Dinner at Houston’s: Chef Eddie Huang Does New York Fashion Week

BCBC on the runway, Supreme at Westway...

It’s taken Wu-Tang at Milk, seeing Sasha Grey with Machete at the Ace, and a lot of open bars for me to finally come to the realization that Fashion Week is my shit. How did this happen? What was the exact moment in the intergalactic space-time continuum when men started to manscape and read fashion blogs? Was it before or after the Tiffany Dunk Lows came out? I’m pretty sure I groomed my nubuck Timberlands during Earth Space Science class in 1996, but as a pimple-faced 14-year-old with microwaveable char-siu bao and grape quarter-water for lunch, never did I ever think I’d willingly attend a Max Azria BCBG fashion show.

I woke up a yardsale at 9:35 am, threw on my Monitaly Vacation Shirt, Umit Benan pants and ran out the door toward the L train praying I’d make it to Lincoln Center by 10am. I didn’t… But, as I sat on the train I thought to myself, Who wears BCBG anyway? It’s the love child of Bebe and Armani Exchange. They sell the Canal St. Herve Leger Ace Bandage Skirts. They design for futuristic college women in towns like San Diego, Vegas, and Orlando, who eat at malls. The official outfitter of define-the-relationship dinners at Houston’s.

BCBG, Bebe, Armani Exchange, all these brands are a by-product of urban sprawl. Bento box clothes for base heads who think in silos and live in cul-de-sacs. Yet, here we are at Mercedes Benz Fashion Week, and it’s the first big presentation of the season. The lights dimmed, people held their breath, and what sounded like a white girl sizzurp rendition of Blondie’s “Heart of Glass” played. It wasn’t DJ Screw, but it worked. Models started to pass by like sushi on a conveyor belt, draped in flowy fabrics arrested by leather harnesses, a nod to Helmut Newton. Attendees ooohh’d and aaahh’d at the contrast between hard and soft, but I thought to myself… Have these people never eaten Jamaican beef patties trapped inside coco bread? The original nod to Helmut Newton contrast. #Irie.

The models were fly, and I liked the leather pants with lingerie top and oversized jacket, but who are we kidding with the rest of it? Every girl on planet downtown already has two to three of these loose fitting retro-inspired silhouettes with wide shoulders, defined waistbands, and potential for side boob, just rotting away in her closet. (FYI, according to my consultant Sena Yang, Scarlett Johansson is the reigning Intercontinental Side Boob Champion.) I’ve seen Mary rock one with a leather jacket, I’ve seen Caroline do it with a denim vest, and Cam’ron probably got Charlie Baltimore in one with a pink mink. But if you must do it with a leather harness, leave it to Zana Bayne.

Lincoln Center was dope, but as I took the ghetto limousine downtown it occured to me that Fashion Week is the two times a year where Madison Avenue goes slumming. The weirdos get put on pedestals, forgotten Chinatown spaces get transformed for parties, and DIY downtown tchotchkies like leather harnesses get play on runways. Every one’s eager and happy to be part of the show, but who wants to be a pirate their whole lives? I want to see the inspiration own its own shit one day.

Later that night, Supreme threw a party at The Westway featuring 36 Mafia. The event was slated to start at 10pm, but by 9:45 there were easily 100 people waiting outside. I peeped Simonez Wolf fending off children fighting to get in and this is what I don’t understand. Every one hates the door in NY, but we get it, right? There are 8.2 million people in this city, and Westway fits about 300 at a time. If you are not on the list or willing to blow someone at the door you’re not getting in so stop pressing. But if you are willing, just write it on your forehead.

Once inside, it was Cheers with Trap music: Matt and Carlos, Va$htie and Scott, James and PJ, Ferris and Pharrell, all the usual suspects. Westway, owned by Matt and Carlos, is a family affair. There usually aren’t a ton of walk-ups from outside the norm, and you’ll see most of your homies on any given Thursday night. Supreme on the other hand is a youth-culture mecca that gets descended on by every Japanese tourist seeking the perfect 5-panel hat, but it’s well-guarded. Every one gets treated like shit at Supreme just like they got dogged at Xiao Ye, but that’s the point. There are thousands of other places in New York to wear Ben Sherman and listen to Katy Perry. All we want are a handful of venues and writers who aren’t sucking on that dollar. #LocalsOnly

Anytime someone asks us to explain downtown, we sound like fucking cornballs so I’m not even gonna try. Downtown is downtown is downtown and anyone that thinks it’s dead didn’t get in. It’s not special. It’s not new. It’s just fun to dress like assholes and support fam without having to wear hard-bottom shoes or listen to smell-your-own-feet house music. There were 20 dudes with Quarter Snacks Snowman shirts, A-Ron killed it with a snake skin polo situation, shawties had Supreme baseball jerseys, others rocked custom Phil Chang V6 Football jerseys. I didn’t see any BCBG. My editor wants me to say more, but I can’t. Sometimes your outfit says every thing we needed to hear. This is New York City, fuck with us.

@mreddiehuang Dinner at Houston’s: Chef Eddie Huang Does New York Fashion Week