I Went to a Prom Show with Sailor Brinkley Cook

Don't judge.
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Don't judge.
Prom King Malik Lindo and Prom Queen Sailor Brinkley Cook. Voting might have been a little bit rigged. Photo: Mike Coppola/Getty Images

Prom King Malik Lindo and Prom Queen Sailor Brinkley Cook. Voting might have been a little bit rigged. Photo: Mike Coppola/Getty Images

Yes, "Gilmore Girls" will forever be my favorite show and I probably watch a bit more CW than I should, but that doesn't quite give me, an adult, a reasonable excuse for spending Saturday afternoon at a prom fashion show. But before you judge me or call the authorities, let me explain. I was there for work, OK? 

Lord & Taylor kicked off prom season (i.e., prom dress shopping season) with a #BestPromEver spectacular at its Fifth Avenue flagship, where local high school students modeled looks for the biggest dance of the year, including our favorite teenage model/social media superstar, Sailor Brinkley Cook, who closed out the show as Prom Queen.

"I've never walked any type of runway thing before — like, any walking in heels on a runway in front of people you don't know," she told me in the green room before her debut. "So it's going to be fun, but it's also going to make me nervous." Adorable considering that her mother, Christie Brinkley, is one of the most legendary models on the planet. Not to sound like a crusty old person, but Brinkley-Cook is honestly the most gracious, most down-to-earth teen (not to mention celebrity offspring and model) I've ever met, so kudos to her famous parents for raising her right. (Okay, I really did just sound old there.)

Even though the 16-year-old has an impressive lineage to fall back on, that doesn't mean she's exempt from the social order and commandments dictated by upperclassmen at her high school in the Hamptons. See, only upperclassmen are allowed to wear long gowns to the dance, while the freshmen and sophomores are relegated to sporting short dresses.

 "We'll have this Facebook invite where all the girls that are going to prom will post the dress that they're going to wear, so no one wears the wrong dresses," she explained. "Last year, I posted this really beautiful red long dress and a girl who was in 12th grade commented and she was like, 'No, you're not wearing that because you're not an upperclassman.'" Regina George lives! (Seriously, I've never been so happy to be old, although social media might have prevented my junior prom "Bitch Stole My Look" moment that still haunts me to this day.) 

But Brinkley Cook took the veto in stride, and opted for a simple red mini-dress from Reformation (good taste), where she'll probably find her long gown this year — since she's an upperclassman now, suckas. She wants it to be "like, glittery though," she said. "That should be really pretty."

Back to the matter at hand: the fashion show. The other female models had made it through casting calls at local Manhattan high schools, while the three dudes, who acted as escorts, were actually legit models. (Apparently convincing high school boys to put themselves out there for the casting calls proved difficult. Hey, it's a tough business.) That fact did make me feel better about staring a little too long at "Chris," who looked kind of like Wren from "Pretty Little Liars." (And before you jump to conclusions, the actor who plays Wren is 32, OK?)

Despite the requisite delay — I mean, it wouldn't be a fashion show if it started on time — the show went smoothly. Instead of grizzled photogs jockeying for space in a fashion week runway pit, proud moms wielding smartphone cams and iPads (of course) stood at the end of walkway to snap their kids' fashion debuts.

And in case you're wondering, jumpsuits, modest cut-outs, illusion backs and separates (the prom queen wore a crop top with a ballgown skirt) are all on-trend for the season. Now I'm left wondering whether a jumpsuit counts as a long dress, or if it's a total loophole to flout the unofficial, but so official, social order dress code. Maybe I should ask Regina....

The prom court. Photo: Mike Coppola/Getty Images

The prom court. Photo: Mike Coppola/Getty Images