Lockdown 2020

INTRO

They say you never really know a person until you live with them. When Winona and Riccardo decide to self-quarantine together at her luxury condo on Central Park West, each day brings a new revelation. A new truth. Some are sweet. Others not so much. It’s three weeks of mad discovery.

 

PANEL 1

Covid-19 has taken over the planet! Riccardo suggests we shelter-in-place at my condo and I agree to it although my gut is in don’t-do-it mode. Jumpy jittery. Is it just me being me? I’ve lived with only one man in my life, many years ago when I was still modeling. I was in and out of the country a lot so it didn’t seem like a full-time situation. This time will be different. We’re on lockdown for at least three weeks, going out only if absolutely necessary. Can he and I survive 24-7 of togetherness?

 

PANEL 2

One thing’s for damn sure. When sheltering-in-place, it’s nice to have an in-house piece to lock it down with. We eat, knock boots, order more food, knock boots some more, sleep, wake up and go at it again. But we’ve got to climb out of this bed eventually. Right? Maybe tomorrow? What day is it anyway??

 

PANEL 3

Riccardo is working on a new novel and my little salon-slash-media room has become his office. This man’s daily routine is whack! Lounging about in silk pajamas, he drinks tea, smokes weed and shouts at the tv while switching back and forth between CNN, MSNBC and the local news broadcasts at noon, six and eleven pm. He does manage to get some writing done, though. He’s old school, working out his story details in longhand, and there’s ledger paper all over my floor. It’s killing me.

 

PANEL 4

I dress and put on a face every morning before sitting down at my desk. Or better yet, pacing back and forth across the floor while talking on the phone with retailers, fashion editors, casting agents. My broker. The agency is closed, my models aren’t working, and all business is at a standstill. I’m losing a small fortune every single day. Riccardo’s barbershop emporium on Malcolm X Blvd. is shut up tight. So are the three food trucks he has parked outside The Met on 5th Avenue. Life as we know it has ground to a halt.

 

PANEL 5

Spreading out like a virus himself, Riccardo is occupying more and more of my space. Every day there’s another delivery. Clothes, gadgets, toiletries. My man comes with a lot of baggage. Literally. The frig is crammed with cartons of juice and jars and containers of I don’t know what. And the worse? Those white whiskers! They’re everywhere! I finally snap and not just about his beard hairs. I throw the media room mess into the mix, too. Things get testy. But then we discover a mutual love for J. R. Ewing. Who knew? Snuggling on the couch, we snack for three-and-a-half days while binge-watching DALLAS on Amazon Prime.

 

PANEL 6

One afternoon, on my way to the kitchen, I hear him in the foyer talking to someone. It’s a young woman. She looks Latina behind the mask. He hands her several bills and she extracts a plastic baggie of weed. They see me and freeze. He introduces her as Ariana, his “weed guy”. She’s giving me the sneaky side-eye but it barely registers on my radar, which is turned all the way on him and set on blast. Really, bruh? Pandemic or not, how about a heads up before inviting strangers into my space? After all, it is my space.

 

PANEL 7

After two and a half weeks inside, I’m just tired of the whole ordeal. It’s time to break out of here. I call for the town car to take me downtown to the agency. They assure me that the limo has been thoroughly disinfected, shields are up and in place, and my driver has a clean bill of health. Okay. Deciding on which mask to wear, I’ll confess that I’ve developed a thing about it. The mask must work with my outfit. Even just going downstairs for the mail. Silly? So what? It gives me something to do. But Riccardo is mocking me. He rolls his eyes and calls me the s-word. Shallow.

 

PANEL 8

At WINONA, INC., in blissful silence, I do a wellness check on each of my twenty-seven models. They’re scattered all over the world, trapped in Spain, Italy, France, and it takes hours to reach them all. Afterwards I stretch my legs and walk twelve empty blocks to Lourdis’ place in the Village. She’s been holed up for two weeks with a hunky twenty-two year old. We drink champagne and practice our social distancing while she tries on a shipment of new fashions from her favorite boutique in London. “How’s things uptown with the writer?” she asks. Should I admit that it’s been somewhere between sheer nirvana and a bad dream, depending on the time of day? Nah. Instead I laugh. “It’s like living with Hugh Hefner. His pajama game is insane!”

