WWD photographer Steve Eichner sees it all and shares his unique perspective from the front lines of New York Fashion Week, from the runways in the morning to the after parties and after-after parties at night.
10:15 a.m.: “How late did you work last night?” a giddy Bill Cunningham asks me. “Till about 1 or 2 a.m,” I sigh. “Get anything good?” “Yeah, I got the back of some heads and a hand in my lens.”
10:18 a.m.: This is a show where the second row is as good as the front row. Chock-full of socialites.
10:24 a.m.: “Make way, make way — she’s coming out,” someone says. Must be a big celeb. Oh, it’s Olivia Palermo.
10:44 a.m.: After the show, I have to hand off my memory card to my colleague Giovanni, who shoots runway for us. He’s way back on the riser. We sort of have a tradition: I throw it to him, he catches it with one hand. Risky, but he hasn’t dropped one yet.
11:08 a.m.: Approaching the show, I literally run into a wall of street-style photographers.
11:11 a.m.: Totally rad! “Sgt. Pepper’s”-themed runway. Flowers everywhere. Exciting and colorful. I’m psyched for this show.
11:16 a.m.: “Who’s the pin-up girl?” someone asks me about Victoria Silvstedt and her big, fake breasts. “I don’t know,” I say. “Probably a Real Housewife or something.”
11:23 a.m.: “Did you get the daughters of rock stars? That’s what we are calling them,” says one of Tommy’s p.r. girls. Lemme get that: Tali Lennox, Amber Le Bon and Alexandra Richards. Flash, flash, flash!
11:31 a.m.: The show is about to begin. I find a spot in an aisle next to my editors to get my runway photos. A security guard runs over. “You can’t be here,” he says. “This is where I shoot from.” “You cannot be here. It’s a fire hazard!” he screams. I scramble and wind up in a seat next to my surfing buddy, Todd DiCiurcio. “Did you catch that hurricane swell last week?” he asks. “It was booming!”
11:33 a.m.: Lights go down. I scooch my way into a good shooting position, next to Alexandra Richards. “This is the best one,” she whispers into my ear as a hot bikini snakes down the catwalk. “We have the same taste,” I say. “Sympathy for the Devil” begins to play. “Is that Jade [Jagger]?” “No, it’s Georgia Jagger, and the girl behind her is my niece,” Alexandra says.
Maje store interiors shoot
1:06 p.m.: I should NOT have pounded that iced coffee. I’m way too amped. I feel like I shot the entire store in 15 seconds.
3.1 Phillip Lim
2:12 p.m.: Text from the office: “George [our runway shooter] is running a bit late. Please hold a spot for him on the riser.”
2:17 p.m.: I find a good position for George. The rehearsal is going on. All the photographers are complaining that the light is not good. You would think that, by now, they would have perfected fashion-show lighting….
3:32 p.m.: Backstage: “So, that’s how they make the sausage,” I quip to a hair stylist cutting apart some extensions with a razor blade.
3:43 p.m.: Getting bumped and elbowed and pushed around — and that’s only trying to get a sandwich at the catering table.
3:47 p.m.: Feeling high on tiredness. That coffee buzz has worn off.
4:26 p.m.: Bopping to the great bongo soundtrack and thinking Pharrell must have been the inspiration for the hats in this show.
6:47 p.m.: Talking to the house photog from Billy Farrell. “Nicole [Kidman] will pose. She’s getting paid big bucks to be here,” he says.
7:10 p.m.: “Big mistake, big mistake.” I tell Diego Della Valle to fix his tie.
7:47 p.m.: I make a photo happen with Adrian Grenier and Karolina Kurkova.
8:19 p.m.: The anticipation is killing me. Kidman is about to arrive. Photographers are all jockeying for a position. Come on already! I have to get to another event. Finally, she makes her entrance, stops and really gives it to us. Her check must have been extra sweet this time.
Polo for Women presentation in Central Park
8:52 p.m.: “Imagine.” I take a shot of the John Lennon tribute on the way in. What would he have made of Tommy Hilfiger’s show?
9:18 p.m.: “Hiiiiiiii,” Dylan Lauren enthusiastically greets me. “Oh, you look like one of my dear friends. This always happens when I see you. Then, I see the camera, and I realize it’s not him.” Pause. “But we can be dear friends, too.”
9:22 p.m.: “There’s a part in it for you,” Ben Stiller says to Ralph. “Zoolander 2??”
9:24 p.m.: Lights dim. The music begins to play, and a humongous jet of water springs from the center of the lake. The water fans out into what is now a screen, and the fashion show is projected seemingly floating over the lake. At the end, Ralph appears to be walking on water.