As New York's fashion designers count the days till Fashion Week, which starts this year on September 5, two days after Labor Day, battles for models and tent times are heating up. But at the Council of Fashion Designers of America's party for new members at Diane von Furstenberg's studio last night, no one would name — and only a few would acknowledge — the most diva-ish designers, who politick to cast and schedule most fiercely. "There are model problems sometimes," acknowledged Stan Herman, a board member and former president. "There are time-slot problems sometimes. There are moments that designers go, 'I can't show next to that person' or 'I won't show next to that person.' But not very many."
Accessories designer Rafe Totengco, of handbag fame, said he tries to avoid scuffles but can't escape them. "Which model goes there, and which model gets picked, and the timing for it," he said. "Oh, my God, yes. It's crazy." Yigal Azrouël said becoming more established eases the process for designers. "I mean we always show against somebody else. Or an hour before, there's always a competition, a fight," Azrouël said. "I established my name a little more, so now I get more support from the modeling agencies and all the editors." Hostess and CFDA president DVF was a diplomat. "I try to make no politics at all," she said. "We are all doing the same job, but we are a support system. That's what the CFDA is." —Amy Odell