We’re packed in the Sioloonim showroom under harsh lights. It’s not a lot of space but they’re making the most of it. Guests are carrying martini’s that look curiously chalky while snatching delicate hors d’oeuvres from stone layered plates carried by handsome young men. The models are intertwined with spectators and I stop one for her opinion on what it is she is wearing.
“I like it,” she tells me, “It’s modern in a graceful way.”
“Oh yes, its very comfortable too.”
“It looks like a doctors coat. A short doctor’s coat, but a doctor’s coat nonetheless. Wouldn’t you agree?”
“I really can’t…”
“Nurse, could you write me a prescription please?”
“You need to stop.”
“I haven’t even started…”
I move to the bar to have my prescription filled, pushing my way through senior citizens and b-listers. With a choice between Metamucil-tini’s or white wine I request, “Vodka, rocks, twist.” And stroll off with my medicine. The models continue squeezing past guests in their all white smocks. Did I tell you the whole collection is white? It always is. Designed by Minoo Hersini and backed by her dear friend Lois Rosenthal, they launched in 2008 with simple pieces made from sustainable textiles such as bamboo and silk organza. It’s not bad. It isn’t. Each piece is very unique. One piece looks like it’s from The 5th Element. One looks like it was part of a wedding gown. And another looks like a straight jacket. They’re not bad pieces per se, they’re just bad on these gorgeous young women, part of me thinks if we were all at a funny farm it would all work. Then again I’m the one looking for prescriptions…
A tall net worker has noticed me with my notepad and asks, “Could you interview Maiysha?”
“Who’s Maiysha ( www.myspace.com/maiyshamusic )?”
“She was nominated for a grammy.”
“Did she win?’
Under normal circumstances I wouldn’t bother but I need to warm up before I speak with the designer.
“So what do you think of the clothes?”
“It’d good, clean lines, it’s appropriate.”
“Appropriate for what? A nursing-home?
“Oh you’re not gonna get me. I think it’s great what he’s doing.”
“Actually it’s a she. But I can see what you mean.”
I jump to a young guy who resembles the lead singer of some popular rock band that may or may not have won a Grammy. He doesn’t want to speak, he’s attempting escape, but it’s too crowded. He pretends to not speak English.
“Then what do you speak?”
“I only speak Italian.”
“Allora, dimmi come ti chiami, di dove sei, a che ci fai qua.”
His name is Derick, he’s from Florence, and he’s the photographer’s assistant. He’s considerably better looking than the man he works under so we keep talking about the looks, which are on display around the room.
“…He was able to capture something that…”
“You’re going to get me in trouble.”
At my 2 o’clock there is a man in a purple crushed velvet jacket and an ascot.
“John Neubian, professional adventurer.”
“Really? And what was your last adventure?”
“I just came from the Museum of Sex.”
“I bet you did. What’s going on there? Aside from the obvious.”
“Fashion show, you should check it out.”
“I’ll try. So do you like the collection?”
“I think anyone who loves science fiction would love it. It’s very futuristic.”
In an attempt to stave off hunger I eat a small shrimp covered in garlic. It’s in my mouth, it’s being ripped apart by my teeth, it’s attaching itself to my tongue, staining my taste buds, it’s moving down my throat for further processing and there is no turning back. Bad breath is on the horizon. I snatch another hors d’oeuvre, this one a tiny sliver of chicken. Again, I am masticating, a possible solution to my polluted exhalations when I realize that I’ve been poisoned with curry. Curry! The mix of chopped garlic and far east spices is deadly. The bar has run out of vodka so I order some wine in a feigned attempt to mask the odor, but what’s this? The wine has been watered down! I run down the stairs. Must…smoke…cigarette…
Outside I witness the arrival of the Staten Island Social Club and realize that if they’re here, then I should really be going. I return upstairs for my final interview reeking of garlic, curry, cigarettes and booze. My dear friend Jacqueline stops me.
“I wish I had a mint for you. You smell like an old man.”
“Perfect! Where is she? Where is Minoo? We must speak now!”
I find her being photographed with the rest of the models and finally catch up with her.
SCV: Your partner in this is an old friend; can you tell me how the two of you met?
MH: Well I am the creative side of it all. My partner is the business end of things, we met 7 years ago when she asked me to do the flowers for her daughter’s wedding.
SCV: And where are you from?
SCV: Can you tell me how this collection differs from the first?
MH: It’s very architectural. They’re unique and can be mixed with a number of things.
SCV: And what would you say has inspired you? There’s a Clockwork Orange feel to things, 2001: A Space Odyssey perhaps?
MH: uh, no. Its modern. I’m very much inspired by other designers such as Yohji Yamamoto and Isaac Mizrahi.
SCV: There seems to be a contrast between the youthful models and the clothes themselves. Is there a particular demographic that you are targeting?
MH: It’s for the young and sophisticated, ageless. You can be 16 or 61 and wear it.
SCV: And the name?
MH: Well “Mineral”was taken. It’s my partner’s name and mine backwards.
SCV: One last question, a bit of a wild card, you know, just for fun, But do you think that Michael Jackson is guilty of all the charges he is so frequently accused of or that he is a victim of the media?
MH: I…I…Really can’t pass judgment on him.
SCV: But surely you must have an opinion.
MH: I really don’t know.
I thank her for being a friend and gather my coat while thinking that the secret to youth is cruelty. Why do you think Anna Wintour looks so fabulous? Watch school children as they run in circles, laughing and torturing one another. With innocence and grace they defame and disgrace one another until they’re told, it’s wrong, and even then, continue with greater zeal by that of the thrill of doing what they know they should not. If one can keep making fun of others, oneself, and most importantly anyone older than oneself, well that is the fountain of youth. Keep yourself laughing, and everyone else crying. Minoo I encourage you to keep going, I’m sure I’ll come round one day. Now where’s that nurse?…