Few things render us tongue-tied, but when the crowd of journalists at Y-3 on Sunday spat us out right in front of Samuel L. Jackson, we admit it: We froze. We have talked to Salman Rushdie about womenswear and once spent a blissful ten minutes talking to Kanye about whether he had an alter ego, but something about Samuel L. left us feeling tiny and dull. Maybe it was his robustly colorful shirt, or his ball cap, or the fact that he’s an ex-Jedi Knight who kills snakes on planes. Whatever it was, when a small window opened up in front of him that was just the size of our tape recorder, we choked, and then were carried away on a sea of photographers chasing NBA star Dwight Howard. We may never forgive ourselves, and indeed may drown our sorrows in a Royale With Cheese.
The crowd surge carried us over into a clutch of photographers in front of the next section. “Ugh," said a girl next to us. "Peaches Geldof. I don't know what she does besides sit on people's laps at fashion shows." And, indeed, there was Peaches Geldorf, wearing a silver lamé dress and perched in the front row atop the lap of a dude with a bob. Regardless of her raison d'être, Peaches was photographed as fanatically as if she had a mile-long IMDb page. (Singer Omarion, on the other hand, was completely unmolested by the press, most of which didn't even notice he was there; perhaps his uncharacteristic Hawaiian shirt provided more effective camouflage than anyone could have predicted.) One of the snappers we spoke to explained that pictures of Peaches mean big money in British markets, so maybe we just don't get her appeal because we're Americans. Then again, we have no problem understanding Kate Middleton’s appeal, so maybe the problem here is that we just don’t speak Geldof.
We moseyed back toward Jackson, hoping for a burst of courage, where he was already holding court for other reporters and for his seatmate, Michael Pitt (Boardwalk Empire), who seemed deeply entertained by the F-bombs we thought we heard Jackson dropping. To mend our broken, cowardly hearts, we rebounded with Howard, who is approximately the 50th NBA star — give or take 46 — who we’ve seen entertaining themselves with fashion during the lockout. Clearly, they’re all here looking for pointers, so we wondered who Howard thinks needs advice the most. “Myself,” he chuckled. “That’s why I’m here.” Unlike Dwyane Wade and Amar’e Stoudemire, Howard said he has no plans to dabble in his own clothing line anytime soon, but that he’s no less fixated on how to look his dapper best — in part because he’s so damn tall. “I look at some of the short guys, and they can wear whatever they want, but for me, I have to find the right things and the right fit,” he said. “You gotta know your body. You gotta know what you can wear.” Such as? “Well, I like to wear shirts that show my muscles,” he said, flexing slightly and touching his bicep. “I like to wear them tighter than normal. Oh, and you gotta have the right shoes to go with it.” He also said he has no shortage of people telling him when he’s totally off the rails. “Oh yeah, they have no problem telling me, ‘Dwight, you don’t look good, go back inside,’” he said. “And I do it.” Excellent. We like a man who can take direction.