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 they finally tore themselves away, however, they were rewarded with a wide array of Hot Dudes. For those who are into alt-country, Jessica Joffe brought boyfriend Ryan Adams (well, we saw them outside and assume they came in, but maybe they just like to loiter outside fashion shows and smoke). For fans of political statements, tall people, and movies about baseball, there was silver fox Tim Robbins. And for aficionados of everything that makes unprovoked 14-year-old girls copiously cry in public, former boy-bander JC Chasez sat right in front of us — a proximity that would have deeply thrilled us to the core about five years ago, but which today merely makes us want to ask him if he’s embarrassed that we remember he once squired Tara Reid. While JC appeared to be extremely interested in the clothes, his seatmate, TRL host Damien Fahey, spent most of the show tapping his feet and drumming his fingers on his girlfriend’s hand in time to the music.
Speaking of music, we also spied after-party sponsor and Varvatos print-campaign model Alice Cooper doing some rocking out of his own across the aisle. We’re thrilled to see him for real, finally, as we spent much of last season’s Tommy Hilfiger show confusing him with Marky Ramone. Sorry about that, Alice — but if the two of you are ever bored, we suggest working up some clever Sweet Valley High–style identity-swapping high jinks so as to amuse yourselves. Just down the row from Alice, we spied Top Chef maestro/real-chef-and-don’t-you-forget-it Tom Colicchio, possibly the only man in the venue who could actually manage to pull off the loafers-with-no-socks look. What can we say? Bald is fierce. Similarly preppy was Wilmer Valderrama, looking very serious in a V-neck sweater. We wonder if he and Fahey ever got to chatting about what it was like to date Lindsay Lohan, or if all of LiLo’s exes have an unspoken agreement to pretend that it never happened.
But of all these men, we saw only one who is suave enough that, every time we mention him, we are reminded of just how much he is loved by the ladies: LL Cool J. The ever-charming Cool James warmly and frankly complimented Varvatos to the media — “You never love everything, because then you’re lying, but he’s just a great designer, man!” — and wasn’t above bringing it down a notch when asked a sobering question about the symbolism of Varvatos’s show taking place in the skies over ground zero on the eve of 9/11. “Every part of America lives on Nothing’s going to hold us back. It’s a big statement,” he told one reporter. “We’re like a phoenix rising again from the ashes.” Amen, you tremendous stud. —The Fug Girls