It was around 6:45 on Saturday evening, and I was standing on the second-floor balcony of the David H. Koch Theater, overlooking the Lincoln Center Plaza — and I was freezing.
Let me be specific. It was around 10 degrees, the coldest night so far of this New York winter, and after just 15 minutes of standing outside in the cold and wind — and despite wearing three layers of clothing, a wool cap and gloves, and even a pair of long underwear — I had begun to lose all feeling in my fingers, and my feet were quickly turning into two blocks of ice.
The show invitation from Moncler Grenoble had said that the show would begin at “6:30 p.m. SHARP,” and the crowd around me was getting restless that the scheduled start time had come and gone with nary a sign of a single model.
“When is this show going to begin?” someone near me grumbled, adding a well-chosen obscenity for emphasis.
Then, finally, the music started (a kind of frenetic thumping that sounded as if it were part of a military drill), and two formations of blue-clad marchers came out into the plaza, executing an intricate routine that was barked out by an unseen voice that floated above the plaza. And although his music wasn’t playing in the background as the performers were going through their drill routine, it was impossible not to wonder of this was not yet another fashion week tribute to David Bowie (“Fashion! Turn to the left. Fashion! Turn to the right. Oooh, fashion!”).
In all, it lasted an interminable 10 minutes. (Did I mention that I was freezing?)
Finally at 6:55, the models came out, wearing clothes from the fall 2016 collection, including fur-trimmed houndstooth jackets, oversize sweaters in shades ranging from electric blue to dark gray, snug puffer coats and white-on-white snowboarding outfits.
“I hope they are OK in those clothes,” someone next to me muttered, shivering as she took off her gloves and tried to take a quick picture of the scene below on her smartphone. “They must be freezing.”
After about 10 minutes, the show ended, and an aria from an Italian opera replaced the thumping march. The models stood gamely in place, posing for photographers, while most of the several hundred attendees scampered across the plaza, quickly fleeing in search of warmth.