Sunday, September 17, 2006

The Unforgettable Ire: Bono's Fashion Week Tantrum


Damn those fashionistas. They just have no respect, man. Like, you're up there on a makeshift stage in the Hudson Hotel, and yeah, so you look a bit fat and dumpy, and on second thoughts that haircut and that auburn dye-job might not have been the best of ideas, but you've got your orange wraparounds on, and your leather kaks, and let's face it, the missus, tipping 50 and all as she might be, is still gorgeous. And she's up here beside you, and she's after designing this fashion line, no less, and getting girls in African countries to make the clothes in fair-trade conditions. And it rocks. Right? Right?!Hello? Is anybody out there listening? Hello???Listen, we've got Damien Rice here, and everything...and Jeff "Richard Dean Anderson" Sachs...Please??!!

So this was the scene on Friday night in the Hudson, as Bono and Ali Hewson stepped up before the last gathering of New York Fashion Week to launch the new line of Edun, the collection they co-created with the designer Rogan. Edun is about organic materials and fair-labour practices in family-run factories in Africa and South America. It's all very worthy...seriously. But the New York fashion crowd, frankly, doesn't do worthy. It does these things: free mojitos, goodie bags and celebrity-spotting, all of which were on offer at the Edun show, along with some dubious video-screen splicing of Lindsay Lohan (pouting in an Edun t-shirt) and African teenagers (grinning as they sewed together hundreds of the same t-shirts in a factory that looked like it was constructed from cardboard). As size zero biatches eyed each other up with vicious distaste, each trying to gauge the authenticity of the Christian Louboutin heels worn by the other, whilst simultaneously trying to get as close as possible to Heather Graham and her horror movie smile, Bono strode onstage, leading Ali by the hand and followed meekly by Rogan (no? me neither). The first signs of trouble came when, out of the 150 or so crowd gathered in the upstairs club space of the Hudson, maybe 15 people clapped at the appearance of the trio - and maybe 18 people stopped talking. The din of various Balenciaga-centred conversations wasn't deafening, but it was enough to irk Bono, who pleaded jokingly for silence to assuage his vulnerable ego. That didn't work. so he just had to keep talking while others did the same. He introduced Jeffrey Sachs, Professor of Economics at Columbia, who talked about how Bono and Ali were actually, literally, seriously changing the world (before making a nuclear-proof parachute out of chewing gum, a shoelace and an Edun t-shirt.) Then Bono talked about how at last year's show, they'd had "the poet laureate ", Lou Reed (actually, Bono, Donald Hall is the poet laureate, but let's not squabble over niceties) and, in keeping with that tradition of having major musicians play a song or two in honour of the Edun collection, they were now presenting Damien Rice. Who proceeded to blink and tremble his way through a mediocre performance while nobody listened, before erupting into a "please-be-quiet-I-can't-play-while-people-aren't-listening" pleading fit, and finally working out that, unless he played the song from the Jude Law film, nobody would have a clue who he was, and this was the only way to get people to listen. Which they did, eventually. Pity that by this stage, having played two songs, Rice had used up his entire repertoire and had to limp offstage again.

But!! The drama was not yet over!! Not content with having staged a fashion launch without a single piece of clothing in sight (not even one of the shapeless "One" t-shirts), Bono then came back onstage to make some closing remarks, rattled on for a minute or so and then, tired of having the whispered conversations of a handful of party-goers rasp cruelly on his sensitive eardrums, roared to the emaciated throng: "YOU KNOW WHAT? FUCK YOU AND YOUR FUCKING FINGER FOOD!!! WE'RE TRYING TO DO SOMETHING HERE AND ETC ETC ETC" This is pretty much an exact quote, folks. Fuck you and your finger food. Two fingers to finger food, if you will (to add insult to injury, the finger food was kind of disgusting. It stank the room out, and smelt a bit like sick, which is a not unusual smell at fashion shows, but hardly the effect Edun was going for).

