Anna ‘Delvey’ Sorokin may be a criminal, but she is also a pop culture phenomenon. There is nobody else who can wear an ankle monitor like she has, and nobody else can throw a New York Fashion Week runway show on the rooftop of her East Village apartment, 20 minutes after a thunderstorm, while on house arrest.
That was the scene last night, where the Netflix hype around Shondaland series Inventing Anna saw its fruition. Fans flooded the streets as security asked people to “clear the line” for models, who were wearing Shao New York’s debut collection, as they walked out from an enormous party bus and into a restaurant next door.
Photographers, who were squeezed under the building’s scaffolding, snapped away. Fans held up their phones to document the hype, as Anna ‘Delvey’ Sorokin, the fake heiress who was convicted of grand larceny and theft of services, was inside.
She has served over three years in prison and is now on house arrest for overstaying her visa, but is hoping to stay in the U.S. (and not get deported to Germany).
This runway show was the debut project from Sorokin and PR veteran Kelly Cutrone, founder of People’s Revolution, as part of their pop-up agency, the OutLaw Agency.
New York-based fashion designer Shao Yang is their first star, and has been making tailored suits for over a decade, but finally launched her namesake brand Shao New York at this show. Beyond the obvious hype, of course, Cutrone said the reason why people identify with this show is that this was “real.”
And if any fashion scene in the world needs more realness, it’s New York.
Or does it? New York is a pretty raw, real place, but even in fashion, it seeks more truth, honesty and a kind of freshness that was unparalleled by this night.
Of the 75 VIPs who did make it to the rooftop of the building (via stairs, many in high heels), it felt like a peaceful, intimate gathering. With fashion industry stars like Olivier Zahm and Nicola Formichetti in attendance, there was already a nod of respect before the show began.
It actually felt like a community of people (not strangers sitting beside each other at a runway show, ignoring each other).
Many did want a selfie with the star, but others just stood and gazed at the skyline sipping champagne or bottled water.
The rooftop has views of both the Empire State Building and One World Trade (which was lit up for the 9/11 Memorial, Tribute In Light). There was something bittersweet about it.
Sorokin was naturally generous with her time to the several TV crews who lined up to interview her, leaving trails of their wires everywhere on the wet, paper mache-like rooftop.
A large film crew from Jupiter Entertainment were on site (including the video editor), who are making a documentary about Sorokin, as well.
The main draw was the clothes. Specifically, the flourescent green pantsuit. Pinstripes were a major highlight, so were white dresses, hand-painted jackets, white stripes, and someone’s dog that was dyed cotton candy pink.
Overall, it was an eclectic, meta event that will go down in the fashion history books as strange, surprising and nonsensical. How can one even make sense of this night?
It just happened.
There was a lot of love that was put into this show—mainly the garments—and that was something you could feel from a mile away.
After the show wrapped, it felt like Sorokin was doing interviews all night. Her message was clear—she was trying to make the best out of the situation she is in. Uplifting others and their creative work was part of that, too.