ABU 6: BOOHOO MIKE ABU, PARIS HILTON'S B.U.S.Y
Last night before The Blonds runway show, my photographer Andy Boyle and I decided to walk around the crowd and do some impromptu interviews. My favorite was Paris Hilton’s, but not necessarily due to what she had to say. Here’s what happens when someone hands you a voice recorder and tells you to be yourself…
“Who should we interview?” I asked my photographer Andy Boyle.
“I don’t know, there’s a lot of weird looking people here.”
“Should we ask that guy?”
I looked over and saw a man with a very fashionable hat on his head.
“Why not?” I said, followed by, “Wait, what the fuck should I ask him?”
Andy thought about it and replied, “Dunno, maybe ask him how fashion week is treating him."
"Yeah, okay, that makes sense," I agreed, and walked over to the guy with the hat.
Mike Abu: How’s Fashion Week treating you?
Guy With Hat: It’s great, hang on a second.
(note from editor: Guy With Hat = The Dandy)
I stood their waiting as he talked about Japan and Russia with a very fashionable lady. I waited for a bit before turning to a guy next to me who looked like he’d walked out of an 1890s funeral parlor. For whatever reason, he had very fashionable face paint on.
MA: While I wait, I’ll ask you some questions. What’s going on?
Guy with Medallions: Um, not much… The Blonds show.
MA: Do you always wear Victorian jewelry?
GM: I really like Victorian funerary garb. Pretty much any thing related to a funerary procession.
MA: Has anybody ever told you that you look like a juggalo?
GM: No, I’ve never heard that before… [laughs]… and if they did, I’d kick their ass.
I thanked him for his time and walked off, knowing very well that no he wouldn’t. I occasionally paused for photo bombs. Andy simply directed me from person to person, laughing as I stood behind the craziest looking weirdos and glamours celebrities we could find. Suddenly, I saw a guy dressed up in green like he’d made his outfit out of a dead muppet.
“Should I interview that guy?” I asked Andy.
“Sure,” he replied in Australian.
“Maybe I’ll just ask him about colors.” We walked over to him.
MA: Can I ask you a couple questions about colors?
Green Guy: Sure.
MA: What’s your favorite color?
GG: Sea-foam green.
MA: What color are you feeling right now?
Note: According to Wikipedia, Puce is a color that is defined as ranging from light grayish red-violet to medium to dark purplish-brown, with the latter being the more widely accepted definition found in reputable sources. So it goes.
MA: If you could be any color, what color would you be?
GG: Sea-foam green. I mean, it makes me so excited just hearing the name sea-foam green. I don’t know, I’m wearing green and it isn’t even sea-foam green, so I’m a totally hypocrite, but I just love it. I hate the sea, I can’t swim, I don’t really like foam and I don’t like green, but you put it all together and it’s magic.
MA: My favorite color is ultra-violet because it’s the color of the strongest form of lightning.
GG: If I ever get struck by lightning, I’ll be like, “Ohh, gorgeous color.” [laugh]
We thanked the guy and looked around the room. The Guy with the hat was disengaged, so Andy and I walked back up to him.
MA: How’s your fashion week going?
Guy in Hat: Fashion week is fabulous as usual.
MA: How, um—
GH: How old am I? None of your business. I’m kidding, only kidding.
MA: Do you have to actually work during fashion week or do you just hangout?
GH: It depends. I just did this German television thing for fashion week, that was work. Some seasons I write freelance for different magazines. I’m actually writing now for Hype Magazine in Germany. Years ago it was Paper Magazine, so I actually do work.
MA: I wish I could say the same. Tell me… well… okay, I’m looking at you right now, and you’re wearing a certain outfit.
GH: I am.
MA: And it’s kind of like Clockwork Orange meets Charlie Chaplin.
GH: I like that! God, that’s great! I love that. It’s, it’s… I love that, that’s great.
GH: I love both, couldn’t be better. I couldn’t have topped that. You were spot on.
Apparently I’ve come to know fashion. We posed for a photo together, one he called “The Dandy and the Rogue,” and I left with the assumption that I was the rogue. Andy grabbed me and pointed to a lady who looked like she’d had a little cosmetic work done, and I figured she might be a good one to talk to.
MA: Would you mind doing a quick interview with me?
Fashion Lady: Sure.
She stopped to pose for a zillion pictures. I waited an eternity for the flashes to stop and then finally asked her a relevant question.
MA: What’s it like to have your picture taken nonstop?
She didn’t have time to answer—she was too busy posing. Par for the course.
“Who’s next, who’s next?” I asked Andy in a rush. “American guy?”
“No, he looks boring. There’s a couple drag queens up here that might be nice.”
“Cool! Drag queens.”
MA: Can I ask you a question?
Drag queen: Go for it.
MA: What are you wearing?
DQ: This is a Brazilian label, they sent it for me to wear. My name is Giselle by the way.
MA: My name’s Mike Abu.
DQ: Very nice meeting you.
MA: Totally. What’s the most exciting thing about the Blondes?
DQ: This show is the one where people really get dressed up, they come and know it’s fun fashion. Everybody who’s everybody in the New York nightlife is here, so it’s fun. This is the place to be tonight, there’s no place else.
MA: If you were gonna be a Golden Girl, which one would you be?
We sang a few bars of Thank You for Being a Friend before Andy pulled me a side. Paris Hilton had walked into the room. Our mission? Interview her. I walked through a sea of photographers and stood next to her, waiting for the opportunity to ask her whatever came out of my mouth. She’s even more Paris Hilton in person, taking every chance to show off her practiced pose. I didn’t have time to think about it, I just had to ask her a question
MA: How’s your fashion week going?
She didn’t even look at me as a security guard pulled me away. Classic Paris. The lights started to dim and it was time to take our seats. I stood near the riser next to Andy and my intern Jon Larsen, looked around the room and felt like I still needed to ask somebody something.
“Maybe I should interview one of the photographers in the pit," I told Jon Larsen, "ask them who the biggest asshole on the riser is.”
“You should interview that guy,” Jon said without skipping a beat, pointing directly at a certain photographer. “Everybody knows he’s the biggest asshole. I’ve worked with him for three seasons, and he’s a complete dick.”
Sounded good to me.
MA: One question—who’s the biggest fucking asshole in the photo pit?
He stared at me for a moment with a serious yet confused look on his face, like he didn’t know what to say.
Photographer: Are you referring to me?
Yes I was.
MA: No, I’m just—
PH: Why am I being asked this question?
I stood there holding the microphone in his face.
PH: Okay, my answer is who upset you?
MA: Nobody upset me, I’m a writer so I—
PH: Who’s the biggest asshole?
Some other photographer shouted out from behind him, "You know what they say when you can’t spot the biggest asshole in the room…"
Looks like it’s me.
Photography by Andrew Boyle
More Mike Abu here