Bonos' words after the outburst I can't remember; they're an embarrassing blur of middle-aged Irish malehood getting into a bit of a tizzy while its mortified wife looks in the other direction. (Besides, I was too distracted by the sight of one fashionista in front of me suddenly repenting of her ways and darting around to claw at the arm of another bulimichic while hissing "that's you he's talking about! That means you!!") Having delivered his diatribe to previously-indifferent-and-now-sniggering ears, Bono then muttered the requisite Irish parting shot about going off to get very drunk, and a VIP area consisting of Weathered Graham, Helena Christensen, "Lindsay Lohan's Mother" (whose presence Bono felt obliged to mention onstage...another classy moment) and...oh, that was sort of it, really. The fashionistas raced for their goodie bags, the free mojitos dried up and everybody went back to not giving a crap about Africa. And that was Bono's Fashion Week. Funny thing is, the Edun clothes, stocked in Saks Fifth Avenue among other places, actually aren't bad; some of them, at least. Maybe if they'd opted for a runway show instead of a running commentary on balding muso insecurity, the whole thing wouldn't have been such a fiasco. Then again, if they'd done that, it wouldn't have been nearly as much fun....

update: Alright, alright. If all you bloggorites are going to come over here pointing and laughing at poor old Bono, I suppose the least I can do is direct you to the bloody ONE site. There you can buy something new to go along with your Twink t-shirt. You're still not going to look as hot as Seal in it, though. What? Oh, right, Matteo from In America, whatever. And stop muttering about how $40 could get you a Ryanair flight to Lesotho to pick up one of the t-shirts for yourself. It's for charity. Next up: an Edun t-shirt in aid of Damien Rice's self-esteem.

another obsessive update: Open All Night has the exact quote, which is hardly any heavier on the peaches-and-cream than my approximation: “Take your fucking finger food and fuck off!” quoth Bono. And if you really want to hammer this story to death (like, er, me), read the squeaky-clean version of events at RTE online, which recounts The Bon’s sick-inducing endorsement of Rice’s genius in all its hilarious, overblown detail. So Damo can “still and distil the crowds into quiet reflection,” can he? Not this crowd. He should have tried bribing them with a Birkin bag.

10 comments:

cornaroy said...

The unforgettable ire! I love it..

Anonymous said...

Bloody great blog!

Miglior acque said...

Oh God this is so funny. I have not laughed so much in ages. Mark just played the Twink message yesterday in Dublin, and today, back in the Ox, I downloaded it. Very very funny.

Susie Bee said...

if he keeps getting fatter and baldier (apart from the spikes) will he end up loooking like Moe?

Suze x

Susie Bee said...

That's as in Moe from the Three Stooges and not the Simpsons LOL!

Suze x

Anonymous said...

Thank you ;-) check out that emo boy one over this blog:
http://www.emo--boys.info

Anonymous said...

Arterpell ArterpellJB
J.J. Watt Jersey
Victor Cruz Jersey
Authentic Eli Manning Jersey

Anonymous said...

beats by dr dre gtvvmttd beats by dre yleghvfp beats dr dre tqofzmcw beats for sale atjijmjz beats headphones weagvlwq cheap monster beats ngttraxy dr dre beats egkcyhzx dr dre headphones dgotwllu monster beats by dre ytjfsqge monster beats headphones uwpohnxd monster beats nwxyevht monster headphones hywkffnv

Anonymous said...

ghd mequjlgb GHD Hair Straightener wkjjctwv GHD Australia zhjhlqtf cheap ghd

Anonymous said...

beats by dr dre cktobtfv beats by dre tucbkxkh beats dr dre fkwndikc beats for sale kkxdgbqf beats headphones ojjbbqti cheap monster beats ymsmjyse dr dre beats wbivovkq dr dre headphones oismupwy monster beats by dre kqdnnlzi monster beats headphones sxzesiys monster beats ekqbfgyd monster headphones wuyknovb