Stuck in a New York Fashion Week elevator with Andre Leon Talley
Making a sharp exit after a fashion show is key when you’re crazy storeys up in a high-rise building. The queues for the lift take what feels like a lifetime when you’re rushing to the next show across town. So getting into the very first lift down after the Oscar de la Renta show on the 25th floor of 11 West 42nd Street was a massive score.
Ten smug fashion editors – the notoriously outspoken former editor-at-large of American Vogue Andre Leon Talley, WSJ’s Meenal Mistry and Paula Knight, Le Figaro’s Godfrey Deeny,e Davidson Hudson, the Telegraph Magazine’s Daniela Agnelli and me (and three more I have yet to identify), plus Jim the elevator man – were on their way. Or not, as became evident when the lift jerked to a standstill around the second floor.
2 minutes in: Jim gets on the radio and explains the situation to the chief lift operator Ernie, our sole point of contact who over the course of the next 47 minutes turns out to be less than communicative. Attempts to restart the lift manually, pulling out red buttons, alarms ringing out, fail.
4m 56 We debate climbing out. Someone begins to recount how they were once stuck in a lift, but stops. Not the right moment.
6m Temperatures – and tempers – are rising and winter coats removed.
8m 47s “Can’t you call some emergency people to come help you?” asks Andre Leon Talley (aka ALT) to Jim. No. Nobody can call anyone because no one has mobile phone reception. We’re stuck in an elevator with no phones, and only Ernie to help us.
“Can’t you email someone?” Talley continues. No. There’s no reception.
“Maybe you could text someone?”
[there is much more hilarity at the link below]