Few topics capture the typical 19-year-old North American male mind more than cars and models. It made sense, then, that Justin Bieber, currently playing bratty teenage cousin to the whole of Western culture, was front and center at Opening Ceremony’s debut runway show on Sunday night at Pier 57. After the 1,000-plus attendees packed into the space, the show began with a parade of Lamborghinis, Porsches, Beemers, Bentleys and the like rolling into the cavernous environs as if preparing for an underground street race. Ultimately, the cars’ drivers delivered no more than a master class in precision parking, and one-by-one, the models in back popped out and began their long march around the room.
OC masterminds Carol Lim and Humberto Leon said they wanted the show to evoke the SoCal car culture of their Nineties youth, and borrowed the props from the members of a New Jersey car club. The sight of Bieber, who earlier this year was chastised by his less famous neighbors for allegedly whipping his Ferrari around their Calabasas, Calif., enclave with great abandon, made for one final, exquisite bit of stage dressing. The pop star posted up in the makeshift parking lot’s front row in tight leather pants and a drapy T-shirt accessorized with a Starter snapback, gold chains, indoor sunglasses and what appeared to be the beginnings of a bad teenage mustache. He topped the ensemble with a clutch of beefy, flashlight-wielding security guards and was off the premises shortly after the show’s finale.
Fellow front-row attendee Rihanna proved more accessible, if only slightly more trenchant amid the after-show crush, as the crowd trickled into an on-site party that took over the rave-ready space and adjoining pop-up market.
“I loved it,” she said. “I thought it was so much fun. I thought it was super creative the way they brought out the cars and the order they came out in…the models. It was sick. I loved it. And I loved the clothes. The jackets were really insane, but then there’s this one, it’s like a long-sleeve black-and-white…”
She was interrupted by a mom-type wielding an iPhone and an accent that seemed to have traveled east across the Hudson with the cars.
“Can I just get one pic-chaw so fast?” she asked. “I’m so sorry.”
“OK,” Rihanna assented.