Jackie Fraser-Swan: The Girl with the Chanel Tattoo
Fraser-Swan has budgeted some $60,000 for tonight’s show, which includes the $30,000 venue fee and thousands more for public relations, production, lighting, photography and videography, invitations, and a stylist. Now it’s nearly time to begin her show, and she scans the 15 assistants dressing her 21 models.
The lights go down and models emerge from backstage, sashaying and strutting down the runway to the thumping beats of “L.O.V.E.” by British songstress VV Brown. The show is minimal and slick. Rather than theatrics and props, the focus is on the designs worn by the wire-thin human hangers in dark lipstick.
Nine minutes later, everything winds down. The models peacock back onto the runway for one last turn. The attendees who aren’t capturing the final parade on iPhones clap as Fraser-Swan, grinning widely, takes 10 measured steps down the catwalk, gives a half wave, and mouths “thank you.” Then she darts to the sidelines to kiss her daughters before retreating backstage. Dozens of photographers shuffle out, as does the Lucky editor who’s been sitting a few seats down from Mary Nobile-King, who is Fraser-Swan’s friend and the boutique director at Chanel on Newbury Street.
Soon, Fraser-Swan and her entourage decamp to an after-party at the Empire Hotel across the street. Since Fashion Week moved uptown from Bryant Park in 2010, the hotel has become the see-and-be-seen spot for postshow drinks, the place where models, media, and wannabes mingle. Tonight, there are reporters uploading photos and filing dispatches from cushy couches with animal-print pillows while the beau monde and Valentine’s Day revelers sip Gossip Girl–themed cocktails in the lobby, but Fraser-Swan’s clan bypasses the scene for an intimate fete at the exclusive rooftop bar.