HIGHS AND LOWS: New York Fashion Week would not be complete without a few mishaps, and somehow Suzy Menkes seems to wind up getting caught in the fray. Wednesday afternoon she found herself trapped in an elevator — a fear that has no doubt crossed the mind of many showgoers in the past few days. En route from Philosophy’s show at Location 05 at 509 West 34th Street, Menkes was stranded in a car that included two pregnant women. “I felt bad for them, because they shouldn’t have the heat in that situation,” she said.
The fashion critic said the Philosophy crew seemed oblivious to the situation until the fire engines arrived and snapped them into action. Aeffe, which owns Philosophy, did not respond for comment at press time.
This story first appeared in the September 12, 2013 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
Menkes and her fellow elevator passengers, including the Financial Times’ Vanessa Friedman, eventually had to climb out on ladders, but not before the electricity was shut off. “They said, ‘It’s very dangerous.’ ” Menkes said. “I was just about to get off, but they held me off for another 10 minutes. But they brought water to us and everything and that was good.”
Professional as the New York City firefighters were, the experience reminded Menkes of another fashion week accident. “It took me back years and years to a Michael Kors show, when the ceiling fell on my head and amongst a few people. And that’s when everybody laughed,” she said. “I think New York fashion is too important for these situations.”
All too familiar with how “everybody rushes to the door like mad people the moment a show ends because they want to get out,” Menkes warned “one of these days there’s going to be a big accident. I don’t want to be the person who told you so. There’s nothing pleasing about saying it.”
Wednesday’s 94-degree humidity also took its toll on a few models at the Clover Canyon presentation. One or two nearly fainted under the James Turrell-inspired neon lights, or maybe it was something they had eaten — or perhaps from having not eaten. Whatever it was, two models were escorted off the staging at The Box in Lincoln Center and two others bobbed and weaved.
As handlers darted around bringing bottles of water to all of the models, a concerned Ken Downing of Neiman Marcus said, “I hate to see any girl like that. It could be the heat or the lights or maybe they haven’t eaten all day. They run from one thing to the next. I mean, even I haven’t had a chance to eat all day.”