Unbelievably, for all the grousing we did in February about the relative lack of celebrities hanging around Bryant Park, we almost missed our first sighting of this season. As we waltzed into the BCBG show busily gossiping about hot shoes and the giant pink flower pinned to one girl's brunette coif, it took us far too long to realize we were walking right behind tennis ace Martina Hingis. We probably should have asked her for Andy Roddick's phone number. Next time.
We can't blame Hingis for taking the sting out of her third-round U.S. Open loss by surrounding herself with pretty people and gawking at clothes — it's what we would do, if we couldn't find a pitcher of margaritas first — and the view from her front-row seat wasn't too shabby. To Hingis's left sat Martina McBride in a tight, sleek black number with a leather bolero, and singer Natasha Bedingfield wearing a flattering floaty dress, which marked a refreshing change from her usual nutty getups. Farther down the row, cherubic blonde actress Brittany Snow chatted enthusiastically with BCBG staple (and future K-Fed co-star) Sophia Bush, whom tragic socialite Olivia Palermo crossed the catwalk to greet (for her trouble, Olivia at least received an enthusiastic compliment on her outfit). Olivia then headed back to her seat next to Marine Azria (who, at the show's end, jumped up to give Max a standing ovation) and the trio of Donald Trump Jr., his formidable hair, and his cheerful wife, Vanessa. We also caught a glimpse of stylist Jessica Paster and America's Next Top Model judge/hottie Nigel Barker.
Ashlee Simpson slipped in shortly before the lights went down, perhaps delayed because somebody had finally strapped her down and dragged a brush through her hair. That person is a true hero, and we'd like to shake his or her hand, because Ashlee looked approximately 75 percent better than usual, all cleaned up and — at least temporarily — Pete Wentz free.
After a show, celebrities usually dash out of the event venue like it's just burst into flames, but in this case, Ashlee, Natasha and Martina McBride stood around and amiably shot the breeze. Natasha and Ashlee chatted about Fashion Rocks, and Martina introduced Ashlee to her very patiently waiting 9-year-old daughter Emma, who seemed a bit awestruck. Considering the effort most showgoers put into seeming as unimpressed as possible, the youngster was a rather refreshing way to start the week. Or maybe we're just going soft.
Meanwhile, seen at Bryant Park: Socialite Byrdie Bell — who ditched her front-row seat at the 10 a.m. BCBG show — did manage to drag herself out of bed in time to stand in line with the rest of the plebes at the Havaianas booth. We understand: If you've seen one floaty party dress, you've seen 'em all, but they don't give out free flip-flops every day. —The Fug Girls