I enter the Chelsea Art Museum to a dimly lit room with heavy dove gray drapes creating walls and separations. Soft jazz music plays while everyone sips on white wine with strawberries, martinis with flower petals, or personal mini bottles of Moet champagne. Models are standing in sets of twos and threes depending on the color scheme of their dresses and the majority of spectators are in all black or something fabulously sparkling, myself in the former. Two red dresses open the presentation, they possess gorgeous Grecian draping and mini rosettes all around, Marchesa staples. The next dress is all black, sporting a phenomenal pair of satin Christian Louboutins. There are clusters of models in eggplant, greys, blacks, metallics, and dust blues. A finale dress is made almost entirely of black suede rosettes that apparently Georgina Chapman makes herself! Their handiwork is amazing and detailing sublime. Astonished by the dresses I forget where I am, but the quiet rumbling of hundreds of cameras quickly remind me: a celebrity must be in our midst.
It is the Marchesa princess herself, the exremely pregnant Jennifer Lopez. With husband Marc Anthony in tow, who is significantly smaller than she, they admire the dresses and Mrs. Anthony does not hesitate in grabbing and feeling the garments as if the models were mannequins. She seems very sweet and looks just like she does on the big screen. I turn the corner and run into Christian Slater. He is swept away by now-girlfriend Tamara Mellon (my idol!) in a patent black trench and black Jimmy Choo flats as they chat up about the scene with Harvey Weinstein. Georgina Chapman is a gorgeous little pixie in hot pink Marchesa and long dark curls. She is breathtaking, although from my eavesdropping I did not pick up on a British accent. I see Miss America in a royal blue wool coat admiring a metallic gold and black long sleeve floorlength dress with an asymmetric neckline. She looks much more sober than she did at Butter Monday evening. Other fashion royalty present was Margharita Missoni, Cathy Horyn, Michael Fink, Fabiola Beracasa interviewing for NY Magazine, and at least 3 other camera crews shooting segments for Fashion Week TV. I meet smiling/sympathizing eyes with one of the models, who looks into my humdrum normal camera in the sea of massive photographers and fashionably elite. For a split second, although both dressed in designer, I connect with her about feeling a little mentally under dressed.
Before I step through the curtains, out of fantasy world and into reality, I recognize but cannot place the name of this phenomenal older woman in a flower print dress. She is raving about the show while smoking a cigarette and leaning on a skinny black cane that is bedazzled with rhinestones. She rolls her eyes at a security guard who asks her to step away from the door while she smokes and I swore she was going to poke him with her cane. I want to be her. For now, I simply get lost in Chelsea, strip off my silk shirt and high heels and trade them in for a tshirt and a beer, and meet up with my real life friends. Doing the more age-appropriate thing, I head to the nosebleed section of the Knicks game and wait for the halftime show.