As the holidays approach, emerging designers were offering recession-friendly prices at The Metropolitan Pavilion for GenArt’s Shop NYC event last week. With its DJ booth and open bars, it was one part party and two parts sample sale, but the designers weren’t the only up and comers in attendance, among the crowd of savvy style seekers was the cast of CW’s fashion magazine trainwreck, Stylista.
Unnoticed by pretty much everyone, I bided my time and waited for one to stray from the pack. First, it was production assistant and model spawn, Ashlie Darrel, who, in her black furry jacket and python heels, went into a speech about the importance of supporting new talent in the industry. When I asked if she thought the event was a good substitute for Black Friday, she responded, “Definitely, but no one’s going to get trampled here.”
Quite the opposite really. Next to the piles of handbags and tables of jewelry were spa treatments, complimentary hair products and—believe it or not—free cupcakes. “I’m going on vacation to Maui, so I’m staying away,” said Darrel’s catty co-contestant Megan Johnson, who was otherwise pleased with the event, “I’m a buyer, so I’m mixing business with pleasure; swiping my card and enjoying a drink or two. It’s very Anne Slowey of me.”
The subject of the sacrifice of food for fashion came up again when a cater waiter with a tray full of M&Ms passed by myself and Chinese linguist turned Stylista hopeful, Johanna Cox.
“Access to clothing is a perk, they’re all sample sizes and you either fit or you don’t. Indulgences better be worth it.”
Her most recent indulgence? “I had pumpkin pie on Thanksgiving, but not too much, I knew I would have to fit into this outfit.” She said as she motioned to her Zoe Hong dress. I inquired if her indulgences extended to footwear when I noticed she was wearing the it shoes of this past summer: the $800 Dior Extreme Gladiator Heels. “They’re my one big summer splurge."