For one week this winter, I almost forgot to bow down in admiration when the image of the glorious Lupita Nyong’o, human equivalent of a shooting star, comes on-screen. The Oscars last night brought me back to Earth, because at one point I was a shooting star, too. My week of relative importance occurred during, you guessed it, New York Fashion Week for the fall 2015 shows.
Here, I give you my most memorable encounters of the week:
1. I Danced With Jamie Foxx
On the first night of Fashion Week, I went to the NBA All-Star Party featuring the Golden State Warriors’ point guard, Stephen Curry, at Marquee. After about two hours of champagne toasts and an ill-advised shot, I reached the point of intoxication where one sheds all traces of shame or self-consciousness as easily as a snake sheds its skin. This was also the point where I side-eyed Jamie Foxx holding court in the middle of the dance floor, surrounded by fans. I walked toward the dance circle, supportive accomplice in tow, and this happened . . .
I obviously didn’t grind with Jamie Foxx, or anything creepy — let’s make that clear. This was a quick bout of genuinely fun dancing and cha-cha-ing. I’m glad my friend took pictures, or I wouldn’t believe it happened.
After the party began to die down, our group traveled to an after-party at a nearby club. At around 3 a.m., my thighs were exhausted from twerking (which felt like taking a four-hour Zumba class) and I was ready to hail a cab back to my apartment. I tapped the shoulder of my promoter friend to let him know, to which he responded, “Are you sure you want to leave? Leonardo DiCaprio is on his way." I didn’t leave.
2. I partied with Leonardo DiCaprio and Rihanna
Leonardo freaking DiCaprio arrived at our table with a foot-long beard and hat, surrounded by a posse of hairy friends. Soon to follow him were Rihanna, who spent the night sitting on a chair, dancing and smoking, and Paris Hilton. The entire time I couldn’t stop thinking, “Holy shit, how am I getting away with blending in here . . . . " I finally rolled through my apartment’s threshold at 5 a.m.
On Saturday — more shows, more coffee, less sleep — I found myself in a foggy daze at Lincoln Center. You may know this already (or more likely don’t, and don’t give a shit), but I work for model Coco Rocha too. We crossed paths at Noon by Noor, where I also came across my old boss from Teen Vogue, and I stopped for a quick hug and a minute to catch up.
3. I Was Photographed Mingling With (My Other Boss) Coco Rocha
It wasn’t until the conversation with Coco and her hilarious makeup artist, Veronica Chu, was halfway over that I realized people were photographing us in a small crowd. “He he he he he,” I thought, “if only they knew that my outfit is from Forever 21, and I consider Applebee’s a nice restaurant”.
Coco was sitting front row at this show, obviously, and I was in the third row. Fashion show seating placement is a physical representation of the industry’s hierarchy.
4. I Sat Front Row for the First Time
Front row tickets have been passed down to me through internships, but this Fashion Week was the first time I was given a personal seat in the front row (making it feel like the first time). It’s a great opportunity to get a closer look at the texture of clothes, models’ makeup, and hair styling, as well as take pictures with the best lighting and a better angle. Sitting in other rows is semi-satisfactory; you blend in but still have a decent view of the collection. There are also standing tickets, which is basically PR’s way of saying, “You ain't shit, but you can still come to the show — and stand in the back."
My day was filled with shows morning, noon, and night, but I was out of control and still managed to squeeze in a nap before more partying at night.
5. I Was Behind Lil Jon’s DJ Booth
Lil Jon was deejaying at Lavo, so, naturally, I alternated between dancing onstage by his booth and dancing with some lanky male model, whose name I can’t remember.
Ring the “First World Problems” alarm, but two long nights of partying, celebrity spotting, and letting my lumps hang out was sufficient fulfillment for a month. I needed to fuel my egocentrism in another way — through street style photography.
6. I Was Featured in a Best Of Street Style Slideshow for the First Time
Friends from both school and back home in rural New Jersey sent texts to inform me that I was featured on the Cosmopolitan Snapchat and website for my “stunning” street style look (hey, their words, not mine!) shot outside a Starbucks at Lincoln Center.
My photo also circulated the depths of Tumblr, where my chronic bitch face was dutifully documented, mid-stride, wearing the same faux fur coat. WHAT HAVE I BEEN TELLING YOU GUYS ABOUT FAUX FUR COATS? Faux fur coats are attention magnets.
Despite my temporary vanity-fueled high, it was a relief to end Fashion Week on my couch, FaceTiming with my dogs back home, spending an evening marinating in anonymity. My body can only take large helpings of excitement in doses.
The passing effort of trying to be seen is fun while it lasts, but the satisfaction is impermanent. I don’t believe in fame by association; I’m fully aware that existing in the presence of other famous people does not affect my own notoriety in any way. (Even if it does make for great Instagram pictures.)
As much as I kid about being a peasant, I’m never happier than on days filled with college classes and writing. Tomorrow I’ll probably roll my laundry cart down the street, picking up French fries and biscuits from Popeye’s on the way home, just like every other weekday.
Follow Courtney on Instagram and Twitter @courtneypizza