The Return of the Met Gala

The Monday after Fashion Week is this years’ Met Gala. It’s one of Winona’s favorite parties. But a faulty elevator in her building throws a curve and tests her patience almost to the breaking point. As building maintenance work to get things going again, she wonders if she’ll miss the Gala? And how many heads she’ll have to roll because of it.

The Met Gala is back! After 18 months of Covid-19 insanity, it’s back and I am so ready! The theme this year is American Fashion and Lisa, of LISA MCFADDEN MILLINERY, proposed another exclusive hat design. Remember the Gala of 2019? And then she brought fashion designer BYRON LARS into the mix. He’s the Big Daddy of Mattel’s Black Barbie Collectible series. (I’ve got eight dolls. How many do you have?) These two, along with his partner SHEILA GRAY, got together and they ballgowned the denim, baby. That’s right. Denim. Now tell me. What’s more American Fashion than that?

It’s the evening of the gala and in my wardrobe closet, Byron and Sheila help me into the gown. It’s a smash-up masterpiece of puffed sleeves, intricate seaming, tote bag-sized pockets and a whole lot of leg action! Lisa’s hat is a wonderful, tricked-out stovepipe, it’s deep band encrusted with brass snaps and rivets. It’s just so fly— Rosalind Russell fly— and it really tops the gown off nicely. “There’s going to be lots of denim tonight,” Lisa says. “But nothing like this!”

Lisa is wearing a custom Rose Collage Walker Wear Silk Suit by APRIL WALKER

They head downstairs to the limo, along with the heavy-ass jewelry from Cartier I’m to wear, stashed in Lisa’s hatbox. It’s gorgeous earrings and neck wear, but I’ll wait and don that drag when we pull up in front of the Met. Staying behind for one last peek, I look myself over. Byron and Sheila wanted converse sneakers, to the knee, but I opted for granny boots. Stilettos, of course. You know I’ve gotta rock the pumps! And look. I could be one of his Barbies, right? This Gala is going to be epic!

Sliding on a mask, I gather my train and step inside the elevator when it reaches my floor. I’m worn out behind Fashion Week. I could collapse right here. But who’s got time for that? So much is happening right now, in spite of the virus and it’s nasty mutations. Life does, indeed, go on. The elevator stops on seven. The doors open and who’s standing there but actress Kim Cattrall. She’s been working in Canada and I haven’t seen her in ages but still, even partially masked and wearing shades, I’d know her anywhere. “Miss Samantha Jones,” I said. “How the hell are you?”

Kim’s handbag by GIVENCHY

Kim pulls a mask over her nose and mouth before stepping inside. She leans back against the wall of the elevator and crosses her arms. Taking me in from top to bottom, she says,“Heading to the Gala, I suppose?” What’s this? Do I detect snark? “I could never get an invite,” she sighs.“You-know-who made sure of that.” Of course, you-know-who is Sarah Jessica Parker and I open my mouth to squelch that nonsense right away. SJP doesn’t have a damn thing to do with the Gala guest list. That’s Anna’s domain. Totally. But before I can get a word out, the elevator makes a grinding noise. And then with a sudden jerk, it stops.

Kim takes off her sunnies and we look at each other, bug-eyed. I press the lobby button. Nothing. Then I press all of the buttons. The elevator doesn’t budge. A man’s voice comes through over the soundbox above the panel. “Hello, hello. How many passengers are in this elevator?” I speak up. “There’s two of us. Winona Warner and Kim Cattrall. And we need to get out of here ASAP! What’s going on?” The voice replies, “We’re so sorry, Ms. Warner. Just be patient and we’ll get things moving as quickly as we can.”

A few minutes later, Kim begins to tug at her mask. “Have you been vaccinated?” she asks. “Tested?” I nod yes, and in perfect Samantha-speak, she says, “I have too, a thousand times, so…” she takes off her mask and dangles it in the air. “Fuck this, shall we?” I take off my mask, too, and try to remember the last time I was trapped in an elevator. It was in the Bronx. The Patterson projects. Way different from the burled wood box we’re in now. “Alright, Miss Kim,” I prop myself on the handrail.“Spill it. I know there’s bad blood between you and my girl but honestly, why aren’t you doing the reboot? What’s the deal on that?”