 

PANEL 9

It’s early evening when I return home. There’s a guy, real regular, standing outside the building. He’s one of those characters who’s made the willful decision not to wear a mask and Don the doorman is struggling to keep him at a distance. The stranger turns, sees me and extends his hand. “Hey girl”, he says. “I’m Tyrone.” I take a few steps back and he stops. “I just wanted to say hello,” he snarls. “Your man had me bring some of his things down here. You got a nice crib upstairs. You been living here long?”

 

PANEL 10

In the elevator, I’m reeling. He did it again?! He’s had someone else in my house? Just what part of don’t-invite-strangers-into-my-home doesn’t he get? No. Riccardo’s not stupid. He’s just acting like it, trying to impose his will on my territory. Pissing all over my boundaries? I’m the wrong one, boo.  And I can’t wait to tell him! The elevator door opens and I step into the vestibule. Hold up. What’s that odor? I put the key in the lock and open my front door. “What’s that I’m smelling in here?”

 

PANEL 11

Hef is in the living room, in a fresh pair of pj’s, holding onto an enormous glass bong. I can see from here how lit he is. Wow. He truly enjoys the ganja life. A lot more than I ever realized. Several beat-up cardboard boxes are scattered across the floor and a guitar leans against my coffee table. I’m relieved to see the Lysol spray and a roll of paper towels nearby. But wait. “What is that you’re cooking?” I ask again. He nods towards the kitchen. “Check it out.”

 

PANEL 12

When I lift the lid on the stovetop, it takes me a moment to figure out just what it is I’m looking at. How long has it been? Over forty years? My grandmother wouldn’t allow them in the house. Not even on holidays. But I turn my back for one afternoon, just one, and this man is in my kitchen cooking pig’s feet! I almost vomit, but it’s rage that’s driving me now. I slam down the lid, grab oven mitts, snatch the pot off the burner and head for the front door.

 

PANEL 13

In the trash room, I fling open the garbage door and pour huge chunks of chopped celery, onion, garlic and five, no, six pig’s feet straight down the chute. It’s gonna stink. All the way down. But I don’t care, as long as this foulness can’t be traced back to me. “I live here, Riccardo. And I don’t want that kind of stench coming out of my crib! If you had just ASKED me, I would’ve told you that and saved you the trouble!”

 

PANEL 14

He follows me back inside and shuts the door. “Well excuse me, Miz Central Park West,” he throws it at me like a slur. “I didn’t realize I needed permission from you and the condo board to cook something that, in many places, is considered a delicacy.” His combination of address-shaming and epicurean mansplaining makes me ache to throw this pot at his head. “So you don’t do pig’s feet?” he asks. I count to five to calm myself. “What makes you think I do pig’s feet?” I hiss. “I don’t even do YOUR feet!”

 

PANEL 15

My gut warned me not to do it. I am a woman who’s set in my ways. Having my own space means too much to me. And it’s get-to-steppin’ for the man who tries to take it from me. Letting him go—again—hurts. It hurts more because this time, I gave so much more. But right now, watching him roll his accumulated crap out of my condo, I ask him with as straight a face as I can muster, “Think you can manage with all of your shit? Maybe you better call Tyrone—”

THE END

What She Wore During Fashion Week – February 2020

OPENING PANEL

Winona is to FASHION WEEK what fireworks are to the 4th of July. The show might go on but without her it sure won’t be the same. Back in the day she was in such high demand on the catwalk that designers were known to adjust their show dates to work around her schedule. And now, as the agency owner with six of the fashion industry’s top models on her roster, they still do! Ah…it’s nice to be on top. But hard as hell to stay there.

