“It’s Lady Gaga!” Anna Dello Russo, the editor of Vogue Nippon, exclaimed as a woman dressed like a cartoon candy-cane walked onto the runway at the Prabal Gurung show. But it wasn’t Lady Gaga, who hasn’t made a Fashion Week appearance in a few seasons (despite popping up on tip sheets from time to time). It was the eye-popping, pink-reinventing tongue twister Nicki Minaj.
It wasn’t her first appearance, either — Ms. Minaj has been in the front row for a number of shows, each time in an outfit that could trip up a model on the catwalk and hair that makes the chair behind her the worst seating assignment in Lincoln Center.
And while others may beat her in sheer numbers, Nicki seems to be everywhere more than anybody. Last February it was Aziz Ansari, but he’s yet to be seen in the tents during the day, and hasn’t partied in Meatpacking a single night. What happened, Aziz!
Well, Nicki Minaj is more than making up for his absence. She was at the Giuseppe Zanotti store for Fashion’s Night Out, where she dressed conservatively (well, by her standards) in a black wig pricked through with chopsticks. After her appearance, she said hello to Young Money buddy Drake at Versace, where he was DJing and not wearing a cardigan.
But her visibility reached a peak when she started hitting the runways. Prabal Gurung had the honor of inspiring her to break out the pink pretzel necklace, and she showed up between Stefano Tonchi and Anna Wintour at the Carolina Herrera show. For that, she wore a top decked with rainbow-dyed cotton balls, like a first grade art project gone fabulously awry.
And last night she arrived at Betsey Johnson — a line apparently inspired by her — in a sherbet-splashed dress and jangling chunky bracelets. After the show, Betsey came out and did her customary splits and cartwheels, landing right by The Observer‘s seat, and then went right up to Ms. Minaj for an embrace. Right then, Nicki’s verse from David Guetta’s “Where Them Girls At” burst out of the speakers, her melismatic, consonant-popping glissando flow caroming across the runway. For at least a minute, Nicki Minaj really was everywhere.