get intimately familiar with during that fifteen-second wait, thanks to her glittery closed-toe pumps. Because going full peep-toe with your mesh genital drape would've really pushed that envelope straight into the paper shredder.
Once we actually alighted into the venue, we almost ran smack into the now-hirsute Nigel Barker, who looked dapper in a pin-striped suit, but still seemed as though he was wearing an extremely hairy beret. (Please go back to bald, Nigel.) In fact, it was a game of Six Degrees of Tyra Banks up in there: Nigel was joined by his ANTM cohorts J Alexander and Jay Manuel; one of last cycle's guest judges, Patricia Field, swanned in wearing splattered torn pants and a bomber jacket that appeared to have her name scrawled in gold cursive in the back. Then there was Eve, a cycle four guest star, wearing a black dress and a seriously fierce (and potentially stabby) spiky gold cummerbund. Next to her sat singer Keri Hilson, whose corset top had giant gems affixed to it that rose in two dangerous-looking spikes toward her face. Hilson has not yet been Touched by a Tyra, but her career is still young so we expect she'll get sucked into the vortex soon enough.
But the most eye-catching sighting for us was singer and reality-TV vixen Aubrey O'Day, clad in an enormous McQueen houndstooth shirt with a red bow affixed, which made her look a bit like a festive Valentine's Day basket. "I wanted to be Blonds-inspired — ultra-big, fabulous, a little drag queen-y," Aubrey said. "This outer exterior you see is one big façade. I was born a drag queen." Well, we love a drag queen; at any given moment, almost as a rule, they are at least 80 percent more fabulous than we are. But Aubrey said it's not always easy to dress her inner RuPaul. "My boobs never fit with anything, so if I ever find anything I fit into, I'm excited," she said. "My boobs are gigantic, so [boob tape] never works. There's always some slipping, popping, pinching. It's the worst."
Good thing that runway portion of the night provided the most fun we've had this season. We started our Fashion Week with the garish Richie Rich Variety Hour, and The Blonds felt like what Richie Rich wanted to be, but will never achieve. The guests were more glamorous, the spectacle itself was both well-run and artistically satisfying, and the clothes were a delightful visual feast: glittering wigs in gold, red, green, and blue; fringe and satin in every color; a model wearing a bejeweled rendition of what a Chinese dragon would look like if it were a Rockettes costume; and a slim-fitting pantsuit made entirely of googly eyes. And that’s not even all of it — we simultaneously wanted the show to continue forever, and felt compelled to apologize to it for not being sufficiently sparkly ourselves. O'Day also endorsed the "go big or go home" philosophy, both at this show and Fashion Week in general. "It's when you finally get to be outrageous and it's okay," she told us. With that attitude, she was certainly in the right place.