“It has nothing to do with bad blood,” Kim says. “I simply believe that you can beat a dead horse for just so long. And let me tell you. That horse died when the series was over. Bringing it back for two movies was more than enough in my book. But this latest resurrection?” She waves her hand dismissively. “After almost twenty years, that horse must be pretty stink by now.” I laugh, imagining a poor horse with it’s tongue hanging out and flies buzzing around. But it’s the certainty in her snicker, though. They’re having a hell of a time selling this thing without her and she’s gotta be loving that. “I hear they’re killing you off,” I say. She rolls her eyes. “Whatever.”

Lisa, Byron and Sheila must be out of their minds by now, wondering what’s taking me so long to get downstairs. Do they even know that I’m trapped in the elevator? Neither Kim nor I can get a phone signal, so I talk to the building desk manager over the squawkbox and ask her to inform them of what’s going on. “They know, Ms. Warner,” she says. “They were here in the lobby for awhile, but I think they’ve left for the Gala.” What??! “Can you believe it?” I shout at Kim. “Those bitches have left me stuck in the elevator like Cinderella while they skip out to the ball!” She laughs at me. “You would have done the same thing!” But I don’t care. “Somebody better get their ass in gear and get me OUT OF HERE!!”

At the Gala, a reporter for NYFW.com stands along the velvet rope. She overhears Byron talking to another guest. “Winona looks amazing in the gown we created. But she and Kim Cattrall are trapped in her buildings’ elevator. It’s been over an hour. I don’t think she’s gonna get here tonight.” He scans the crowd for Sheila but doesn’t see her. Anxiously he counts every passing minute before finally throwing up his hands.“I’m going back to the building,” he says. Lisa joins him. “I’m coming with you.” The reporter, waving for her cameraman, asks, “Can we come, too?”

After almost two hours, the elevator motor revs up. The cabin shutters a little, descends, stops, and the doors inch open. We’re in the lobby! Kim and I run out, screaming like preteens. Byron, Lisa, the building’s maintenance team, the desk crew, two firefighters, and an excited reporter and cameraman break into applause. Byron hugs me and starts fluffing up the gown. Brilliant thinking dude, bringing the press back with you. All is forgiven! The reporter interviews me and Kim. Byron and Lisa, too. What a juicy piece of PR for everybody! It’ll get picked up by the New York Times, Vogue, Good Morning America. It’s the kind of publicity that money just can’t buy.

Finally we pile into the limo and head for the Gala. Lisa remembers the Cartier jewelry still in her hat box. Oops! It didn’t occur to any of us during the interview that our look was incomplete. “They’re gonna be pissed, missing out on all of that free pub,” I laugh. “I’ll send our apologies tomorrow. But right now I’m starvin’ like Marvin! Can we stop for a burger or something?” Sheila, on the phone with Byron, overhears me and laughs. “No worries, mama,” she says. “Just get here! We’ll keep your plates warm!”

Necklace by SHEILA GRAY COLLECTIONS

The press is still lined up and taking pics. Hot damn! We leap out of the car and charge up the stairs, forgetting the Cartier pieces again. Thirty thousand dollars in jewels are rattling around in Lisa’s hatbox. Oh well. In spite of being trapped in an elevator, I look incredible. But what’s this? I see a few American designers getting love on the carpet but not what I expected. There’s JLo working Ralph Lauren’s signature brim and Kate Hudson and Regina King in Michael Kors, but I can’t believe it. Moschino? Balenciaga? Chanel? Valentino? Even Anna is wearing Oscar de la Renta and he was Dominican. How’d she miss her own damn memo?