She shows up on everyone’s web page and blog site during FASHION WEEK. Covering her fashion choices for the next few days is just as important as anything happening on the runways so stay tuned. WHAT SHE WORE DURING FASHION WEEK starts NOW…

Day 7

WINONA 1

What was up with MICHAEL KORS sending his models out practically bare-face? At 10am?? Did the make-up crew not show? The girls looked tired and beat, especially those who worked all week. Have a heart, Mike! But he served up a collection of gorgeous, mouth-watering flannels and plaids. Leather straps and buckles. The boots and bags were Detail 1on point with heavy MK hardware. Sometimes it got a little Becky-bougie. I could’ve done without the extra set of built-in sleeves to tie around the neck. But all-in-all, his fine precision and master workmanship may have made this one of my favorite shows of the week.

I’m so tired of trashing the MARC JACOBS show. Season after season.  No rhyme, no reason, no theme. And more than most of it was just straight-up unflattering. I feel the Jackie Kennedy vibe with his head-to-toe monochromatic coats. I get it. But doing it over and over, season after season, doesn’t make it better. It’s just another do-over. I know Marc’s got his vision. Whatever it is. I’m just not gonna work that hard to try and figure it out.

So, my lovelies, another New York Fashion Week is done. But London’s Fashion Week jumps off tomorrow, Harlem’s Fashion “Week” happens on Saturday, Milan is next week and Paris is the week after. You know, I just might show up anywhere. SMOOCHES!

Winona is wearing DRIES VAN NOTEN

Days 5 & 6

DIOR

Guess what? I ragged on Jason Wu and his pantyhose but Tom Ford’s models out in L.A. wore hose, too. Well, I’m not gonna…

THE ROW was first thing Monday. Minimalist, relaxed, luscious knits and wools in jackets, trousers, capes and coats. Layered-up in three, four, five piece ensembles. Tailoring to die. The Twins have been doing this for 10 years now and they had us in and out in less than 15 minutes! They know.

I think CAROLINA HERRERA‘s Wes Gordon finally got the big message. This collection was by far more Carolina than any of his previous attempts. Ultra feminine, showy, sophisticated, colorful, all the stuff her customers demand. Give ’em what they want!

DIOR detail 1JONATHAN SIMKHAI featured lots of play on trench-coat styling. It was a weird reminder of the MONSE show from just a few days ago. They did a lot of the same thing. But Simkhai’s sharply pleated leather pieces were so scrumptious and worked to within an inch. Kinda made up for everything else.

DION LEE‘s style is evolving. And me likee! The skirts and trousers dropped from waist chains, neck chains, and pulley strings were sleek, hot, and original. But like last season’s garters, the thong straps seemed silly. Ditto for the double obi-type belts. The youngins will dig it, though. Dion is onto something kinda special.

Pardon my rant but I know Mr. DE LA RENTA rolled over in his coffin when the presentation bearing his name hadn’t kicked off by 9:30 last night! Held at the library, anyone who knew him knows how he despised a late showing. Maybe I was just pissy at the new designer’s disregard for his high standards but this collection left me cold. That is all.

COACH is trying to capture a younger market. I can appreciate that. But what they’re known for is their kick-ass leather craftsmanship. Don’t sleep on it. The sneakers and socks with everything threw me, and the group of striped pieces at the end was a refreshing touch, but it’s all about the skins at Coach. And they’d better not forget it!

Winona is wearing DIOR                Handbag by FENDI

DAY 7

Days 3 & 4

BV on the street

On Saturday, ULLA JOHNSON, a master with skins, showed several gorgeous ensembles during her presentation. The coat and trouser leather combos had a sweet retro feel. But the rest of her collection was kind of a yawn. I appreciate wanting to branch out but I always say, stick to what you know.

Detail 1CHRISTOPHER JOHN ROGERS gave us a young and vibrant mix. He won the CFDA award last year so that pumped a few extra dollars into his shiny fabric fund. And he used a lot of it, too. His color palette was rich, bold, and I wanted to love it all but, maybe next season.

