At the opening of the Armani store on Fifth Avenue last night, PETA protesters in bunny suits brandished their megaphones, but they were no match for the throngs of fans shrieking when Leonardo DiCaprio or Victoria Beckham power-walked the red carpet. But inside the crowded spaceshiplike store, everyone look bored and uncomfortable. The winding white staircases looked like something out of Space Mountain; climbing them required shoving and desperate clutching of the rails. (We spotted Olivia Palermo and Nina Garcia hanging on for dear life on their way down.)
Celebrities staked out different corners of the top level. Caroline Kennedy and her crew lingered by the accessory display cases and ignored the bystanders taking photos of them. Beckham pranced and giggled and played with hats in the far back of the store. John Mayer and Chace Crawford hid behind the men's suits, while Josh Hartnett beat back women at every turn and managed to escape to a secluded spot near the private dining room for a glass of bubbly. As we got crushed into Molly Sims on the way to the bar, we wondered aloud if she's ever been afraid of falling down in front of people. "Always, always," she said, eyes round with terror. "I was at the DVF show and I was worried they were going to fall. I was doing Regis and Kelly this morning and I was like, 'Definitely make sure you can walk in these shoes.' The key is to make sure the bottoms are scratched up. If they're loose, put Foot Petals on." But even shoe inserts can't prevent the model-actress from taking a spill. "Oh, girl, I am so klutzy," she laughed, pointing to her best friend Michelle. "I trip, I fall. I stumble." In fact, Sims fell walking up the stairs at her gym just this week. Michelle chimed in: "She told me, 'Do everything I do, follow my lead.' And I said, 'Really? Do I have to fall?'"
See photos of Victoria Beckham, Leonardo DiCaprio and more at the Armani party.
Related: From Gere to Gladiators: On the eve of opening his biggest New York store, Giorgio Armani reflects on some career-changing moments