Party Chat: Nigel On Coco 'She Only Has One Move' (He's Kidding!)

By Fawnia Soo Hoo

A jam-packed, celeb-attended bash at the Chelsea hotspot, The Darby, was obviously the only way to fête the gorge Coco Rocha February DuJour magazine cover, which was shot by fashion photog Nigel Barker. The two guests of honor were all smiles as they worked the crowd of admirers and friends—including model Hilary RhodaAngela Simmons and "Real Housewife of New York City" LuAnn de Lesseps—but I managed to corner them for a chat before the party got really crazy.

Nigel and Coco are actually old friends, as well as, colleagues on "The Face," so they're not above a little professional humor when it comes to their collaboration on the DuJour cover shoot.

"I hated it," Coco deadpanned.

"She’s so difficult to work with," Nigel countered, hilariously playing along. "You know, she just has one move and she does it over and over again. If it weren’t for the fact that I move so much myself and I come up with all these brilliant ideas."

"You know, quite frankly," he continued. "I cracked out a move I haven’t cracked out in years. It’s called the Bunny Rabbit and it’s massive and it’s made the cover. And you might notice the make-up artist’s hand is in the picture. You do whatever we can to make the picture exciting when you’re working with Coco. What can I say."

While these two might consider moonlighting as a fashion-forward improv duo, it is worth noting that there is indeed a hand and finger possibly poking Coco in the face on the DuJour cover. And Coco and Nigel look like they're busting out some 90s-era dance moves inside the mag.

Going along with the riff, I couldn't help but ask Coco, on a scale of 1 to 10, how difficult is Nigel to work with?

"Difficult?" the good-natured model laughed. "I mean he cannot not be in the photo with me. That was probably his hand [in the cover photo]. He’s like, 'I need to be in this, I’ll pretend.'

"I wanted to be on the cover, too," Nigel chuckled. "My hand—I’m in it, baby!"

"I have no clue whose hand that is, but I’m sure it was his," Coco concluded.

All joking aside, the two have nothing, but amazing, warm-and-fuzzy things to say about each other. Coco was the first model mentor candidate Nigel suggested for "The Face" and the two even had adjacent dressing areas on the set of the show. 

"Whenever it would get so stressful, I literally would part his room [the heavy curtains that separate the dressing areas] so that he would talk to me," Coco described. "That’s what what you need as a photographer. You don’t want to feel overwhelmed when you’re with a photographer. You want to be excited and he excites you just the same way, so you want to give your best. He’s a good man. Even though he wants to be in my photos."

Just couldn't resist, huh? Well, the two are excited for the premiere of "The Face" on Tues., Feb., 12 at 9/8c (plug, plug!).

"[It] shows the heart and soul behind the industry," Nigel explained. "Because you often see the exclusivity and, often, all the frills, the frivolousness of the business. But what I like to say is there’s a serious side to fashion."

"In fact, someone like Michelle Obama and the way she dresses in an extraordinary fashion," he pointed out. "[She] is one of the most educated women, married to the President, is a business woman in her own right and she shows that fashion can be serious, too. And, if you love what you wear, it makes you more powerful and more empowered and that’s why the business is so important."

Of course, Nigel loved her Jason Wu-designed red evening gown for the Inaugural Ball. (Me, too!) Coco, on the other hand, has been "in a cave" working on this mysterious and very major top-secret project of hers (she wouldn't divulge, I tried), so she missed all the FLOTUS Inauguration wardrobe frenzy. 

"I heard that she has bangs," she said. "That’s how far in the cave I’ve been. I don’t know what’s going on."

More party pics below:

Nigel, Coco mug for the camera with Hilary Rhoda and DuJour publisher (and Karolina's friend) Jason Binn.

Nigel table hops to join Angela Simmons, Jason Binn again, and Countess LuAnn de Lesseps.

[Photo Credit: Cindy Ord/Getty Images for DuJour Magazine]


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