Fashion Week Maybe Not All That Ready for the Country

Fashion Week may have ended yesterday, but the final word, as it were, for The Observer was at the Adam Kimmel party at Don Hill’s the night before. Hank Williams III, grandson of country legend Hank Sr., stood on a stage with a five-piece band: upright bass, fiddle, banjo, drums, and pedal steel. Everyone wore cowboy hats except for the fiddler who wore a trucker’s cap. Mr. Williams’ hair was braided into a long rat-tail that jutted out beneath his cowboy hat. He wore ripped jeans with patches sewn on-a confederate flag, a marijuana leaf. He seemed largely unaware of at least half of the crowd he was playing for, a mix of rockabilly revivalists and models with their fellow Fashion Week cohorts.

“In my time of need,” he said to the packed room that included Terry Richardson, Leelee Sobieski, and Yvan Mispelaere, creative director of Diane von Furstenberg, not to mention all the tatted cowpunks, “In my time of desperation, I turn to country music.”

He played fairly traditional country for over an hour, the sound overwhelming the room, before declaring, “We’ve been known to put the ‘dick’ in Dixie and the ‘cunt’ in country.” He then removed his cowboy hat, poured a bottle of water over his rat-tail and let it fall freely from his head. He put on a leather cap-the words “Copenhagen Stout” scribbled across it-and pulled out an electric guitar. This was the southern-fried punk portion of the evening.

At this point, Mr. Richardson and Ms. Sobieski, along with a considerable number of fashionistas, had left the room. Two stragglers dispensed the synthetic and, uh, stimulating contents of a plastic bag, quite visibly, onto a table in the back. They divided the pile up, then contemplated it for a moment before turning to The Observer suspiciously, realizing we were watching them and scribbling notes.

“I’m drunk again!” Mr. Williams sang on our way out. To hammer the contradictions of the evening home, outside we saw what looked like three homemade motorcycles, rigged up in a gritty military style that would have fit nicely in the backyard of a militia member. Next to them, a flashy red Vespa leaned against a thin tree.

Fashion Week Maybe Not All That Ready for the Country