Everyone from comedians Ali Wong and Aidy Brant to actresses and celebs like Natasha Lyonne, Rashida Jones and Whoopi Goldberg took to the stage for OC’s “Pageant of the People.” Each encouraged the crowd to get out and vote this election season, and voiced their views on such topics as feminism, the refugee crisis, and LGBT rights, to name just a few. There were 11 women in all that spoke out and there were even volunteers registering people to vote before and after the show.
First up was Ali Wong, to whom Fred Armisen posed the question, “Ali, how do you balance family and career?” Her response properly put that question into context. “People ask me that all the time. Men never get asked that question, because they don’t,” said Wong. “They just ignore the child and think it’s socially acceptable. But dad’s get so much praise for doing so little. My husband will occasionally change our child’s diapers and people say, “Oh my god, I can’t believe he changes the diapers!” When my baby girl was first born I would do skin on skin contact to bond with her and she’d shit on my chest. Where’s my trophy? But real talk…how do I balance family and career? I have a nanny and then I work my ass off to pay for the nanny. She’s $3,000 a month. My husband and I work very hard to not take care of our child.”
Meanwhile Rashida Jones took a more serious tone when discussing why Americans should care about the Syrian refugee crisis. “Currently the world is experiencing the largest refugee crisis in history and luckily, most of us here have never had to flee from our homes, because of war and violence,” said Jones. “There’s 13.5 million Syrian refugees, who can’t even vote. It seems far away, but I would venture to say that a lot of us here are descendants of immigrants, refugees, and slaves. Look where we are now: we’re so lucky, so privileged. I think it is our generational imperative and American responsibility to care.”
If that sounds a bit heavy for a fashion show, the gravitas was tempered by comedic MC’s Carrie Brownstein and Fred Armisen (of SNL and Portlandia fame), who poked fun at Jones by asking her to repeat her response for the crowd. The models were not spared either with each getting their own description as they walked down the runway. “This model just gave birth to a baby yesterday. Doesn’t she look great?” quipped Brownstein. Armisen later introduced one model as his mechanic claiming she’d been doing some work on his Volvo.
As for the retro clothes? They were inspired by photos of Carol Lim’s and Humberto Leon’s parents that were taken around the time they immigrated to the United States through Ellis Island and following the new model, the clothing will be ready for purchase in just two weeks. Start marking down your orders. Oh, and don’t forget to vote!
As the purpose of shows and the way in which a consumer should be reached gets increasingly confusing, Lim and Leon are using their very public platform to start a dialogue about what interests them outside of their clothing, thereby attempting to bring their customer (and new ones) into their world. They’ve done it before with film, art, dance, and so why not politics in these very strange times?