This morning, Christina Binkley, fashion and style columnist for The Wall Street Journal, posted the above photo to her Instagram account. And, much to our shock and horror, it shows the iconic EIC sitting (ugh) second row. Say it ain't so!
Granted, Ms. Wintour is seated among Lucky's Eva Chen and Vogue's Grace Coddington, Tonne Goodman, and Hamish Bowles in what is clearly the Condé Nast equivalent of the cool kids' lunch table. And, we doubt the formidable Ms. Wintour would suffer second row unless she absolutely wanted to. Still, this does bring up the interesting phenomenon we've spotted time and again at fashion shows.
More often than not, front rows are littered with a photographer-baiting mélange of reality-TV stars, big-name bloggers, party girls, and miscellaneous wealthy people who watch the show through their iPhone screens, while seasoned fashion journalists scribble their notes from the second row. At one show this season, this writer witnessed a very respected fashion-writing veteran struggling to see past the American Idol finalist from 10 years ago seated front row.
Of course, runway shows have long been a PR spectacle as much as an industry showcase. And, in that sense, sitting Wintour and other major-name editors front row is as much a professional decision as it is a cachet-building move for designers. It may be tough to feel bad for Wintour, who'll never truly get a bad seat at a show. Our hearts go out more to the second-, third-, and fourth-row neck-craners who, you know, actually need to write about these clothes for a living. May the socialites and reality-show crooners in front of you be, if not completely absent, then at least very short.
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