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February 17, 2010 8:53 PM

Eye, Fashion, Media

Attack of the Non-Celebrity Show Crashers

Much has been said over the past few days over the issue of celebrities in the front row. Give or take a few exceptions, they -- and the mayhem they bring with them -- have been largely absent from the...

Much has been said over the past few days over the issue of celebrities in the front row. Give or take a few exceptions, they -- and the mayhem they bring with them -- have been largely absent from the shows this season, which, for editors who cover the collections and retailers who look to buy them, can make a show so much more pleasant. There is one runway phenomenon, however, that continues to surprise me every time and that few people care to discuss: the noncelebrity, front-row crasher.



At Women's Wear Daily, we typically have several seats reserved for us in the first few rows of a seating section. Every now and then, someone lurks around the front row for a few minutes, then plonks themselves down and gets comfortable in one of the WWD seats.


It irks me and my colleagues to no end, and I am sure public relations executives feel the same. I witnessed a particularly amusing situation at 3.1 Phillip Lim earlier today, which showed just how tenacious some of these crashers have become. A woman -- a blonde Baby Boomer, I would say --  sat down in one of the front-row seats reserved for one of my top editors. Not long after she did what we consider the ultimate fashion faux pas, Rachna Shah of KCD, which produced the show, approached, and gracefully engaged the woman in the following conversation, which went something like this:


Shah: "I am so sorry, but this seat is reserved."
Blonde Baby Boomer: "I am going to fill in for the person."
Shah: "No, madam, this seat is reserved."
BBB: "Is this person even coming?"
Shah: "It's reserved. I will put someone in this seat."
BBB: "But this seat is better for me. I can see better from the front row."
Shah: "You can take an empty seat in the second or third row."
BBB: "Can I sit or stand here until the person comes?"
Shah: "No."
BBB: "I really need an aisle seat. That seat doesn't work for me. This works better."


Eventually, and thanks to Shah's polite but persistent manner, the woman got up from her seat. I got a kick out of the whole thing, but I hope that many of those guilty of the same fashion crime will think twice before just sitting anywhere at a show. Do any of you have similar stories to share?
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