There is something magical about watching an artist at work, which is exactly what we did at Diesel Black Gold Tuesday afternoon. Although in this specific instance, we’re not talking about what was on the runway, but what was happening across it; rather, we are referring to Gerard Butler, master pickup artist.
For a long while the front row sat empty, and since we knew past attendee Chace Crawford was up in Toronto at the film fest, we began to wonder if every celeb who wears Diesel had migrated north for the week — especially after we heard someone who looked like a PR girl hiss, "No one is here," to an official-looking person standing next to us. But then, as surely as the sun rises in the east, there was a kerfuffle as a group finally emerged from backstage, to the point where event organizers yelped for more security. The newcomers were a gaggle of models (including Petra Nemcova), Diesel founder Renzo Rosso, and a lone wolf in a tight T-shirt: Gerard Butler, tragically all by his famous self, alone in a sea of estrogen. We’re sure this was an agonizing development for him, and we’re proud of him for staying strong. Though we do wish he had done his hair a bit — the semi-feathered-looking coif looked like it had been styled with last night’s pillowcase, two-day-old gel, and pure testosterone fumes — but even then, and with his skinny-yet-super-buff physique, it’s hard to deny that the man has pull.
And apparently knows how to use it. After the fans were swatted away, the fashion show started, and so did the real show. It was called Gerard Butler Thinks You Are a Groovy Lady, and it was highly entertaining. First, he leaned over to the blonde next to him — a model-esque Danish singer-songwriter with the incongruous name of Oh Land — and introduced himself, or so it seemed. And then he chatted. Oh, did he chat. The entire show they kept up a running patter. He pointed at stuff. He dropped his hand to his leg at a spot near her, then raised it to touch her on the arm oh-so-casually while ostensibly pointing to more stuff. He was very focused, from what we could tell, on using the seven minutes he had seated next to her to their full potential. And if it was anything other than how it appeared (a genial pickup attempt in progress), we don’t want to know; in our minds, Gerard Butler is always on. Indeed, if fan reaction is any indication — after the show, he was mobbed by ladies elbowing journalists out of the way and begging him for personal photos, which he obliged as much as possible — most of the world thinks he’s walking, talking fan fiction, and that if they get close enough to be caught in his Tractor Beam of Yes, they might get their own chapter. Best of luck to them, truly, but we have a sneaky feeling he might have plans tonight.