"How you doin'? There, I said it. It's impossible not to say it when you're running the streets with New York's most popular larger-than-life talk show glamazon Wendy Williams. It took about five minutes of being part of WW's posse on Fashion's Night Out before I heard her signature shout-out slipping from my lips. But not to worry; it's all good. "I love it. It's my catchphrase," she tells me, before adding that, yes, from time to time, she doesn't feel like saying it back: "Sometimes I don't feel my 'how you doin'' best. Then I just give them back a non-verbal."
Williams and I are spending some quality FNO time together at the Vivienne Tam boutique in SoHo, where she's hosting a fête, and announcing the winners of the evening's raffle drawing. Williams, who calls herself the "Queen of All Media," first made a splash in the public eye as an outspoken radio personality on New York's 98.7 Kiss FM before launching her hoot of a talk show in 2008. We figured that since we spend most of our time with WW during the day (her show, now in its third season, airs here in New York at 10 a.m. on FOX), it would be fun to have some time with her out and about after-dark.
On this particular night she's rocking a signature zuper sexy body-hugging blouse and skirt and five-inch heels. (She's 5'11" in bare feet so you can imagine the visual punch she packs.) Williams seems to have fun wherever she goes, but you do get the unmistakable sense that she means business. The borderline mayhem of FNO isn't Wendy's usual nightlife lewk. "On a perfect night, it's my husband and me and it's a date."
But she does like to let loose on the dance floor every once in a while, and be- fore heading out, Williams says, "I like to start with a shower, and on club night I like to wear the shower gel that accompanies a nice fragrance. I don't like to spend too much time in the mirror because if I go out for breakfast afterwards it looks very scary, you know?" While she and her husband (who also happens to be her manager and business partner) Kevin get ready together, at their home in Ocean Township, New Jersey, WW says she doesn't let him see her till she's ready. "I don't like my husband to see me until I present myself and say 'how do I look?' Before then, he averts his eyes." A lot of club-hoppers like to get pumped for party-time by listening to some high-energy jams or throwing back a shot or two, but Williams has a different non-negotiable ritual. "I watch the 10 o'clock news on FOX, because if there is any major backup in the tunnel that's going to stall my party they will let me know."
Williams' day-look is a lot, so the transition to nighttime is never too drastic. "I always wear something very form-fitting. I'm a clingy girl. I love clothes that contour my body." And accessories? "For shoes it's the higher the better. Who wears flats to the club?" She continues, "The shoes that I wear during the day are the ones I wear to the club. With the price of shoes today you gotta get your money's worth so I wear them day and night." The disco purse is not for WW. "I prefer not to carry a bag at all. I like to put on my lipstick and then store it in someone else's pocket." And the crowning touch? "I wear a long-haired wig and like to have it tousled as opposed to a very stiff style. Easy breezy!"
Once the outfit is together and the traffic situation is clocked, Williams and her husband head into the Naked City. They're not looking for the latest hard-to-get-into- celebrity-packed-hotspot. Wendy's up-in-da-club checklist is a lot more practical. "I like going to spots where I know I can get a seat. You've got to pay for a banquette and so we do. The more you walk in heels the more likely you'll be falling. I do like bottle service and I do like banquettes. Those are the things for a 47-year-old woman to like at a club."
When it's time to get freaky on the dance floor Wendy's musical tastes are var- ied. "I like all kinds of music at the club, everything from Katy Perry to Nas. I love to hear '80s disco, unfortunately you don't get a lot of that in the club. You might get a little Duran Duran -- but that's not what I'm talking about. I'm talking about Sylvester." She also loves hip-hop, like Jay-Z, and especially Jadakiss. She laughs: "I like dirty music and inappropriate lyrics in the club!"
After a spin on the dance floor with her man, the duo usually ends up somewhere for a nibble. "After the club I'll either go to Cozy Burger or Blue Ribbon. The lighting is continuing from the club. It's very dark, very sexy. There's something very decadent to me about having a meal meal at a great restaurant at three or four o'clock in the morning."
After breakfast it's back home to bed, and up by nine the next morning. Although she doesn't get her party on while she's taping her talk show, she does need a fairly regular dose of nightlife: "There's just something real bad ass about being in the club on the dance floor singing along to Lil' Kim. Bad ass and empowering." So keep an eye out for WW on a dance floor near you. She'll be the 6' 5" lady tossing her luxurious blonde wig to and fro to the beat."sourcePhoto above by Doug Adesko
Photo below by JD Ferguson
Article by Mickey Boardman