Considering we're such die-hard Beverly Hills, 90210 lovers, it was almost too perfect that the marquee guest at Betsey Johnson's prom-themed fashion show was none other than Tori Spelling herself, (in)famous for the time her alter-ego Donna Martin almost didn't graduate because she got drunk on champers at prom.
We finally escaped from the endless tyranny of Demi Moore and Sophia Bush and enjoyed some fresh faces at the Monique Lhuillier show: singer LeAnn Rimes and starlet Michelle Trachtenberg, each of whom was wearing the designer's clothing — and a lot of foundation for the benefit of the cameras. That said, it's refreshing to see child stars who have not grown up to be tremendous skanks, and we are grateful to them for all of their panty-wearing, complexion-saving good behavior.
For the second season in a row, John Varvatos debuted his new collection at the very top of 7 World Trade Center, which boasts a spectacular view of Manhattan and a moving perspective on ground zero. Many of the guests were unable to keep up the usual routine of schmoozing with their fellow fashionistas, instead wandering over to the floor-to-ceiling windows to take a look.
When a sullen, put-upon-seeming woman in a dress vaguely resembling that of a pirate wench skulked into the Anna Sui show, the guy next to us snarked, "Who is that person trying so hard to look miserable?" We shrugged and replied, "Oh, it's probably Amy Lee, that sounds like something she'd do." Turns out we named that tune. Fortunately, the Evanescence singer magically summoned the strength to smile when the cameras spied her, and the healing glow of flashbulbs rejuvenated ye ol' wench. It was like a Prozac explosion.
Anyone claiming to be unmoved by the Oscar de la Renta show is a liar. No matter what your take on his clothing is, the setting — at the Third Church of Christ Science on Park Avenue — was frankly kind of spectacular. Add to that an exuberant live performance from the Polyphonic Spree (who surely could never have predicted playing for a roomful of uniformly blonde Upper East Side matrons) and a spontaneous standing ovation for U.S. Open champ and the future Mr. Wintour, Roger Federer, and you’ve got yourself a hell of a morning.
The burst of lunchtime rain abated just in time for a few of hoi polloi to take in the Philosophy di Alberta Ferretti presentation without ruining their hair. Which was crucial in Alyson Hannigan's case, because she merrily showed off crisp new bangs to her gushing pals in the crowd, and every girl knows you can't debut a hairdo when it's plastered to your forehead. Unless that's the look you're going for, in which case you have larger problems than a little drizzle.
You'd think celebrities would be used to the ring of intense photographers who surround the front row at fashion shows by now. Apparently not: At Narciso Rodriguez, former Talking Heads lead singer David Byrne faced down those intimidating lenses by snapping his own pics with a small digital camera.
For our money, the hottest seat in the house at a Michael Kors show is right next to his fabulously bespectacled mother, Joan. So color us surprised when the blonde who glided in at the last second was not Kors's Project Runway co-host Heidi Klum but instead the increasingly pointless Jessica Simpson.
Thematically, the Y-3 show was all about the downpour: Fake thunder rolled, minions turned a hose on the runway to create puddles, and simulated rain poured outside and down the walls of the artsy Chelsea space. Unfortunately, this cleansing drizzle didn't reach the ratty head of actor Vincent Gallo, who sat front row in his personal grease puddle. At first Gallo just stared menacingly into middle distance, scratching his matted beard, seemingly in the midst of plotting the best way to rip off someone's extremities with his teeth. But then Gallo turned cheerful, and we soon saw why: A wee Lord & Taylor bag — clearly swag from another show — dangled from his claws. Obviously, the sweet fumes of a department-store gift card were lifting his dour mood. We're sure he was positively dizzy with the prospect of going necktie shopping.
As far as celebrity sightings go, the Diesel show was shaping up to be pretty dim. Things were running 30 minutes late, and nearly everyone had taken his seat, but all the photographers and camera folk were arranged in a phalanx on the runway, each of them hopefully gazing into the distance. They were clearly waiting for an apparition, and they stood in this anticipatory formation for at least ten minutes. We began to wonder who could possibly be important enough to require such special treatment. Madonna? Vice-President Dick Cheney? Perhaps Jesus Himself? Or would it be someone totally anticlimactic, someone we’d already seen multiple times? Like, say, Demi Moore?
Proenza Schouler moved uptown to the magnificent Park Avenue Armory this year, and their fans came with them. We spotted the usual cadre of interchangeable blonde fashion editors, a sprinkling of socialites (including Aerin Lauder and avowed Proenza lover Jessica Joffe, who was wearing the same outfit she had on at the 11 a.m. Sari Gueron show scandale!), and, of course, Anna Wintour, this time with daughter Bee Shaffer in tow.
Going to a Baby Phat show feels a bit like going to a nightclub. The prospect of a big ol' spectacle gets everyone to tease up their hair and put on something shiny — one woman showed up in a dress that had mesh strips that went all the way up to her butt cleavage — and stand around sipping drinks, bopping their heads to the dance music, and craning their necks to see if that really is Jeremy Piven over there, or if it’s just some dude who hates to shower. It's such a tornado of humanity that we couldn't even make our way to the bar, and as you know by now, that says a lot.
Dashing into the crowded yet blessedly air-conditioned lobby at the Thakoon show, we accidentally almost bowled right over Olivia Chantecaille, who probably would not have appreciated being snapped in two by a couple of L.A. girls whimpering about the humidity. (We're delicate flowers. Let's hope she heard our apologies.)
The Max Azria show was jam-packed with socialites and celebrities alike, but none of them seemed to matter once the lights dimmed and Nicole Richie — wearing a bump-concealing, floaty thing — made a beeline for her seat. "You can only tell she's pregnant by her boobs," squealed the girl next to us. "She looks so much better with the baby weight on," announced another as we all stared at the wings tattooed on her less-bony shoulder blades. Well comparatively less bony. But it's a start.
Cynthia Rowley's press kit listed an "Arden halo" as one of her models' accessories, so we were surprised to see self-proclaimed reluctant socialite Arden Wohl in the front row of Rowley's show wearing her signature headband up on her hair instead of resting on her forehead. We presume she finally realized that in hot weather, you can get some wicked zits when your signature look suffocates your T-zone.
Ivana Trump must not be a Top Chef fan. Appearing this morning at Vera Wang (and sans her burnished male escort from yesterday), Ivana sat hip-to-hip with Padma Lakshmi in the front row — yet they never seemed to speak or exchange a glance. Shouldn't they be gabbing about how tall C.J. is or whether somebody could please place a ban on the contestants making tuna tartare?
As one might've predicted, the marquee celebrity holding court in the Badgley Mischka front row was Teri Hatcher, America's most desperate housewife and the boys' latest muse. Let's hope Teri liked what she saw, since the entire second half of the show was basically a preview of the flowing gowns she'll be given for parading up and down any red carpet she can find in the coming months. As we only had a glimpse of her profile and the back of her head, all we can report is that she seemed more raven-haired than usual. And a trifle orange.
Turns out there's something to be said for making a late entrance. In the past, we may have called Demi Moore a drama queen for swooping into a front-row seat at the very last possible minute, but at this morning's Miss Sixty show, when she tried to take her place at a reasonable hour, the photographers swarmed like sharks after chum.