BRANDON MAXWELL at the Natural History Museum had a cheering section, literally. Two girls from the Netflix series CHEER was on the front row. He seemed inhabited by the spirit of Ralph Lauren with this super-tailored collection. It was gorgeous, but Brandon’s signature heat was sadly MIA.

LAQUAN SMITH was as sexy as always. Club wear all day long. But I’m still waiting to be knocked the fuck out by him. I know it’s there. I’ve seen it. Stop playin’, LaQuan.

BEVZA served up clean, minimalist looks. Slinky silks, recycled knits, sophisticated layering, sometimes the sweaters got kind of massive but her show shoe was the biggest hit. A sexy, square-toed thong sandal worn with everything. Yummy.

Detail 2ROMEO HUNTE was at FIT paying homage to Tommy Hilfiger, who actually donated pieces to recycle for this collection. Romeo recreated lots of denim, sweats, hoodies, big furry coats, fun street wear. And I get it. Sustainable fashion has its’ place. At the Goodwill. Or consignment shops. Just not feeling fresh on the catwalk, though.

JASON WU delivered beautiful jewel-tones and romantic pieces that were fluid, flowy and feathery. Interesting fabric treatments, too. But I couldn’t get over the models wearing pantyhose. Why??? It’s those weird little details that become very big distractions. Later—

Winona is wearing BOTTEGA VENETA . Handbag by PROENZA SCHOULER. Booties by SALVATORE FERRAGAMO

DAYS 5 & 6

Days 1 & 2

CHANEL ON THE STREET

Fashion Week Fall-Winter 2020 brought more shifts and changes to the industry. Many I don’t like. Tom Ford running off to present his collection in L.A. is one of them. There was no kick-off party! Not until Friday night. But we’ll get into that later. Here are some highlights from Thursday and Friday—

Detail 1Thursday afternoon with TADASHI SHOJI started out very interesting. Heavy on the Mongolian vibe, I loved his tapestries and brocades especially. But things tanked with the evening wear. Stuffy, with way too many sequins. What in the Liberace-in-Vegas happened there?

CHRISTIAN SIRIANO stepped completely out of his comfort zone this season. Sponsored by BIRDS OF PREY, the Harley Quinn flick, his collection was fun and loud, with heavy metal music and lots of heart-shaped beauty marks. Hated the pink lipstick! But loved that snappy signature wide-brimmed hat.

MONSE on Friday. Big safety pin closures, tartan plaids, but enough bare skin to sex it all up. Deconstructed but not as extreme as past seasons. James Turlington, Christy’s nephew, was on the catwalk. Still can’t believe he signed with IMG over Winona, Inc. That boy is prettier than his aunt.

Detail 2Marcus Wainwright and RAG & BONE have been off the Fashion Week scene for a minute. He’s back, with comfy sweater dresses and fabu slouchy boots. Clunky thigh-high boots with slinky little slipdresses, All nice. But boys in camouflage and dainty flowers patterns? That’s a NO from me, doll.

SERGIO HUDSON is new and fresh. He served up lots of monochromatic looks with big 80s hair and great color. Loved his bold houndstooths. And the tight skirts and belted jackets really took me back to my days with Versace. So hot. Keep an eye on him.

 DAYS 3 & 4

Winona’s jacket is CHANEL                       Handbag by SARA BATTAGLIA

What She Wore During Fashion Week – February 2020

OPENING PANEL

Winona is to FASHION WEEK what fireworks are to the 4th of July. The show might go on but without her it sure won’t be the same. Back in the day she was in such high demand on the catwalk that designers were known to adjust their show dates to work around her schedule. And now, as the agency owner with six of the fashion industry’s top models on her roster, they still do! Ah…it’s nice to be on top. But hard as hell to stay there.

She shows up on everyone’s web page and blog site during FASHION WEEK. Covering her fashion choices for the next few days is just as important as anything happening on the runways so stay tuned. WHAT SHE WORE DURING FASHION WEEK starts NOW…