THE END

Pre-Gala 2021

The Met Gala’s theme on Monday night was a celebration of American Fashion. Some didn’t get the memo but Winona sure did! Don’t miss the coming episode of WINONA, INC.—dropping today!— with very special guests, fashion designers BYRON LARS and SHEILA GRAY, along with Winona’s favorite milliner, LISA MCFADDEN. They ballgowned the denim, darlings! Here’s a peek—

NYFW September 2021 – Day Six

On the last day of Fashion Week, practically right outside Winona, Inc. on Mercer Street, TORY BURCH presented colors and textures and a refreshing mix of pieces that played well against each other. She showed many looks in layers but somehow it all worked. Still a little old-ladyish sometimes, this collection was one of her best, imo.

In a dark, murky basement on the lower east side, strewn with leaves and vines from ceiling to floor, KHAITE‘s show was so gloomy and darkly lit, we could just barely see the clothes. What’s the point of that? I couldn’t decide if this location, after the hurricane a few weeks ago, was clever and on point or stupid and tone deaf? People drowned in basements, you know.

Returning to Fashion Week for the first time in a few years, ALTUZARRA featured a mostly loose and flowy silhouette, giving me old school hippie vibes with the beads and tassels. Remembering pictures I’ve seen from back in the 60s, I pictured his models down in the Village, hanging with Jagger and dancing around the park with flowers in their hair.

TOM FORD is an L. A. boy now and it shows. Tank tops, baggy shorts, cargo pants, joggers, everything in this presentation was ultra-casual and, from sequins and satins to metallics, way too shiny. I get it. The pandemic has truly changed our lives and for some, it’s all about lounging around the crib all day, sipping cocktails in-between Zoom business meetings. Come back to the Apple, Tom! This show just left me cold.

The house of OSCAR DE LA RENTA presented his collection in digital form only. I felt a little wobbly when I heard that. But I think Mr. de la Renta would be pleased. The short film, only about five minutes long, is CUTE CUTE CUTE. Beautiful models, beautiful clothes, tipping around beautiful Bryant Park, there’s nothing innovative or groundbreaking here. There never is. Just the best of the best. Every season.

So that’s it. Another Fashion Week has come and gone! Tonight is the Met Gala and baaa-aaaby, my gown! It’s extra-extra. So extra-extra, I’m done talking about it. Tune in on Wednesday for the big reveal! SMOOCHES!

Winona is wearing SAINT LAURENT. Handbag by MARC JACOBS

NYFW September 2021 – Day Five

Abrima Erwiah and Rosario Dawson’s STUDIO 189 collection was too relaxed for even a pair of shoes. Every model was barefoot in loose, pattern-heavy, comfort wear. Love this stuff for around the house. The show included singers, musicians, some spoken word, and a moment of remembrance for 9/11.

It was a barefoot kind of day because halfway through the RODARTE outdoor presentation, the models were suddenly shoeless, appearing in the same long, silky, full cut frock, one after the other, like some sort of angelic cult. It was kind of weird to see twenty-five models all wearing the same dress. I want to claim that I’ve never seen that in a show before. But I’m sure it’s probably not true.

ANNA SUI, at Indochine, was pure fun! We sipped the special cocktail designed for the occasion as she presented a relaxed, colorful, beachy kinda show. The caftans, bikini tops and bottoms, dusters, and shorts and rompers got lots of positive feedback from the audience. Er’body’s ready for a vacation. She took us to the tropics, if only for a few minutes. Thanks, girlfriend.

JONATHAN SIMKHAI offered up soft and easy with lots of fringe. His palette was pastel-sweet mostly, but the necklines were often complex, with extra straps and halters, which made things interesting.

The day was over early. And no parties were on my agenda (none to make me redress and come back out for) so I ordered in and watched the film and videos on NYFW.com. BRONX AND BANCO were back on the rooftop and sexy as hell, LORING was beautifully shot, offering a cool, old movie vibe, and DES PIERROT, with funky club wear, did their entire video in a grungy unisex bathroom. There’s just so much talent on the scene these days who would never get a shot if it wasn’t for this site. Bravo! DAY SIX

Winona is wearing RODARTE. Handbag by FENDI.

