“We were all very drunk,” Matthew Rhys said. “And we were like, ‘Yes, yes, of course!’”
“He said there’d be free booze at the party — that’s the only part I remember.”
Matthew Rhys, the Welsh actor currently starring on FX’s “The Americans,” was recounting how he and partner (and costar) Keri Russell came to be featured in Rag & Bone’s fall portrait collection Thursday night — the details of which are, apparently, a tad fuzzy.
Rhys and Russell circled through the gallery space on Tenth Avenue, bottles of Peroni in hand, alongside a press-apprehensive Thom Yorke (who doubled as a DJ for the party), Haley Bennett, Amber Valletta, Joan Smalls, Dylan Penn and Mikhail Baryshnikov.
“Marcus is our neighbor, and our kids go to school together,” Russell said, standing near her portrait. “[We knew him] literally just from the kids at school, from bleary-eyed, unbrushed teeth drop-offs with kids at school. And then someone was like, ‘Oh no, he’s [the Rag & Bone designer].’
“We were are a birthday party and he said, ‘Do you want to do this thing?’” Russell continued. “We were all very drunk,” Rhys clarified. “And we were like, ‘Yes, yes, of course!’”
The two appeared like naturals in their respective portraits — though the Rag & Bone collaboration didn’t stir up any modeling inclinations. “Oh, I signed with Models 1 — was it Models 1? Yes, I’ve got a campaign,” Rhys said dryly. “You’re going to be doing women’s lingerie,” Russell joked, before adding, in sincerity, “No, everyone at the shoot was, like, way cooler than we were.”
Nearby was Emma Sulkowicz, who rose to Internet prominence during her time at Columbia University for her sexual assault awareness performance art piece “Carry That Weight.”
“They told me they were taking pictures of women they admired? It seems like that’s not the theme anymore,” said Sulkowicz with a laugh of her portrait, which was taken the day prior. “And I don’t actually really know what this is — but it was really fun!”
Despite not knowing exactly what the party entailed, the Columbia grad — now a student in the Whitney Museum’s independent study program — was nonetheless enjoying the experience. “It was my first time ever getting photographed, in this kind of situation,” she said. “I’ve never had anyone fuss over my makeup before — on a very fundamental level I think it feels nice. I’ve never experienced anything like it.”
Rag & Bone aren’t the only ones to reach out to the recent grad. “I got asked to be in this Elle hair thing — they’re doing a thing on people with hair that they like,” she said. “But then they ended up not wanting me anymore. It was very mysterious, they e-mailed my studio e-mail…”
Just past 9:30 p.m., as the party had moved to a neighboring room boasting whiskey and Tacombi tacos, the crowd parted for dancing. Recently exited Elle fashion news director Anne Slowey and the dancer and model known as Lil Buck took to the clearing for a round of Jookin, a dance popularized — at least with this crowd — by Lil Buck. Fashion week: full of surprises.