A few minutes before midnight on Sept. 10, The Observer walked along Pier 40 staring at the impaired skyline of Lower Manhattan, the lights from the buildings reflecting fuzzily on the water. Thus distracted, we failed to notice that above the door of the pop-up structure that would host fashion designer Alexander Wang’s after-party were two Greek letters, not unlike those marking door frames on college campuses. We hadn’t realized that Mr. Wang had opted to forgo the usual Fashion Week postshow bash for something decidedly more sophomoric.
The most exciting designer in the world was throwing a frat party.
“Chug! Chug! Chug!” a group of well-dressed men chanted as we walked in. A twig-thin model was shotgunning a can of Budweiser, the contents of the beer gushing into her mouth through a slash in its side. A few feet away, an aggressively competitive game of beer pong was underway. It was nothing if not authentic—we had been here before, in a frat house just like this one. Even the fridges were adorably grease-stained (another fitting detail: they were empty). We were instantly transported: a Busch Light haze late at night, circa freshman year, yearning for a girl to talk to … or at the very least a joint to smoke. Mr. Wang had brought these memories swelling back—and not just for us.
Such antics have never been associated with Fashion Week, where beer is something of an endangered species, a rare artifact to be examined from afar. They don’t serve forties at Electric Room, Nur Khan’s new subterranean joint in the meatpacking district that will come out of the week a surefire hotspot. Sure, the fun Barneys party for Carine Roitfeld was held at a former strip club, and Valentino sang karaoke, but attendees could still haunt the ex-dive with glasses of Champagne to shield them.
Alexander Wang had kegs, and the kegs did not go unnoticed.
“You wanna do a beer bong or a kegstand?” said a man holding the wet tap in one hand, his own Bud in the other.
“Kegstand,” said the tiny, pretty brunette standing before the silver, lager-filled barrel.
“O.K.,” the man said as two giant square-jawed model-dudes grabbed her legs. “You gotta open up your mouth. You O.K.? You know what you’re doing? Three … two … one … go!”
Her feet flew up in the air and as the encircling crowd counted to 15 the sudsy stuff rushed in, the cheers got louder and a photographer from The New York Times stood above on a picnic table for the sake of documentation.
Would we turn down the chance to do a kegstand at one of the most hyped Fashion Week parties of the year? We would not. When she finished, we took off our sport jacket, stepped up to the keg and clutched the rim as the guys thrust our ankles upward. Twenty-one seconds. New record for the night.
Even though it was the kind of bash that Anna Wintour couldn’t take for more than a few minutes (she did show up, though), it had by then become obvious why Mr. Wang would want to have a party here instead of, say, the Temple of Dendur.
“Why not!” the designer said to us, standing on the edge of the dance floor, where he had been bopping and flinging around his long black hair with a few of the models from his show. “How often can you go to a frat party in Manhattan!”
We had a small request.
“I’d love to play you in beer pong!” Mr. Wang responded. “Just find me later, O.K.?”
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