It seemed only right to close out Fashion Week with the most intense paparazzi scrum we'd been in all season. When we walked into the tents Thursday night for L.A.M.B., everything seemed normal — only a few photographers were spotted on the runway, and there was quiet chatter from all sides about how everyone wanted to get celebratory cocktails. But then we noticed something — and by "we," we mean, "all the journalists in the room, at exactly the same time:" One seat, in the prime section of the front row, bore the name Luciana Barroso, and right next to it was a sign that read, "Matt Damon." Wait a second. Matt freaking Damon? An Oscar-winner? Were we about to witness first-hand the talents of one Mr. Ripley? "Oh my God," the entire room seemed to breathe at once. And just like that, a mob camped out in front of his seat for some good old-fashioned Will hunting.
Time ticked by. Our feet got a bit more swollen. As the seat remained empty, rumors started to fly: "The PR people told me it's not Matt Damon, it's Matt Dillon," one reporter said. Another informant scampered past long enough to squeal, "No, no, it's Bob Dylan!" We held firm, and waited. And waited. Security people came by and halfheartedly told us, "They're not giving interviews," but we persisted, determined to get at least some story out of being trampled by 50 Damon-starved photographers. Actress Taryn Manning — relegated to the second row, behind Damon's seats — squeezed through the mob to pose for pictures, but they were perfunctory at best. At this point, everyone was just keeping their trigger fingers limber, waiting for Matt to show us his ocean's eleven.
It wasn't until their Bourne ultimatum — "Get your seats or get out" — that we hung our heads and departed. And then, suddenly, the show began: The lights went down, they popped back on and a PR staffer was seated where Matt Damon should have been. We thought maybe some sympathetic good shepherd, worried for Damon's safety, had decided to save Private Ryan from the scrum and march his happy feet somewhere else to watch. Then, however, a backstage source expressed doubt that any Matt — Damon or Dillon — had ever been in the building at all. But at least Taryn Manning's courage under fire got her upgraded to the front row. We may have missed out on seeing all Matt's pretty horses, but it's nice that at least someone got something out of it.