Suddenly the room is dark. Silence falls over the audience. Thunderous techno music ensues from the front of the room, the bass at a breath-stealing, break-neck depth and pace. The runway lights fade in, revealing a sexier, more glamorous version of the gallery.
To look around the room is to admit your rookie status. Eyes are to be transfixed at the top of the runway. The first model makes her entry on the stage.
Tonight is one of those nights we play dress up. When we emerge from our homes glamorous and superficial–when we immerse ourselves in art: wearable, daring, resonate. Like the art on the walls around us, the audience surveys the contemporary: the pieces that stir them, that will remind them why fashion is their calling.
I attend not because I’m a fashionista like those around me—I attend for a friend. My darling Brandon, with whom I share a dangerously witty relationship, is walking tonight. Designers seek him out because his aesthetic is striking. Which is why he’s the one in the spotlight, and I’m in the audience. (I keep him grounded, though, through a series of reciprocated but insincere insults.)
The models pour one by one from behind the stage; the girls in their flowing garments, the guys in their impossibly tailored essentials. Some walk with grace, with a softness about them. Others walk with ferocity. Still others, with a connection to their piece, as if the clothing was made specifically for their personality.
The evening’s ingredients consist of two hours of mingling, gossip, and drinking; 30 minutes for the show; and 30 minutes for cheek-kissing, last minute compliments, and departure. Inevitably, the show will be on attendees’ tongues for the rest of the evening, perhaps with growing honesty as the night wears on, more and more alcohol in tow.
It’s a splendid occasion, complete with glamour and fantasy. Filled with beauty,ambition, art, and conversation. At the show, the subject matter is unlike anywhere else: here–the object, the subject, the verb–is Wonder.