Despite Wednesday evening’s pelting rain, New York Fashion Week’s early revelers opted for a prompt arrival at a Wednesday evening kickoff party hosted by E! network, Elle and IMG. A line of idling SUVs filled the narrow downtown Manhattan alleyway leading to Chinese Tuxedo’s discreet facade while inside DJ Kitty Cash and DJ Sinatra provided a bass-thumping soundtrack.
At the door, celebs and models descended a lengthy staircase to the red carpet that was arranged in the basement of the venue, which in the early 20th century was a gathering space for Chinatown’s organized crime rings.
“Working with this rain is one big mess,” said Romee Strijd, who it should be noted arrived bone dry. “You’re running around and waiting for your cars — it’s not fun.”
Strijd and pal Jasmine Tookes weren’t all doom and gloom in spite of the murky weather. The pair is eagerly anticipating walking in Jeremy Scott’s Friday evening show, noting the experience is “always fun” and with many of the models knowing each other it’s “like a little friend get together.”
As the crowd surged to gridlock inside the tri-level venue, many famous faces opted for only a brief appearance. Tory Burch stayed just long enough to say hello and goodbye to Elle editor in chief Robbie Myers whom she called “a star and an incredible woman and friend.”
The designer noted she doesn’t get jitters ahead of her runway show, which this season will be on Friday morning. “I think people try to see if I have a pulse because I just get more focused,” she said. “What gets me nervous is after the show when I have to go out — I like being more behind the scenes.”
Not so for dietician and model Maye Musk, who at age 69 has been walking runways for the majority of her life and is looking forward to strutting down the catwalk at Concept Korea’s Friday afternoon offering. “Climate change makes me nervous — nothing to do with fashion,” she said from her perch on a balcony overlooking the crowded room.
Hailey Baldwin, wearing an oversize green plaid suit by Toga, was less forthcoming with details of her fashion week schedule, instead offering it’s “a lot of the recurring things that I’ve done.” The 20-year-old noted she still occasionally feels intimidated by the fashion community, adding, “I can’t believe this is what I get to do a lot of the time.”
Baldwin later swapped outfits for Pat McGrath’s late night “Mothership” Ball, while Tracee Ellis Ross — who made a quick pass through the Elle/IMG soirée — stayed in a voluminous floral-print Ronald van der Kemp dress for both events. Others making a brief stop at the party included Kate Bosworth, Paris Jackson, Gabrielle Union and Ashley Graham.
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