Thursday, 18 February 2010

Five cabs, four drivers and a Virgin

Derek Lam at the Capitol One Bank, Bowery downtown New York

My last two days in New York were a bit on the surreal side, all cities have their extremes but in Manhattan, like nowhere else, you find these extremes rubbing alongside each other like detached neighbours, each conscious of the other’s existence, but neither invited in for coffee.

So it was then that Derek Lam like many other uptown labels chose to show his new autumn collection downtown, against the backdrop of fish markets and Chinatown mayhem. Of course as is the law of fashion, my next show was uptown and the next downtown and so on, and so on, as is the familiar yo-yo pace of New York Fashion Week.

The trouble is that this law applies to anyone else chasing the schedule as well, turning yellow cabs into a scarce commodity. However in the midst of a second wave of snowstorms my entire time seemed to be punctuated by one cab crisis after another.

For this reason I never did make it to ‘The Row’, the ever rising label by The Olsen twins, my hard won cab preferring to take me to an alternative address to the one I had given him. When at last I did arrive at the right venue I sat dejected watching a long stream of the more fortunate as they left the building. I had to lean on a good friend for the pictures I later sent to my number one editor, who was, as ever on deadline. (Thanks for that Dan!).

Blogger Tavi Gevinson at Rodarte

Simon Doonan of Barney's New York, and Natalie Portman, both at Rodarte

Leaving Manhattan for London, (a day early to get to London Fashion Week), was a similar farce, the kind of farce you see in Woody Allen’s movies. Getting out of the Jeremy Scott show I realised I only had time to swing by the hotel for my luggage then leave immediately for Kennedy airport and so I asked my very polite lady cab driver to take me on.

Kelly Osbourne (left) and Peaches Geldof (right) both at Jeremy Scott

When we pulled up at the Hotel she asked me to pay for the first ride (which would be usual), but that her sister, by now in the cab behind, would be taking the ride to JFK. OK I thought, that’s a bit random, (you don’t see many lady cab drivers anywhere but sisters in the same rank, that can’t happen very often!), but to use an Americanism ...Whatever! More surprisingly my second driver then pulled over half way to Kennedy and announced that her husband would be taking over the cab and be taking me the rest of the way!

Three New York cab rides

Fortunately my Virgin Atlantic flight was without abnormal incident, and my ability to turn into an airborne cabbage meant that I walked into the Heathrow Taxi rank calm and rested. The cab gremlins however had somehow followed me across the pond and caused my Taxi to breakdown midway. Any other time I would have felt quite downtrodden, but I resigned myself to the irony of it, 5 drivers but only 4 cabs and all that just to get home!

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