Text & Photos by Daniel Riva
Duffel bag in hand and Yankee cap on my head, I boarded my bus from Boston to New York. The bus was packed, the whole world wanted to be in New York this weekend between Valentine’s Day, NBA All-Star Weekend, and of course, the reason for my trip, New York Fashion Week. The semi-annual event is the pinnacle of American fashion and creativity. During fashion week all aspects of the art community and boroughs of New York come together to observe what the newest or not so new designers have to offer for the upcoming season. The week prior to this trip consisted of dozens of phone calls, on my end, to all the biggest names in fashion, Prada, Jeremy Scott, Rochambeau, Cynthia Rowley, and Alexander Wang to name a few. This was all in an effort to put together the most jam-packed and content filled weekend for me to photograph, document, but most of all to have a great time.
The trip started off rocky, my bus got in late and I missed the Prada ‘The Iconoclasts’ Party. Devastated, I headed to my cousins apartment to crash on his couch on the Upper West Side. Saturday, I attended the Cynthia Rowley afterparty located in a West Village construction site, I had RSVP’ed, but for whatever reason I wasn't on the list. I had my camera in hand, name dropped my cousin’s magazine and was quickly allowed access. Upon entry I was welcomed with fluorescent jell-o shots, bottles on bottles of Veuve Clicquot, and celebrities and socialites like Jeanette McCurdy of iCarly, Wallis Currie-Wood of Madam Secretary, and Zosia Mamet of Girls. I grabbed the shots I needed, made use of the photoshoot gif-maker, and met up with my friend before we braved the tundra that lingered outside the only semi-warm party. From there we headed to an Irish pub called Ulysses. There we had a few drinks, met up with some more people and headed to a bar down Wall St. called The Dead Rabbit. By now it was about 2:00 am and the group of five or six of us were all sufficiently drunk, but that didn’t stop us from ordering one of The Dead Rabbit’s specialities, a flagon of their Admiral Vernon’s Grog which came out to $60. The drink description read: Dead Rabbit Jamaican Rum Mix, lime sherbet, lime juice. This is where the night gets a bit blurry. I ended up passing out in my buddy’s place who lived only a few blocks away.
I woke up the next morning very early, grabbed a coffee and a hot dog and made my way back to the Upper East Side. That night was the night of the Alexander Wang party, which we never made it to. Instead my Cousin, whom I hadn’t seen in ten years, and I met up at his buddies bar opening where we had VIP bottle service and a private table. The place was literally running out of alcohol by the time we left. The rest of the night included several other bars, a party bus, and the classic drunken 4am Chinese food meal. I got crispy noodles and Chicken; they were delicious. That night I made my way to Brooklyn to stay with one of my close friends from back home. I made it there by 5am and slept until 2. That day, Sunday, was by far my busiest. I had to cover four fashion presentations. I put on my Rick Owens jacket, and A.P.C.’s, grabbed my DSLR and external flash and headed to Milk Made Studios.
After arriving and being sent back and forth from desk to desk and caught up in a sea of confusion simply in order to receive a pink Milk Made wristband my cousin and I were chaperoned into an oversized elevator and lead to the 8th floor. Immediately upon exiting the elevator the beats from Hudson Mohawke and Lunice echoed throughout the halls from the Rochambeau show complete with graffiti on the scaffolding set done by none other than the legendary NYC artist known as ‘Rambo.’ Rambo mixes a love for traditional graffiti with the spare black and white lines, something incorporated into the Rochambeau set. From there I made my way to the main room to grab a drink at the bar where custom Milk Made condoms, lighters, and dozens of mixed drinks were being handed out thanks to Ciroc, who sponsored the event. Neighboring the bar was the colorful and cartoonish collection from Bobby Abley which showcased a line heavily influenced by the Disney animated classic, The Jungle Book.
On the opposite side of the bar was the latest collection from Devon Halfnight Leflufy who plastered the walls of his smoke filled room with red, black, and white posters littered with skulls and flames. Across from Leflufy’s room, was perhaps the most exciting collection of the night. Thaddeus O’Neil’s collection was very much so centered around the clothes and beautiful facial jewelry but it was such a complicated presentation with so many different elements it evoked the feeling that you were truly witnessing a piece of performance art worthy of being displayed in the MoMA. The vibe his latest line gave off is most easily described as après surf chic inspired by the hobos of the sea. At around 8:00pm everyone flooded in to the Rochambeau room where the night was capped off by a surprise performance of ‘CoCo’ by the newly hugely popular rapper O.T. Genasis.
Sunday night was far more relaxed, I met up with some more family in the city for sushi and sake. From there we headed back to my cousin’s apartment where we shared stories, laughed, and had an impromptu fashion show of our own. My cousin sent me home with some souvenirs and a Rick Owens tote bag. The next morning I made my way to Port Authority, barely made it on my bus and began the long journey back to Boston and reality.