Shauna and I had the pleasure of attending the HP Project Runway Designer Reunion party on Saturday night, and (despite having to trudge through polluted snow sludge to get there) it was pretty much the greatest ever. When we arrived at Skylight West, it was a major sensory overload; between music, lights, models, installations, people, etc., it was hard to know what to be impressed with first.
Naturally we decided to head to the bar, grab drinks and get settled. They were offering several specialty cocktails, including a “Heidi Klum,” which involved prosecco and something peachy, a “Zac Posen,” which basically involved ALL THE LEMONS, and a “Nina Garcia,” which was described as “sweet and smooth.” (Not to rain on anyone’s parade, but a “sweet” cocktail should probably have been named the “Tim Gunn” and/or anyone else besides Nina “PEOPLE-FEAR-ME” Garcia. Also, there was sadly no “Michael Coors Light” to be had.) We both decided to skip out on the fancy, pretty cocktails, and instead go for some good old fashioned whiskey sodas. (I mean, you know what they say…GREAT MINDS DRINK ALIKE.)
Now that we were armed with alcoholic beverages, we decided to ingest our liquid courage on a nearby couch and develop a plan of attack. “Do you think Tim Gunn is here? Probably not, right? But it would be so cool if he was,” I said.
Meanwhile, Shauna kept pointing and going, “Oh my god, look! There’s ______,” and I kept going, “Totally! Yeah! I know it!” even though I had no idea who any of those people were. (See, I haven’t had a TV since college when Project Runway was still Bravo city, so it’s been difficult to keep up with shows I’d ordinarily absorb through hungover-couch-time osmosis.)
What I DID know was that there were a lot of super fab outfits happening, so that became the main focus of the early photos:
Shauna would pop off to snap cast members and/or “normal” people lookin’ fierce, and I would hold down the fort and take photos of myself in the mirrored coffee table. It was a good system.
After we finished our first round of drinks, we decided to go for round two and take a walk around the space. We were very impressed by a giant laptop installation that HP had set up, though we didn’t actually test it out; it appeared you could dance on the huge keyboard to win prizes, but since I’m not a very good dancer, I kept my distance. We were also SUPER impressed by the models along the far wall, who’d been painted with patterns from the designers on the show, and who were standing against matching backdrops for a camouflage effect. It was trippy, it was terrifying, and it was awesome.
This was about the time we decided to become really social and speak to some of the past and/or present contestants who were there, and everyone was really friendly; for instance, I talked to Matthew Arthur at length about King Cakes (because that is a normal thing to do) and he said I was sassy. #BFFs
We also learned that Christopher Palu has perfected the art of making a polite exit, because he did it to us twice, and we didn’t even mind!
Shauna talked to Melissa Fleis for a while, and I pretended to know what was going on. I did like her collar, though, and told her so multiple times:
After all that chit-chatting, we decided to have a sit down session again, this time over by the HP photo printers. The idea behind those was that you could email photos you took at the party to one of three email addresses (each corresponding to a certain printer) and they’d print out the pictures after a few minutes.
I decided to exploit this by printing out a Downton Abbey picture I’d Photoshopped to say, “I KEEP BRANSON ON MY OWN,” because I don’t think Robyn lyrics and popular British TV shows should have to exist in separate realms. (IT’S 2013, FOR CRYING OUT LOUD.) Once the photo had printed, I decided to stick it on the giant magnetic board behind the printer so that everyone could enjoy my cleverness. (And enjoy it they did, maybe!)
Following the photo escapades, I decided to use the bathroom; while washing my hands, I learned via the magic of eavesdropping that SALT is the key ingredient to getting rid of red wine stains. It seemed like a really important thing to tweet, so I did, and here is what happened when it popped up on the giant HP feed:
Soon after that I saw Buffi Jashanmal, who we interviewed back in December about what to wear for the holidays and/or end of the world. I felt really triumphant that I finally recognized someone, so I seized my opportunity to talk her head off about how annoying the snow was in Brooklyn. (She agreed.) Here she is, dancin’:
After that, I decided to start interacting with the models. At first I wanted to hop up with this one, who’s modeling Season Ten winner Dmitry Sholokhov’s clothes, but I refrained. Here he is, discussing or something:
We then made our way over to the scary patterned models wall and decided to start talking to the models because they looked bored. I made one do a Japanese tourist-style peace sign with me, which Shauna caught on camera. “You look angry,” she said after she took the photo. “I know, I always do,” I replied. (Not true.)
Anyway, we continued being friends with (read: bothering) the model by asking her lots of questions. (Here are some examples: “How long did it take to put that paint on?” “Do you think it will be hard to remove?” “Are you itchy?” “Are you tired of standing here?” “What shows are you walking in tomorrow?”) Finally we got tired of that, and instead decided to do a photo shoot with Kooan instead:
Despite having refused the passed appetizers all night long, our whiskey sodas finally told our brains we should take a break from being Mario Testino and eat the beef and mashed potatoes; this was a very good decision, because it was DELICIOUS. So we ate that and then continued the photo shoot, as evidenced below:
After that, we decided it would be a smart idea to begin dancing. (I know I already said I am a bad dancer, and I don’t think my skills got any better in that hour-or-so window, but the music was good and I was like, WHATEVER.) And THEN we saw Nick Verreos from Season Two, who I ACTUALLY recognized all on my own! Here is 1) us being best friends, and 2) my dace lookin’ cray:
In fact, I started becoming best friends with EVERYONE! Here is me casually chillin’ with some new lifelong amigos, including Fabio Costa:
(If you’re going, “Is that Jay from Season One?” then I’m going, “Why yes it is!”) Even though we made all these amazing, steadfast friendships, we eventually had to call it a night. I resisted the urge to go all Heidi Klum and say, “Auf Wiedersehen!”; instead, we looked wistfully at all of our compadres, promised we’d write each other frequently, and then cried a little bit. (JUST KIDDING! Except we totally did look wistful, probably.)
To the party organizers, I say YOU GUYS PUT THE HP IN HELLA PERFECT! We enjoyed ourselves immensely, so thank you for having us.