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An Ode To The 'Tent People' Of Bryant Park

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As we wound down our coverage of the Spring/Summer 2010 Fashion Week these last couple of days, the last of the Spring/Summer Fashion Weeks in Bryant Park has done the same thing, ending last night. Just under six months from now, it will all rev up again, although it will be the Fall/Winter collection before the final September move to the new location of Lincoln Center (hopefully with better wifi and cell phone signal).

Since by now all of the fashion types have the layout of the Bryant Park tents memorized, and can crash shows with the best of them, will they give up and stay home during the Spring/Summer 2011 shows, or will they grin and bear the new venues? Just to be safe, we've captured a few of the tent regulars in photos, for they are now an endangered species.

A list of the endangered Bryant Park tent people:

· Mickey Boardman, Paper Magazine
Mr. Mickey, as he prefers to be called, is ubiquitous in the tents, often accompanied by his friend and former fashion reporter for The Village Voice, Lynn Yaeger. He is on the left in the first photo above. He is invited to just about everything, and attends just about everything.

Risk of extinction at Lincoln Center Fashion Week: 2%. Maybe we'll just see him around less as he reorients himself at Lincoln Center. Plus, he's on Twitter, so we know he's good at adapting.

· Wackjob Suit Man
That's really just our pet name for the older man who shows up everyday to the tents wearing a different ridiculous suit. They are fairly conservative and unimaginative suits, if you can look past the glo-paint and plaid. We saw him in standing-section lines last season, but this season he seemed only to hang around in the Lu Biscuit cafe and wait for people to take pictures of him or interview him. He seemed bored and largely unnoticed this year.

Risk of extinction at Lincoln Center Fashion Week: 95%. If you hang around as much as this guy, the photographers and press in the tents get to recognize you as the wackjob who wears crazy suits and otherwise looks bored. Eventually they stop with the photos and interviews, and it looks like that's what happened this season. We predict that he'll retire his crazy suits.

· Crazy hat lady
Again, that's just our pet name for a lady almost as ubiquitous in the tents as Mickey Boardman. The Shophound informed us that her name is Rosemary Ponzo, but we dug up a NY Post article from 2007 on her, which basically explains that "her look stopped evolving about 15 years ago" and how she demands front row simply because she wears expensive clothing.

We actually sat next to her in the tent for a while and overheard her talking to a girl who asked what she does. Rosemary described herself as a costume designer. Later, at the Badgley Mischka show, we again overheard her, but this time it was her making a fuss about her lack of a front row seat. Eventually she did take one, just before the show began.

Risk of extinction at Lincoln Center Fashion Week: 50%. It looks like the PR companies are getting wise, and after 14+ seasons of pulling "I deserve front row" shenanigans, an end has to arrive at some point. Plus, we predict that even more C-list and reality television stars will edge her out of the front row.

· Patrick MacDonald
This is a man always ready for his close-up. You will find him in the tents either taking a front row seat or schmoozing with the usual suspects. He has worked in fashion, written about fashion for international magazines, and aims to dress impeccably from head to toe. Gracious about taking photos and giving interviews, we bet he'll stick around for awhile; he would be awesome at Twitter.

Risk of extinction at Lincoln Center Fashion Week: 10%. His closet could put Beau Brummel out of business (oh wait, they are going out of business!). There is an energy around him that means he's never ignored in the front row, and you just know that the man has a drawerful of eyeliner ready to draw infinity dramatic eyebrows.

· Fern Mallis, Director of IMG Fashion
The godmother of Fashion Week, since IMG produces it, Fern is found backstage, on stage, in the front row, and even offsite at non-Bryant Park shows. Fashion students attending their first shows approach her and timidly thank her for making Fashion Week happen, and she is a pro at cheek-kissing and photo ops with celebrities and top editors.

Risk of extinction at Lincoln Center Fashion Week: 0% Fern both runs the show and enjoys the show. Even when she retires, which is a long way off we hope, she'll still be welcomed back to shows.

· The rain-drenched, Louboutin-wearing Fashionista:
There certain facts about Fashion Week, no matter where it's held: it will rain for at least one full day, and the Louboutin-wearing flock of guests will use every available taxi in Midtown to keep dry. Sometimes that doesn't work however, and if taxis aren't plentiful enough between the Upper East Side and Lincoln Center, then these women out for a fun night on the town, taking in a fashion show, might stay home.

Risk of extinction at Lincoln Center Fashion Week: 30%. It's far easier to grab a cab at Bryant Park in the pouring rain to whisk you straight up to the Madison Avenue shops or to your tony townhouse. On days that it is particularly pouring, we can expect more red soles to be kicked up on the couch at home.

· All Spring 2010 Fashion Week stories [Racked]