The Style Wars finales are like Project Runway except funner, louder, and thankfully without Heidi Klum. Designers race to put outfits together on-stage—often using tape and string, but who wants to watch somebody hunched over a sewing machine for thirteen hours? Nikola Tamindzic of Home of the Vain took photographs. (Click for the gallery!) Backstage, I fumbled towards Mick Rock, famed British rock and roll photographer of the Rolling Stones, the Ramones, Iggy Pop, and everybody else. He was sitting alone backstage on a low riser, wearing sunglasses, and I knelt down beside him, approaching the way one might a wild animal...
"Do you ever feel like very event, every happening in the city is just one giant photo op?" I ventured. (Yes, there was an open bar.)
"There's this giant beast that needs to be fed," he said. "Back in the '70s, nobody interviewed photographers. It was bad enough that they were interviewing rock stars. Not that I'm saying you're interviewing me. But I'm not going to—I mean, I have an eighteen-year-old daughter. I'm not going to judge her world... You live in a good time, love," he said, patting my arm. "I don't even enjoy hanging around with people my age, anyway."
Sloane Crosley was the lone female judge, along with Mick, watch designer Matthew Waldman, and Riley John of Surface. As an uber book publicist and newly published author, one might assume fashion ties to be tenuous at best. You'd be wrong: she was wearing a very chic bow-tie halter and red glasses. I inquired as to this bold choice:
"At first I thought [my glasses] would be too ironic, or something, but whatever. Without them, I can't see shit!"
Someone shoved the boom mic towards her face to judge the fashion parade: "Although I applaud the use of the breast-pillow," she said of one model's outfit, "I'm going to have to go with the other one."
"There's just something about the jock strap on the head," Mick Rock contributed, in-between canoodling with a young, drunk-looking blonde.
(Someone needs to say something about the New York version of the Stoli Hotel: it's kind of a shithole. I mean, we get it: we're living in a brand extension. Unfortunately, the physical world of this specific brand is a weird cavernous affair with concrete floors and cheap, tacky Stolichnaya-vodka-red visual themes. It's also not a hotel. There's no coat-check. And the restrooms are in a trailer, like at the state fair or a construction site. It rocks back and forth disconcertingly, like you're on a boat.)
That said, one should always remember the old adage: don't look a gift open bar in the mouth.
Mick Rock tells Sheila McClear about Mick Jagger.
Judges, from left to right: author and publicist Sloane Crosley, Matthew Waldman of Nooka, and Riley John of Surface.