We have a tortured history with Matt Damon at Fashion Week. Two years ago the erstwhile Jason Bourne had a seat marked for him at L.A.M.B., but after we showed true grit in our good Will hunting, it turned out to be a house of lies. Then a year ago, Mr. Ripley popped up in the Naeem Khan front row … at a show for which we had seats, but had to miss. So when rumors spread like contagion through Khan’s show on Tuesday afternoon that Damon once again would visit the promised land, we tried to manage our expectations. It certainly felt like the universe didn’t want us to cross paths with him, but we still couldn’t help hoping we’d win this round — especially because we can only write so many paragraphs about our crushed hopes in which we incorporate Matt Damon movie titles. We’re basically down to Che and We Bought a Zoo at this point.
A whole mess of other celebs kept us distracted while we waited. It was nice of the PR people to place them across the runway from Matt Damon, where they, too, could spend fifteen solid minutes staring at him. We spied Vanessa Hudgens, whom we'd just seen ten minutes earlier at Jenny Packham, wearing an entirely different outfit (and chatting up Katherine Heigl and Aly Raisman). Taraji P. Henson waltzed in looking awesome in black sequins. And all the way at the end of the row sat actress Morgan Saylor, looking pretty in pink, and not as recognizable as when looking cranky in grunge as Dana Brody on Showtime's Homeland. "People are surprised that I don't wear flannel and boots every day," Saylor told us. In fact, it seems like she gets a lot of unsolicited feedback from viewers. "People come up to me and tell me that I am a bitch on the show, and my father is a terrorist," Saylor said, which has us a little concerned that certain members of society are unaware of the fact that Homeland is not a documentary. Not wanting to delve too deeply into questions of national security, we asked Saylor, 18, if she had any fashion regrets. "Freshman year, looking back — I'm a senior now, so it's only been three years — I used to wear my older brother’s sweaters … which obviously aren't very form-fitting and aren't very cute, so that might be a regret. A cozy regret." Don’t worry, Morgan. Unless maybe you are a Fanning, nobody’s freshman year of anything is cute. Cozy is a perfectly good call.
And then, quietly and with no fanfare or packs of security guards, the third time became the proverbial charm: Matt Damon and his wife, Luciana Barroso, emerged from backstage, casually, as if they were out to brunch. While everyone tried not to lose their minds, he immediately signed a little girl’s copy of The Daily and posed for a photo with her, then sat back and looked completely relaxed, resting his hand gently on his wife’s knee — a knee, we must note, that was clad in some really, really good leather pants (not that you’d expect Mrs. Matt Damon to have really, really mediocre leather pants). Barroso, per usual, seemed completely calm despite the maelstrom around her and her husband. “She is way cooler than most people,” Damon affirmed to us. “Including her husband.” Damon seemed to have a great time at the show, mouthing complimentary things about the dresses coming down the runway and constantly pointing stuff out to his wife that he liked. Not that it matters: “My fashion opinion gets easily overruled in our house, really,” he said. “By everyone. Including my 2-year old.” And if your burning query is why, therefore, Matt Damon was attending a fashion show full of very sparkly evening gowns and the occasional caftan, none of which would flatter his figure, the answer is that they’re friends with Khan — although we asked if we can instead ascribe it to him being a noted womenswear enthusiast: “Nah. Well, yes, you could, because that would be very funny.” Done. And now that we’re clearly best friends with Noted Womenswear Enthusiast Matt Damon, we can go about chasing our other Fashion Week white whale: Joan Collins. The universe is on our side, Joan. We’re coming.