In the trenches and on the front-line, Milk Studios writer-in-residence Mike Abu delivers his second telegram.

Every Fashion Week needs some sort of kicker for opening up, and this year was no exception. MADE collaborated with Peroni on a design contest for Parsons students, and unveiled the winner up at the Milk Bar. We arrived in time to see them announce the winner, Nolan Bellavance, and then we ate hors d’oeuvres. From what I’ve been told, the reason why all the treats were anchovy based had something to do with Italy, but that didn’t exactly clarify things. Do Italians in particular love anchovies? Someone should look into that.

We pounded a couple beers and made our way to the Standard Hotel for Erin Featherstone’s presentation. The place was packed. I grabbed a glass of champagne and took a seat next to some models. They stood there grinning, posing with all of their might, looking quite fashionable, as models are wont to do. A keyboardist played softly in the background while dressed up people mingled. There was something very wedding about the whole thing. I kept looking for the bride and groom, but I guess I couldn’t spot them.

One thing that always fascinates me about fashion shows is all the weird accents on the side. Featherstone had her own designer ping pong paddles covered in lipstick kisses, the perfect accessory for someone trying to stay fashionable while kicking ass. My only complaint was it didn’t come with designer balls. In the corner was a psychic who was capable of reading a person through their kiss print. I asked if she’d give me a reading but she declined, saying she’d had a long day and didn’t want to do it anymore. Of course I was a little disappointed, but I was also somewhat relieved. I don’t have the best luck with fortune cookies (the worst one told me “Get used to disappointment”) and I already had a hunch about the fate of my kisses. I didn’t need a psychic; I needed a pathological liar.

Either way, the presentation seemed to go off without a hitch. Afterwards we walked back to the studio to decompress. As per usual, we weren’t done for the night. Gary Clark Jr. was playing over at the Electric Room, and since we generally never miss a chance to see him play, we decided to head over. Ryan Stroock Stern, the production coordinator at the Standard, had nothing better to do than still along with us. We picked up a half pint of whiskey and passed it around as we walked. Two hours later, we were hammered, beat boxing with some homeless guy in the street. According to the tape recorder,’s Kalvin Lazarte won.

The drunken stumble home was marked with ridiculous conversation, due in part to the alcohol but mostly because of the company.

“You know what I would do if I was on the moon? I’d take my helmet off and kill myself,” intern Jon Larsen told Kalvin and me. “They wouldn’t take my body because it’s just dead weight, so I’d be dead on the moon forever. Perfect. I’d be famous.”

Yes, we both agreed, he would be.

Mike Abu

Photography by Chris Swainston and Andrew Boyle

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