For the crowd sitting front-row at the Jeffrey Fashion Cares runway show last night, something seemed not quite right. It wasn’t the event (the annual fundraiser for AIDS charities) or the venue (the U.S.S. Intrepid battleship). It was just that, with Jason Wu (left, with JFC founder and Jeffrey New York owner Jeffrey Kalinsky), Joseph Altuzarra, Crystal Renn, and Hanne Gabby Odiele all in attendance, the backstage had come out front. Altuzarra articulated the sentiment for everyone. “It’s weird to be sitting at the show and not doing one,” he said. “Is this what it feels like?”
Yes and no was the answer. Sure, there was the runway and the stylish crowd, but the casting skewed toward the nontraditional. “Males in Speedos, I heard?” Sky Ferreira posited before the show. “Hey, I hope so—that’s why I’m here,” Odiele joked.
They were not disappointed. After hosts Nate Berkus and Tash Perrin of Christie’s rallied the crowd to empty their pockets (to add to the $4 million dollars that Jeffrey Fashion Cares has already raised) for the live auction items, such as trips to Switzerland and Paris fashion week, a handsome group of male models, in tiny swimsuits accessorized by the occasional pair of Lanvin shorts or Gucci sunglasses, began strutting the runway to the sound of Britney Spears. Loving every minute of her night off from the runway, Odiele yelped and offered high-fives to her friends as they swaggered past her. “I have never actually seen a male runway show before,” Renn added afterward. “It was definitely a change.”
It was an evening of firsts all around—many guests had never visited the Intrepid. “I haven’t been here, ever, and I love that one airplane with the folded wings,” said Adam Lippes. But even in new surroundings, tastes stay the same. “But I was also interested in the Hermès suede coat.”