NYFW September 2021 – Day Four

Day Four started early with MICHAEL KORS. His collection was worth getting up for. Kendall Jenner opened the show and she looks great. I would try and woo her away from her current agency, but the fam. They’re just too much trouble. There was more skin than usual in this collection. The little bra tops and pencil skirts—one in a leathery lace—were fire! And the precision of his tailored pieces were, as always, swoon-worthy. Kudos to another gorgeous season, MK.

There were flowers at the JASON WU show. Lots and lots of them. The runway decor as well as pieces he presented. He loves florals, of course, and many of his prints were indeed that, but he’s been experimenting and the patterns flowed, like paintings, taking on a new freshness that kicked everything up a notch or two.

The Super Grump t-shirt pretty much said it all for me at the COACH show. I left there frustrated and annoyed. There were, as always, stand-out leather—cute little bras, outerwear, purses—but the grungy presentation forces you to pick each outfit apart and wash the grime out of your eyes before you can really see it. It’s just too much.

I took a moment at the agency to watch ALICE + OLIVIA‘s video drop at 6pm. It was way too short. The colors, the dresses, the suiting got me so hyped, I slapped on two masks and made a mad dash to the Highline Stages on West 15th for the live presentation. As usual, it was lit! Models posed in front of painted sets, the crowd was thick, and everything was interactive. Too interactive. I didn’t hang for long. We are, after all, still in the midst of a fucking pandemic.

BRANDON MAXWELL at 9PM gave us lots of strong, swirly graphics. It was a different path for him. But the sexy bra tops (a theme this season it seems) and hip-huggers pants for evening were interesting, and his oranges, emeralds, reds, and hot magentas really fired things up. My fave was the turquoise moc-croc trench. I’ll take that in a size 6. Please and thank you. DAY FIVE

Winona’s ensemble inspired by OSCAR DE LA RENTA. Booties by MANOLO BLAHNIK

NYFW September 2021 – Day Three

Day Three was wet. And long. And not in a good way. MOSCHINO was playful, fun, even kind of silly sometimes. I mean, they gave us classic Chanel-like suits but what grown-ass woman would wear one in such a childish pattern? Toys and stuffed animals? It was like women’s wear—for toddlers.

SERGIO HUDSON‘s presentation gave me the big, fat shot of joy I needed. He served up a level of sophistication that’s been missing on the catwalk for a long, long time. His monochromatic coats and trousers, lean, mean, body-conscious dresses and knee-high boots never fail to conjure up my mentor, Signor Versace. Had me all in my feelings. I damn near cried. A few of his models came this close to hitting the floor but he’s blowing up. You GO, Sergio!

CAROLINA HERRERA appears to be going after the youth market this season with high hems and puffed sleeves. A few greatest hits showed up. The signature black and white stripes in particular. But what had me scratching my head was the model selection. So many of the women seemed weirdly out of place, as if they were booked for the wrong show. Who’s doing the casting over there?

LaQuan, LaQuan, LaQuan… 9pm at the Empire State Building, it was a location to kill for, and LAQUAN SMITH slutted us out once again with nasty thongs, booty shorts, sleazy negligees and big fishnet stockings. Most of his offerings felt so thoughtless, they seemed to have been whipped up the night before. It’s just his thing. Season after season. And his growing market eats it up. Oh well. Onward…DAY FOUR

Winona’s dress inspired by BALMAIN. Tote by FONTANA.

NYFW September 2021 – Day Two

Since so many fashion shows were digital on Wednesday, with so many WINONA, INC. models walking (or floating) online, I hosted a watch party at the agency. We drank champagne and cheered for each other in BADGLEY MISCHKA, NICOLE MILLER, and TADASHI SHOJI, who’s presentation, while a little frumpy at times, really showcased his exquisite detailing. That’s something you really can’t appreciate in a live show.

PROENZA SCHOULER presented on Manhattan’s new Little Island just before nightfall. What a coup for them! There was lots of great color, lots of fringe, and the trench coats were totally popping! Especially those wild zebra prints. Love!

