In retrospect, I should have been prepared for a spectacle at Philip Treacy's show last night, given the grand, cavernous venue of the Royal Courts of Justice and the airport-style security to get in, which was truly a sight to be seen. (Putting my [Target] clutch in a plastic bin with Anna Dello Russo’s crystal minaudiere, and seeing Vivienne Westwood stride through the metal detector was like being in a weird fashion dream.) Still, nothing prepared me for what was to be one of the most spectacular shows I've ever seen.
Once we were (finally) granted entry into the venue, we jostled for seats alongside Grace Jones, Boy George, Kim Cattrall, Dita von Teese, and industry titans including Sarah Burton. It felt like everyone in London had gathered together to celebrate the much-loved milliner at his first show in eight years.
About two minutes before the show started, the PR turned to me and told me to get my camera ready, because "this is about to be the greatest moment of our lives."
Given the PR's propensity to exaggerate, I was more than a little skeptical. That was until the lights went down, and Lady Gaga glided out before us in what can only be described as a pink chiffon shroud. She stopped halfway down the catwalk, raised her arms, and bellowed "Welcome to the show of the greatest milliner in the world, Philip Treacy. In the clothes of the late Michael Jackson." (Ed. Note: Seriously--these really were MJ's clothes, on loan from his former costume designer, according to
All the while Lady Gaga was sitting on the floor between aisles of the front row. As she hadn't sung and it wasn't announced that she would be at the show, lots of the people sitting around her had no idea a star was in their midst. But she stayed still, uncharacteristically out of the limelight, until the show finished and Philip had taken his bow. About half the crowd flooded backstage to congratulate him on his historic show. The rest of us sat in our seats, completely awestruck and overwhelmed by what we had just witnessed. This will also go down in history as the worst time for anyone's iPhone to die, ever. I blame you, iPhone 5.