Lingerie Fashion Week – Manhattan’s Wonderland
XWHY Photographer Cooper Naitove heads to Lingerie Fashion Week in NYC and Gets a bit more than he bargained for…
Get Your Fendi Out of My Face
There are a few times a year that I try to avoid Manhattan like the plague. Christmas, New Year, and Fashion Week. Designers and self-proclaimed ‘fashionistas’ from all over the world converge on our fair city to show off some of the weirdest shit I’ve ever seen on a human being.
I don’t claim to be style expert, but angry looking supermodels strutting around in fancied up McDonalds uniforms isn’t really my idea of a good time. Fortunately, for those of us who don’t get “it”, the lesser-known Lingerie Fashion Week (LFW) kicks off the following week. Hailed as a “cheekier alternative to New York Fashion Week” by The New York Daily News, LFW gives emerging lounge wear designers a platform to show off their latest intimate creations. XWHY was invited to come and see for ourselves. It would have been rude not to really…
Even though I had never attended LFW before, it wasn’t quite what I had been expecting. Maybe I’ve watched too many Victoria’s Secret fashion shows, but I assumed it would be just be flashing lights, painfully loud house music, and loads of girls who looked like they needed a sandwich.
This year LFW was held at Canoe Studios, a large photo venue on the west side of Manhattan. The massive floor to ceiling windows flooded the room with natural light and provided a beautiful cityscape backdrop for the show.
When I arrived, a string quartette played softly in the background as on lookers meandered though rooms of empyrean models and even the occasional contortionist. The first thing that struck me was the diversity. From those covered head-to-toe in tattoos (my kinda girl), to women who could have been in their 60s. It was unexpected and refreshing to see so many different variations of beauty.
I steeled my nerves, prepared for the tough day ahead and got to work…Someone had to do it, after all. As I did so, I noticed one of the girls had her hand on the chest of the girl next to her. I quickly realized that what I had initially assumed was copping a feel (the male subconscious, ever hopeful), was actually her propping up her neighbour.
Just Call Me Naitove, Cooper Naitove
I walked over to ask if everything was alright and before I knew what had happened, the dazed model fainted off her podium and right into my arms
Luckily I had my camera strap round my shoulder or I’d have dropped four grand’s worth of equipment to catch the girl. Looks like someone took the old “don’t feed the models” adage a touch too seriously. Happily, though, it seems my imagination and reality had a dalliance after all.
The presentation ended shortly thereafter and I headed back to the dressing room with the girls…
Venus Fly Trap
As if you couldn’t figure it out, backstage at a lingerie fashion show is pretty much the greatest place in the world. People always give me a hard time like “go get a real job” and “shooting girls in their underwear isn’t work.” Let me assure you, acting like it’s not a big deal to be surrounded by thirty or so women in various stages of undress is hard work. “Do I look? Can I take pictures? Am I even supposed to be back here?”. Nobody said anything though so I figured that was basically the same as getting permission, right?
After each designer had a chance to present their new line, the final runway show takes place. This was a bit more along the lines of what I expected. Loud music and models striding up and down the catwalk. And fortunately, right as the show began, I was able to finagle a chair to stand on near the back of the press box. A good vantage point.
Seeing the lingerie on the models just standing around is great for getting an up close look at the details…of the underwear…obviously…that’s what we were there to look at…the underwear, but if the studio time is the foreplay, it’s the sex appeal of the runway show that seals the deal. Can’t beat a good strut.
So, essentially, New York Fashion Week might be the kryptonite to everyone’s Superman – unless you fancy getting sent down for GBH because you beat someone with their own stiletto for taking selfies in the middle of the sidewalk. But the week after it? Buy your self a ticket to heaven immediately.