PRABAL GURUNG sat New York’s brand new governor on the first row and served up bright colors, feathers, and florals, as always, on men as well as women. Many of his offerings were very pretty but boys in ruffly, corset-like tops? Fight me. It’s just not my thing.

Last stop was Spring Studios and Bella Hadid’s party to officially launch herself as a partner in Kin Euphorics. We’d just seen sister Gigi in the Proenza Schouler show earlier. Yikes! I liked her slinky party en-som so much better. What’s that saying for the lucky designers getting all of the attention this week, huh? And those who aren’t? It’s something to think about…DAY THREE

Winona is wearing PRABAL GURUNG

NYFW September 2021 – Day One

Wassup my people!! Fashion Week is back! It’s not a full week this season but a stuffed 5 1/2 days with so much happening all over, it’s just not possible to see even half of it. But I’ll do my best.

Yesterday, COLLINA STRADA was out in Brooklyn but come on. How were we to be out there for 6:00, and then back in the city for the CHRISTIAN SIRIANO 7:00 show at Gotham Hall? We’re forced to make choices, right? The trick is making the right ones. With deep, rich mustards and bright, chartreuse-y greens, several of Christian’s pieces stood out in the drama department. But truth? It felt like I’d seen most of it before.

The drive up to 125th Street for the HARLEM’S FASHION ROW presentation was a long one and by 9:20, I just knew I’d missed everything. Not even! The night went on and on with speeches and awards. Even Anna got one! She didn’t get the warmest reception from the Harlem crowd but they didn’t boo her at least! The show’s designers, all male—seriously?—delivered some interesting work with lots of diversity between them. But while some don’t think it’s so important anymore, it was clear by the craftsmanship who’s had professional training and who hasn’t. That’s all I’m saying. Day One? Done! DAY TWO

Winona is wearing FENDI

WHAT SHE WORE DURING FASHION WEEK – SEPTEMBER 2021

It’s Fashion Week in New York City! Winona’s favorite time of year. But due to the continuing Covid-19 situation, the fashion industry—already in the midst of a major evolution—has been forced to make adjustments. Live shows are coming back and her models are as busy as ever, but the digital world, which has opened so many doors, won’t be shutting down. Now the shows are available in real time online, or she can slip into something special and attend in person. Choices abound in this new day of NEW YORK FASHION WEEK so let the games begin…

A Day Like Any Other

Back in her modeling days, Winona worked hard. And she partied hard, too. Yes indeed. Having Supermodel status created tremendous opportunities and this lil’ girl from the South Bronx took advantage of every one. From the top talent she worked with and celebrities she partied with to the A-list men she rode off into the night with. Our final throwback episode is a star-studded 24 hours. But for Winona, it’s just another day like any other.

Lourdis is my new friend. She and I met over in London just a few weeks ago while I was there on assignment with BRITISH VOGUE and she was singing backup for some Elton John wanna-be. Taller than I am, she’s narrow as a needle, with a killer voice and amazing ta-tas, which she flaunts at every opportunity. They’re the real deal. Why shouldn’t she? Sunday night I slip into a new VERSACE cocktail dress, and she and I meet outside Radio City Music Hall. The sexiest little muthafucka on earth is in town tonight. That’s right. It’s Prince.

I’ve seen Prince every time he’s come to New York. I even got into THE BOTTOM LINE years ago, thanks to the older crew I was hanging out with, when he opened for Rick James. Prince just kills it. Every time. Always smoking hot, his show makes me wanna hump somebody. Anybody. But here’s the kicker about him. Nowadays, possessing some star power of my own, he and I often show up at the same parties. All over the world. And no matter who he’s with or who else is in the room, he’s going to find me. Without fail.

