Worldwide attention was given to Windsor Square at the beginning of December. With the Hollywood Sign in the background, between tall rows of Canary Island palm trees, fashion models strutted down the 112-year-old concrete street of Windsor Boulevard, between Fifth and Sixth Streets. Blaring music surrounded an audience of about 200 invited guests sitting in folding chairs lining the gutters on each side of the street.
Kept confidential in advance (both the full nature of the production, from the neighbors; and the actual location, from the guests), the event was the premier showing of the Balenciaga Fall Collection. The approximately 17-minute show is viewable on YouTube at: tinyurl.com/4aje4cvp.
Celebrities spotted included Tracee Ellis Ross, Salma Hayek, Kim Kardashian and Kendall Jenner. Also enjoying the sunny Saturday afternoon was Nicole Kidman, who had just signed on as the brand ambassador for the Paris-based fashion house.
Although the first inquiries about using the public street had gone out to neighbors in late June or early July, many residents — especially those on surrounding boulevards Plymouth, Lorraine and Lucerne — were surprised when they received a “Residential Access Pass” and instruction letter at the beginning of the week of the Dec. 2 event. A number of residents not on Windsor Boulevard (who already had agreed to keep themselves and their vehicles out of view during the filming and had received various
payments for the inconvenience), were upset that their streets would be closed for backstage activities or for limousine drop-off for the guests. But, the inconvenience was all over by late afternoon, and the Windsor Square Association was able to tell residents that it had negotiated with the producer for a contribution that will pay for landscape maintenance of the Larchmont Median, between Third and First streets, for about one year.
In a story in Women’s Wear Daily after the event, Windsor Boulevard resident Jeet Sohol told its reporter that “she was happy someone was having a fashion show on her side of town for a change.”