To be a fashion writer is to be a fly on the wall. You aren’t one of the shiny front rowers, nor do you want to be. You slink back a bit, take it in, and hope you observe something noteworthy. And sometimes you do just that.
Certain stereotypes about the fashion industry persist thanks to movies like The Devil Wears Prada and a slew of industry-centric “reality” series. For the most part, fashion isn’t really like those dramatized visions of, well, drama. But Fashion Week is indeed a 7+ day stress fest. Tensions run high, patience is tested. But designers are oh-so-careful about what the press sees and what it doesn’t, so charged flare-ups aren’t usually on display…operative word: usually.
While hanging out backstage at this afternoon’s Imitation show, we watched Lydia Hearst get her makeup done. It was less than a half an hour until show time and Hearst still needed to be primped and prepped. Imitation designer Tara Subkoff was not pleased. In fact, Subkoff barged into the makeup room to tell her so: “I don’t know why you showed up two hours late, but you have to go NOW!” Ouch. “I hope last night was worth it!” Double ouch. A stunned Hearst nodded as Subkoff repeatedly told her she needed to get up at that very moment (“Now now NOW!”) and go downstairs for the walk-through.
This is when it became abundantly clear that Subkoff had no clue that the room wasn’t just filled with back-of-house staff. Hearst later asked for a soda in lieu of champagne, and the show went off without a hitch — though it did start 45 minutes late.