After the show, his dressing room is a mob scene. Lots of big names floating around, all trying to bask in the light. He emerges from the private area in a bathrobe—eyeliner flawless—and a towel wrapped around his head a la Ferris Bueller. Hee-hee. He waves when he spots me and slowly makes his way over. Lourdis is excited to meet him. “Did you enjoy the show?” he asks us. Are you kidding? My panties are still wet. “Come to the afterset at Nick and Val’s SUGAR Bar,” he says. “It’s gonna be fun.”

Fifteen minutes into his set at SUGAR, both Bootsy Collins and Sting are on stage with him. The crowd is screaming. It’s amazing! Suddenly, Prince calls on Lourdis for a duet. TAKE ME WITH YOU. But she’s so much taller. She has to contort herself to sing with him on the same mic and it looks awkward. Must feel that way, too. And then he invites Chaka. Her mane takes up half the tiny stage by itself, but she’s a much better fit for him. Chaka doesn’t play nice, though. She drowns everyone else out. Lourdis steps back. She’s pissed.

Prince lives to perform. He really does. He gives us another full, hour-long performance, after the two-plus hours he did at Radio City! Finally, sweaty and gorgeous, he hops off the stage and what? He plops himself right next to me. But Lourdis…still salty about Chaka, turns her back to him. She pretends to ignore us as Prince sips champagne from my glass and we chat about my photo shoot in a few hours with the celebrated Richie Street. I should be at home catching some zzzz’s but instead, here I am. “I might stop by,” he says. “But listen. We’re going roller skating after this. I’ve got some cars outside. Hop into one.”

I should drag my ass home. I know it. But we’re outside and Lourdis is flagging down a cab. She’s calling it a night. Are you kidding me? Why is she acting this way? Turning down his invitation to party just blows my mind. Especially having no idea what he may do at the rink. He may even give her another chance to perform. So much for that, though. I’ll catch you later with that attitude, chica. Waving goodbye, I wait for the chauffeur to come around and open the door to the white limo parked at the curb. I’m going to the rink. Okay?

Well whaddaya know? Guess who’s inside the limo? It’s another prince. Prince Akeem. Mr. Eddie Murphy himself. “Hello beautiful,” he says. “I saw you in the club but didn’t get a chance to come over. What happened to your friend? I couldn’t help but notice her, uh, outfit.” Yeah. Right. What he noticed was her boobs. “But I like this too. Armani?” he touches my tuxedo jacket. “Do you know my friend, J.B.?”

J. B., along with three women, are spread out along the plushy seats. Lines of cocaine are set up on a small table. “Help yourself,” Eddie says. I take two, pour myself a glass of wine, and sit back for the ride out to Brooklyn. The guys crack jokes and play the dozens all the way across the bridge. They’re funny as hell and I’m having a good time. But the three chicks aren’t. They’re scowling in my direction. I guess I put a dent in somebody’s plan.

Eddie is all over me at the rink. I don’t mind. Smelling like sweet sugar cookies, he’s a tight little package in custom leather. And he’s a good skater, too. Born in Brooklyn, that’s no surprise. But the tastiest part is, he’s got Hollywood by the balls right now. He’s the big dog in town and that’s a thrill. He’s in my ear, suggesting all the things he’d like to do to me. As a trio made up of Cher, Lisa Bonet and Will Smith blow by us, I suggest that he and I roll out of here and go someplace where he can show me.

It’s noon at THE WALDORF. And I’m late! What a greedy thing he is! Peeking in the mirror, I’m expecting the worse, but my eyes are bright and my skin is glowing. I haven’t slept in 24 hours but you wouldn’t know it by looking at me. Eddie is awake. He wants to know when we can get together again. “Aren’t you getting married soon?” I smile at his reflection in the mirror. “Married men aren’t my thing, so let’s just remember last night, keep it between us, and send me an invitation to the wedding.” Oh-oh. He looks annoyed.

I swipe a pair of RAYBANS from his dresser—I always take a souvenir—and dash before he starts to argue. Oh well. I won’t be holding my breath for that invitation, either. But I’m so late for the shoot and there’s no time to go home, shower, and change clothes. Outside the Waldorf, I flag a cab. They’re gonna have to take me as is, in a spicy cloud of sex and sugar cookies.

