opening ceremony hosted a very democratic fashion week party
At which everyone from Teyana Taylor to members of the Human Rights Council got down at the most democratic of New York venues: Penn Station.
If this were a story about your typical fashion week party, I'd start by telling you which editors and stylists and models were there. But since this is story about Opening Ceremony's fashion week party — held after one of the most diverse and politically-engaged shows I've attended — it's best to start atypically. There were Human Rights Council press secretary Sarah McBride and will.i.am. There were Aubrey Plaza and Natasha Lyonne. There were Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein, who hosted the show. I talked to an investment banker and an astrologer, an old boss and a former intern, Eddie Huang and Yale freshman Larissa Martinez, both of whom contributed interviews about to the show program's (edited by yours truly).
It was crowded! It was fun! It was.... ESPRIT?
The afterparty doubled as a launch event for Opening Ceremony's new collaboration with ESPRIT. And though on the surface that might seem unrelated to the political forum/fashion show extravaganza held earlier that evening, as OC founder Humberto Leon explained to me outside, "The show was about giving voice to different points of view, which is also what the party is about." As ESPRIT was one of the first mass-market brands to speak out on progressive causes like AIDS, not to mention feature a nonconformist assortment of real people in its ads, "it felt right."
At the show, hosts Carrie Brownstein and Fred Armisen asked audience members — as well as "models" including Whoopi Goldberg and Alia Shawkat — questions comic and politic, from "How can feminism be more inclusive?" to "Do you think this show venue is too far West?" (Note: it was the Javits Center, and I just might have.) At the party, I bumped into Armisen and asked him about the blend. "That can be tricky to do, but it turned out really well." Miranda July agreed. "I liked the awkwardness of it," she told me, as she and Spike Jonze helped themselves to grilled cheese sandwiches. "These kind of events are often very slick and polished, and this one wasn't. It didn't try to be perfect, which is important if you're going to have real diversity."
But this was, after all, a fashion week party — and one where not everyone "got" the political overtones. "I left early; it was boring!" one fashion blogger from Germany said of the show. At the party, he crafted his own message to send to his Snapchat followers: "You have to invest in over-the-knee boots and looking slutty!"
The party was held on two giant floors of a food hall/office building in Madison Square Garden. Shlohmo, Sam Spiegel, and Mazurbate DJed a dance floor that was a melting pot in all senses of the word. Through the glass walls of the space, you could see the city and a long line of hopefuls waiting to get in. Fashion week will never be entirely democratic. But on Sunday night, it got a little closer.
Text Alice Hines