Pool parties have been a hot ticket since the days of elementary school, and on Wednesday night Soho House hosted a grown-up version -- though at this one, nary a splash was heard.
As part of the club's Wednesday night "Skinny Dip" rooftop party, nattily attired members and their guests -- some reclining on chaise lounges, others eating supper at nearby tables -- watched as Matthew Williamson's pre-fall fashions were paraded down a poolside runway. But not before the dance duo House of Ninja performed a cross between a Tibetan warrior dance and Eighties-style voguing. (This was intended to tie in with the collection's "Tibetan warrior meets rock 'n' roll" conceit.) There was also a vocal set by Valerie Geffner, which began with some vigorous throat singing. However, a promised acrobatic burlesque troupe did not appear.
Love them or hate them, it's hard for Williamson's riotously patterned
designs to take a backseat to anything. But book-ended as it was by
outrageous performances, the show came across more as entertainment
than fashion. The host, drag queen Flotilla DeBarge, led the crowd in a
series of call-and-response cheers. Meanwhile, a group of men who
seemed straight out of a Bret Easton Ellis novel could be overheard
providing snarky commentary, dismissively referring to the models as
"catalogue action" (and rating their attractiveness on the standard 10
However, a cheer did go up from everyone, even the self-appointed critics, when one lass, who sported both a Mohawk and a long braid, vogued her way down the runway with self-conscious sass. And while the chaos may have eclipsed the clothes, the company is clearly hoping to appeal to the rooftop set -- upon leaving, attendees were presented with 20 percent off coupons, which contained directions to the designer's store several blocks away.