When my cab pulls up to a red light on 32nd Street, I spot the Italian version of RED DRESS magazine there on the corner. I’ve been looking for weeks! “I’m gonna jump out and run to this newsstand,” I tell the driver. “I’ll be back before the light changes.” And I am. I slide back into the cab just as the light turns green but what the hell? Somebody else is in the back seat now. We eyeball each other. And then we point. “Aren’t you—?”

It’s Vanessa Williams! Miss America! MY Miss America! It’s silly I know, but I still lose my cool around certain celebs. I gush. “They did you wrong, Miss Thing! Wrong! But it’s better now! Your new album is so hot! I just love you!” At the same time she’s gushing back at me. “You’re my favorite model! My husband has such a big crush on you! He’s gonna die when I tell him!” We’re both so excited, we finally end up grabbing each other and hugging.

At the studio I wolf down a pastrami on rye from KATZ while the hair and make-up team work their magic. I’m still geeked about meeting Vanessa Williams in the taxi and I tell them all about it. Then Mendel, just returning from Paradise Island, shares all the gossip after being trapped with John Travolta and a houseful of guests during the hurricane that blew through there last weekend. “The Wayan brothers were there,” he said. And then he names several of Hollywood’s most precious young ingenues. “It was just one big, nasty orgy, honey. They jumped in and out of beds like it was 1975.”

Finally I’m ready for my closeup. I step out on the rooftop of the Tribble building, in DONNA KARAN, where Richie Street is waiting with his crew. I adore him. He’s got a great eye for the dramatic and he always makes me look good. Standing on my mark, we pop off three quick rolls of film. The city looks awesome behind me. But then Richie gets an idea. He steps over to me, reaches into his pocket, and pulls out a red bullet loaded with blow. He takes a hit to each nostril. “What would you think about climbing up on the ledge so we can get the eagle in a few of the shots?” he says before handing the bullet to me. “I’ll understand if you’re too scared to do it, but it would be really cool.”

Sneaky bastard. He knows that daring me to do it is just the way to get me to do it. We’re eight hundred feet in the air and I should probably know better but his assistants help me up onto the ledge. It feels pretty secure up here. The ledge is wide and the eagle? She’s not going anywhere. But…between the wind, lack of sleep, or maybe Richie mixing his coke with something else, I’m suddenly sick to my stomach. I spin away from the crew and brace myself against the stone. The pastrami sandwich comes back up with a vengeance and flies out over Manhattan. But I’m a pro. Not one, single drop lands on the gown.

I turn back around to face the camera. “How’s my hair?” I ask. “You look fantastic,” they all shout. Richie begins shooting. I do my thing. Suddenly there’s squealing inside. Lots of commotion. And then, there he is. Prince. Out on the rooftop with a small entourage. Wow! I’d forgotten he said that he might stop by. His mouth drops open at the sight of me on the ledge, as everyone who was inside is outside now. They’re all staring at him. But he can’t take his eyes off of me. And I’m working it, too. I know how fucking amazing I must look up here.

Richie finishes the final roll of film and shouts, “Got it!” The crew breaks into applause. But it’s Prince who peels the pop tart off his arm and steps up to help me down from the ledge. I can feel the heat of his palms as he grips my hands and holds me steady. “You are such a bad bitch,” he says just loud enough for me to hear. “You’ve got to let me fuck you.”

He’s totally hot. From head to toe. And you know I saw this coming. But he’s so damn tiny. I’m five-feet-ten in my bare feet and can’t feel anything but ridiculous just thinking about getting it on with such a little dude. The idea of it, in the abstract, is nice. I mean, it’s Prince. But in reality, I’m afraid it’s gonna feel too weird. And besides, I climbed out of Eddie Murphy’s bed only a few hours ago. And he was short enough. As trophy-worthy as it would be to dust off not one but two superstars in one day, even I can’t be that stone cold of a ‘ho. Can I?

THE END