In mid-May, I attended ‘Fashion Icons: Lauren Hutton in Conversation with Fern Mallis’ at the 92Y + was extra excited. Mind you, Lauren, the iconic model + actress, is the woman that’s had me wishing for front-gapped teeth since I was little. Not even sticking spinach purposely between my front teeth could replicate her smile. I, however, had to settle for buck teeth that reached down to my chin I went from a retainer to braces. But enough about me.
Now, as excited as I was to hear more about Lauren, I knew I was in for a good show since Fern always knows how to ask the right questions. Usually, she lets us cozy up with her celebrity guest, as she takes us all down memory lane. No matter how personal yet non-threatening the questions are, her guests usually comply willingly, but Lauren, she was having none of that.
When she came out, wearing a short curly hair cut, a red + white vertically striped shirt under a navy blazer, relaxed jeans + her signature white kicks. Along with little to no makeup, she lived up to her reputation as a stylish preppy. In admitting to being 70, my jaw dropped so far down, my neighbor tripped over it when she needed to get out + to use the ladies room – Lauren looks that good!
Now, Hutton changed the program around, dismissing any real structure + turning it into a one-woman show. I never knew how funny, candid + animated she was. Of the things I learned about Lauren, I will recount, but in no particular order:
- Lauren grew up poor, in Florida, where she learned how to wrestle gators + catch snakes.
- Two things brought Hutton to New York-traveling to Africa + LSD. And at the rate she was going, I think Fern needed some LSD to keep up with her.
- Lauren credits Richard Avedon with putting her on the map. Avendon called her ‘the link between the dream + the drugstore. She’s the girl next door, but she moved away.’
At one point, she complains about the extreme brightness of the overhead lights + puts her hand on her forehead hoping to see the audience better. Lauren compared the bright lights to those used in interrogations + motioned to her shirt + said that her stripes would then have to be horizontal, like an inmate’s, which resulted in a huge laugh from the audience.
- As a Playboy Bunny, if you were ‘stacked’, as Gloria Steinem was, you were a Night Bunny but she wasn’t so Lauren was a Day Bunny. Apparently, the Night Bunnies never talked to the Day Bunnies.
There were two times where Lauren proceeded to suck her thumb, but for a split second – maybe that’s why she kept asking if she could smoke on stage. Fern said no + Lauren then asked if she had at least something to suck on. We ate it all up + couldn’t stop laughing.
- If Lauren has had any loves, a big one would have to be is Africa – she would often leave for two months at a time.
In the end, Fern barely said much + next thing you know, two hours went by. Hanging on Lauren’s every word, just waiting for the next punchline, made time unimportant. Normally, my butt would’ve fallen asleep after sitting that long, but in laughing so hard + so much, it was absolutely painless + worth it!
Lauren is currently working on ‘Smile’, her memoir. I’m sure that’ll be a juicy read!
(photos: Brigitte Lacombe, Mariano Vivianco, Mikael Jannsson, Richard Avendon, Mario Testino, Andrea Blanch)