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all words: Seaton Smith
all photos: Mike Danko

for more actual info on “fashion for paws” click here

We sent one of our favorite comedians, Seaton Smith, to the Fashion For Paws event at the Italian Embassy last weekend.


This is what transpired:

I walk up the hill past the valet, past the row of Rolls Royces, past the mansions where the cars are parked, and my first thought is, “Fuck, these dudes are rich as fuck.” I try my best to look like I’m not part of the help as I walked up the hill to the Italian Embassy, where the “Fashion for Paws” fashion show was just ending. I have to emphasize the word “ending” cause I just got there. I was fashionably late. (I love to tell myself super corny jokes. I do that a lot. Like sometimes when I’m alone, I’ll do Def Jam impression and say, ‘Niggas is crazy’, as I imagine ripping a room.)

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I get to the front and I was so late that the woman manning the door was so drunk and out of it she didn’t even bother to check the list, “Just go in.” I was so late no one even cared no more! Like if you’re late for your plane TSA doesn’t even care if you’re a terrorist anymore, you can keep your shoes on.

I walk in, I see men in expensive suits, women wearing elaborate and uncomfortable shoes. I don’t think there was a thing in there cheaper than four hundred dollars. No wait, I was: I was broke as fuck. And I always measure what I don’t have when I’m in a room full of hot women. No money, no muscles, no drugs, no comb. This self -defeating attitude is how you get a studio apartment in Adams Morgan. WHAT!

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I slide through the crowd. I’m just the cool mysterious looking black guy with wild hair. Shit, I could be a designer, or maybe an assistant to a designer. I try to walk with a little bit more attitude and judgment in my eyes as I looked at woman’s shoes. “Really? Those Minolos?”

Another thought: black people were here, another surprise. Like a good number, as opposed to a bad number, which would be only me. No, there were a good number like just enough for them to notice that I’m not in their tax bracket, so they looked down on me as I passed and did my habitual negro nod. The nod you give when there are only a few black people in the room. It’s like a “I’m with you brotha” kind of thing. There was none of that here though. It was all “I got money bra, beat it” looks.

I did have a small problem as I looked around the crowd: I was stuck having to write about something. Since I didn’t actually watch this fashion show, I was stuck having to fill the page with SOMETHING? I mean everyone LOOKED like they had a good time. That was something. Groups of girls were taking pictures of themselves while blocking the slim pathways around the bar. Open bar, I think, cause people were packed around it and they didn’t have enough liquor for it to be THAT good. And the bartenders had this deadness in their eyes that says, “I’m not being tipped.” Maybe I could write about that.


A lot of people brought their dogs. That’s icky. But then I realize that it WAS Fashion for Paws. Duh. People really love their dogs. Obviously, but these people treated them like they were accessories. They matched their dogs! That’s really going above and beyond. But then again people also match their children. And I know a lot of couples that get dogs cause that’s the warm up to getting kids. Whether the men know it or not. And once that guy falls in love with the dog they soon find themselves with a baby and wondering “What happened? She must of forgotten to take her birth control.” No, dude, she didn’t forget. She’s been thinking about it ever since she went to that shelter and looked into that little cute beaten dog’s eyes and saw her family unit.

Fuck! Where am I going to get this story? I meet with the photographer, Mike Danko, standing in the back of the room. Okay, simple. I’ll just ask him some perfectly placed questions acting like we’re just two friends talking, I’ll get the info I need and BAM article written. HOLLA AT YA BOY!

Me: Hey Mike. So how was the event?
It was an event.

Me: So you would say it was a good fashion show? Or bad?
Just people.

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Me: Ha! Yeah people are crazy. Would you say they were crazy under the mist of such a momentous occasion of helping? Or subdued under the strain of all the suffering of the innocent animals?
I’m ready to go.

Me: Ha! I hear you! I hear you! Would you say you’re ready to go like some of these designs that walked the stage? And after you answer that question could you spell some of the designers who thoroughly disappointed you this season. And can you name some of the colors thats in this season?
: What? I couldn’t hear you under my own anger of being alive. I hate these rich fucks.

Okay so Danko was distracted. It might be a dead end. I look around the room again searching. Come on rich people give me something. Whenever I’m in a room full of rich people I always think of a Bret Easton Ellis novel, more specifically I think of his book “American Psycho” and I wonder who wanted to chop me up with a chain saw while listening to Whitney Houston’s greatest hits.

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Just then a woman with a dog bumps into me. We make eye contact. I try to give her the “I’m judging your outfit” look. Nothing.

“Fuck it I’m ready to go,” I tell Mike who has already packed his camera.

Danko: We have to wait for the intern. She’s packing up in the corner.

Oh yeah, the INTERN! Of course she was here and must of watched everything and will tell me everything or I’ll fire her ass. Even though I don’t think I officially have any pull I can make her think I have pull.

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She has to have watched stuff. That’s what interns do, they go to events on time and pay attention because they have hope and dreams and haven’t fallen in love with being drunk, like me.

I run over to my savior, who is also a foreign student, and yell, “Ich liebe dich!” (I love you). Oddly though I’ve said that to every German girl I’ve ever met. Mainly cause that’s one of the only things I know how to say in German. That and Vast mast du and deiner freitseit (What do you do in your spare time?) I say that to every German male I meet too, only they ignore me, for which I respond with Ich liebe dich and they look at me worried.

