Pardon any typos, I am writing this while gobbling up free snacks on JetBlue. An unbranded Cheese-It in the sky? That’s show’s business, honey. I’m going back to my normal, sweaty, unfashionable life in LA, where I wear the same gray clothes every day. I lie to people and tell them I have many: “No, I literally have a hundred pairs of the same sweatpants and just change them every day,” I would say. I’ve learned it’s important to maintain a regular laundry look…
But last night, I picked up my favorite pair of sweatpants for the first time in months and went to the LaQuan Smith fashion show. My boyfriend told me to get there 30 minutes early. He said, “Fashion Week is the craziest time of the year, not SantaCon. If you are late, you may be rejected because you are completely unspecified. “My first thought was, Okay, I’m dating a real monster. My second thought: He’s right. He continued: “Like, my family doesn’t even know your acting credits and they watch your career very closely. They have a Google alert for you but it never goes off.” Yes I got it. So apparently, I got there 45 minutes early. I stood outside with the security guards who had just arrived on their shift. They are really hot and their suits fit perfectly. LaQuan, have you sewn… their suit? I showed one of them my ticket and he smiled politely, “Well, they haven’t let anyone in yet. You still have 42 minutes.” YES…
I wandered around outside the venue, somehow still worried that I had misplaced, and afraid that the concealer I used from the Sephora tester had worn off. But soon, people started showing up in the sickest outfits I’ve ever seen. Instinctively, I held up my phone and pretended to be on a call. (It was my fight or flight.) These people are too perfect to look in the eye. They walked through the door in metallic heels, bodycon dresses, and microskirts with matching bralettes.
If there’s one truth of the modern world that I take for granted, it’s this: hot-tempered people are mean. When you look that well, you have to have an ego, especially at fashion week. It’s all about who you know, who you’re wearing, and who invited you. I nervously approached these people, the same way a child might approach a beautiful tigress at the zoo. I wanted to get a closer look, but not so close that I would get bitten. But as I talked to more people, I noticed something strange… so strange, it seemed to break all the known rules of the social world. The guests are always smiling, friendly and humble. They’ve had abs for days and don’t seem to notice. They are surrounded by this bright light, similar to the self but completely different. Is that… confidence? Oh my gosh, I think so. I started to feel better.
I stepped inside, and was immediately thrown into a photo of none other than the iconic Miss Julia Fox. I could only mutter “me?” and “are you sure?” before the photo was taken. So somewhere on a photographer’s camera is a picture of me and Julia Fox. Please, if you see this, drop it off, tag her, post it, sell it, do whatever you have to. I need to show my parents.
The show started. The lights are dimmed, and the place is bursting with the best music I’ve ever heard. The first model strutted, wearing a neon pink cutout corset with a matching skirt. A long ponytail of blonde hair fluttered behind her. The crowd went wild. “VOICE UP!” “YOU WALK BETTER!” “FIT IS SICKENING!” And it really is. I’m chilled.
The high just continued. Winnie Harlow! Come on, gorg! Every single one of the models killed it. I was hoping for a failure (I love the movie), but nothing. All were killed. And the clothes fit perfectly. The most stunning deep blues and purples, burnt oranges, metallic accents, combine everything. One of my favorite pieces is a bright red cape with a sloping crew neck and a giant circular cut that reveals the entire belly. You can almost see the nip. It’s great. If I worked in an office (lol), that’s what I would wear. I’m going to wear this to meet my boyfriend’s Orthodox family. If Biden called, you know, wanted to meet and say hello, I would probably wear that. It’s a daily look! Honestly, easy. Flexible!
LaQuan did a great job, too, when he seamlessly incorporated metal bras and bras into minimalist black evening gowns. It’s Tom Ford for Gucci. A reference? We love. When the performance ended, I clapped my hands really hard, hoping that they played by the rules of the concert and I could somehow do an encore. Hit the other dress up! No, seriously, fast!
The show was like a confidence boost. I showed up thinking I might be lost, and walked out knowing I was Gigi Hadid (not Not real). I stepped out of Intrepid as if I had a car waiting for me and somewhere luxurious to go. I didn’t, and it was raining. But I do not care. I confidently crossed 40 blocks in the pouring rain — or, as the French say, OFFERconfidence, of a model in red sequins.
I continued to strut until I reached the hotel, took off my wet clothes and got into bed. When the adrenaline finally ran out somewhere in episode four of Sell OC, I feel a sharp pain in my leg. What the hell? Okay, I think I pulled something out of my heart. Worthy.
Owen Thiele is an actor living in Los Angeles. He studied at Upright Citizens Brigade, Second City, Lee Strasberg Theater & Film Institute, and Meisner Institute. Most recently, he co-produced the comedy film Singing camp starring Ben Platt and Molly Gordon. He can also be seen opposite Kat Dennings in season 2 of Hulu’s Doll face.