I went to a fashion show soiree last night. My friend writer/gadfly Clint Catalyst organized the event for designer Jared Gold. Clint and I are both eclectic individuals and we have kind of a lot of random points of intersection. And we’ve both been doing what we do for a while.
So the most unsettling part of the shindig was trying to place who people were. This is difficult when a person could be someone I photographed nine years ago and haven’t seen in between. Or the person could be someone who did my hair once. Or the person could be someone I’ve only seen in media. There is always a risk when greeting someone on dim non-specific facial-recognition alone because they could turn out to be someone you’ve only watched on television or MySpace or someone you would shoot (not with a camera) if you had a license to kill. But a significant portion of folks there are people I know and like but may not have seen recently. So it was like a real life wetware version of one of those aging programs they use to find missing children.
One person at the event I saw and could not place was artist/designer Elizabeth McGrath. I attended her Broken Dolls fashion show in like 2002 or 2003 and featured it in our SWAG project. But I’d seen her in sort of business mode and not in-person in the intervening years (I think.) Clint Catalyst re-introed us and, when I said her hair was different now, she laughed and pointed out that she was wearing five or six hairpieces stacked up on top of one another. Normally, I don’t like wigs, but what Liz McGrath was wearing was much more complicated and high-end than a plain wig and she looked fabulous and she probably designed it herself like the spiffy In the Year of the Pig Fish piece pictured above.
At any rate, we’ll have video coverage of the actual fashion show posted some time soon. Forrest Black and I had front row seats (three sets of them actually as they kept redoing the seating chart), so you’ll get to see it all. We ended up next to World of Wonder‘s Thairin Smothers, cool Party Monster author (and snappy dresser, even if he had to go with his second choice outfit) James St. James, and Danny Franzese who has curated at the Royal/T gallery which I’ve been meaning to check out, so our final seats ended up being more entertaining than our starting ones, even if Thairin and I had to be very cozy. I say you’ll get to see it all, but I admit that we’ll have to cut a lot of boobage. I never get why people make a big thing over something being about fashion and then have totally not street-legal outfits that a lot of venues can’t even run pictures of. Maybe it is just because I will absolutely wear outlandish couture that I think runway looks are supposed to be wearable.
My questions for the day are twofold. First, would you be comfortable strutting down a catwalk (outside of a strip club) topless? Second, how do you handle it when you see someone you recognize but can’t immediately identify?