When I get to her she looks at me and says in a way only those Germans can say, “Please don’t touch me.” We agreed to meet later that week while she’s studying for class, where I can ask her all the questions I want, for twenty minutes. What luck!


We agreed to meet at 2amys. When I arrive I’m a little nervous. The place was packed with more pretty looking rich white people. The theme of the week! I don’t know if it was the place or the people, maybe both, but this looked so pretty. If I dropped my wallet four different people would pick it up, see how much money I have, then offer me a loan. Maybe even a bailout.

I sat in the back waiting trying not to fall asleep. This was my usual nap time. I’m making so many sacrifices for these rich people (and dogs). I’m annoyed. If I was a communist this would be the time for the proletariat to rise. I wonder if Karl Marx factored in being sleepy in his Communist revolution. Lenin did. But he was more practical.

I start looking around the restaurant. I see a mother trying to stop her kid from acting up. She’s talking to him, making a deal. “If you do this I’ll do this, deal?” This is why I think I’ll be a horrible father. I don’t have the patience for deals. “Stop or I’ll hit you.” I’m more of a republican when it comes to foreign policy. My kids are Iraq.

7:07. The intern is late! How unprofessional. I have to make a note to tell her that she won’t make it far in this business if she’s late to things.

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Dealing with a foreigner I had to prepare myself for the “You Americans…” speech that all Europeans give in spy movies. I figured since I was wearing my tight hipster jeans I was already damn near European. All I needed was an espresso, a striped shirt, and double the worth of the 20 dollars in my pocket. It all comes down to money.

She finally comes and we both have two cokes. Can’t drink liquor with the intern.

Intern: You’re taking this very seriously. You brought your notebook.


Me: I’m a real reporter dammit! So, first question. What’s your name?
Don’t use my real name. Call me Linda Samenstroem. That’s Swedish for “a sailor’s dream.”

She wants to be known as a woman that a man can masturbate to. I giggle, but in a manly way.

Me: What was this event called? What was the point?
It was to help raise money and awareness of dogs I shelters. So the models on the runway would carry their dogs.

Okay, that answers the people matching their dogs’ question.

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Me: Were the models cute?
I don’t think they could afford models. So they used people that were kind of … um, fat? by model standards?.

Please understand she’s European, and they don’t like food over there, so their standards of fat are a little different. I mean Amy Winehouse is a sex symbol there. Europe is interesting. Hot chicks though.

Me: How was the atmosphere? What was your first impression? Or rather, what was MY first impression?
A lot of boob jobs and low cut dresses. I saw 13 surgical scars.

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Me: Ew. So these woman were looking for a rich man? Weren’t they rich?
I had to interview people and I would ask their jobs. One woman said she was a “seating specialist.” So yeah.

Me: Seating specialist? That’s a Hostess.

Me: A host. A person who seats you at a restaurant!
Really? I thought she was a furniture designer.


Me: No. If she was, she would have said that. You don’t have to give special names to cool jobs. You only give names to shitty jobs. Executive Assistant. Janitorial Engineer. Consultant.
Oh. Well there were a lot of women there who looked like they were trying to get a rich husband.

Can’t get a good husband without some good breasts!

LS: And everyone wore heels! You Americans…..

I missed what she said after that because I was excited that she was giving me the “You Americans…” speech. I called it! Didn’t I call it?

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Me: What about the men? There had to be some rich schmucks there.
One guy came up to me who was very nice. He was Italian and told me that he hated all these phony people and their airs. You look like you’re genuine, he said, and gave me his card.

Me: Cool. What happened?
I went to the bathroom and when I came out he was talking to another woman and giving her the exact same speech! Word for word.

Well that’s just going into an event with a great game plan. I didn’t say that cause that wouldn’t have gotten me anywhere. But I note to get this dude’s card. I wouldn’t mind a wing man.


But now to important stuff. (!!!)

Me: Did you see any black people?

Me: Why not? There were a bunch!
Didn’t notice…no wait, there was this really beautiful black lady.

I notice European white people (redundant?) are very comfortable with the word “black” unlike their American counterparts who prefer a stuttered “African-American.”

Me: That’s it? You saw only one?
No I saw a black guy who dressed nice.

Me: That was ME! I was dressed nice!
Oh yeah.

Me: Did you see anybody famous?
I don’t know who’s famous here in America. And I don’t watch TV.


Me: You’re a liar! Don’t act all German and better than me!
I’m Swedish.

Me: Fuck you! I’m moving on. [deep breath and smile] Any socio-political analogues that you want to point out? Did the fabric color show a protest to the health care reform or show sympathy to Haiti?

She thinks for a moment.

LS: I felt that the depth of the cleavages made up for the lack of depth of the mind.

Dammit! Really wish I hadn’t missed this event. Oh well. The 20 minutes were up and I thought I had enough for my story. I thank the intern and tell her she’s done great job.

LS: But I didn’t really tell you anything. It’s all fluff.

I look down at my notes then look back at her.

Me: Hmmm. It was a fashion show right?