As we dashed through the drizzle to the temporary shelter erected outside Wednesday’s Marchesa presentation, we unwittingly came within an inch of impaling Diane Kruger’s abdomen with our umbrellas. The actress was huddled near the mouth of the tent to wait for her car without being savaged by precipitation; luckily we adjusted our trajectories before blood was shed. We’re sure boyfriend Joshua Jackson would never forgive us, and we could never, ever risk running afoul of Pacey Witter.
Kruger who had to have been at least a LITTLE chilly in black tights, a transparent slip of a flowered skirt, and no visible winter coat clearly arrived bang on the dot of 4 p.m. to be in and out so quickly, as we ourselves were only a few minutes tardy due to traffic and never saw her inside the building. Everybody else seemed to enjoy lingering and guzzling bubbly while Keren Craig and Georgina Chapman held court. Moments after we shook off the rain, Georgina squealed in our direction; we thought maybe she was horrified at our weather-friendly but deeply casual jeans and boots, until it dawned on us that we were standing next to her mother, who sternly corrected a pal that the collection was not beautiful but in fact “BEYOND beautiful.” Aw. She and Joan Kors should be bridge buddies.
When asked what he thought of the clothes, Georgina’s hubby, Harvey Weinstein, rolled his eyes and barked, amused, “Well, what am I SUPPOSED to say?” Just once, we’d love to hear him bust out with a deeply analytical and cogent thesis on the line’s place in the industry pantheon, but maybe he had it all outlined on his palm and it rubbed off on the side of his cocktail glass. Or he could’ve just been stressed from mixing business with pleasure: An older guy we believe was name-checked as Harvey’s assistant buzzed around snarling into his cell phone something about an unacceptable, subpar jet and briefing Harvey on various crises. At one point the man sighed, “Why are journalists all saying, ‘Are you worried about the economy?’” That is indeed a puzzler; we thought Americans were keeping warm this winter by lighting candles with hundred-dollar bills.
A lilac-clad Beth Ostrosky, who wore Marchesa at her wedding to Howard Stern, positively lit up at the sight of a particular tiny older lady who evidently sewed Beth into her gown on the big day. “You’re my favorite person, thank you, I LOVE you,” she exclaimed. “I don’t think I could ever wear it again, I was so skinny I was in the best shape of my life because of training for the marathon. But THANK YOU.” Wow. If this is Beth Ostrosky out of shape, then she must have been Kleenex-thick on her wedding day.
Of course Joy Bryant showed up, because she is clearly the mastermind behind a nefarious scheme to spike every PR firm’s water supply with mind-controlling drugs. Okay, fine, we’re probably watching too much SoapNet, but we are fast running out of explanations for her omnipresence. While photographing a silver cocktail dress she particularly fancied, Bryant cracked a joke with one of the models that we think pertained to the shoes. Most of the girls wore ballet-inspired pumps that looked to be at least four-and-a-half inches tall. That can be murder on a girl’s toes, so the Marchesa folks put enough staffers on the premises that any time the models needed to reawaken their circulations, they could hold out a hand and someone would take it while they stood on one foot and relieved the pressure on the other, then switched. One model had particular trouble, as her feet were turning purple due to shoes about a size too big; after struggling all afternoon not to pitch forward onto the cement floor, she ended the presentation perched on the platform and wincing while a guy rubbed her arches and shins. Apparently fashion IS pain.
Toward the end of the hour-long event, we got our first glimpse of Gossip Girl’s Taylor Momsen who confirmed to a reporter that this was her first appearance of the season. Happily, and somewhat unusually for her, Momsen’s outfit totally worked: she wore skinny black pants, hot red shoes, a white tee, and a sparkly black cropped blazer that we think she said was courtesy of Marchesa. It sounded like she’d wanted to wear a different one, but that something had been missing when it was delivered. “Oh well, next time,” Chapman cooed. Momsen mostly wandered around gazing quietly at the dresses, or standing aside while her companion chatted up other attendees, but whenever a photographer tapped her shoulder she snapped into action: ankles crossed, head slightly ducked and her mouth in a light closed-mouth smirk. She is the master of lazily flicking her eyes from one lens to another without moving a muscle. The whole thing was a clinic on being “on” for the press; as she was patenting her Paparazzi Mode at the tender age of 15, we were still getting driven to movies by our mothers.
The posing clinic was interrupted by a harried PR staffer. “CLEAR A PATH, PLEASE,” she bellowed. “SOMEONE IS COMING THROUGH. PLEASE CLEAR SOME SPACE.” Suddenly, in a formerly packed room, a giant halo of calm developed around Harvey and a certain bobbed editrix, who had clearly hoped to avoid the crowds by arriving a bit past the end of the allotted hour. We thought we might get an earful of what she was gabbing about with Harvey, but just as suddenly as she appeared, A-Dubs was gone, whizzing through the presentation down a magically unobstructed path and then vanishing into the evening rain. Forget learning from Taylor Momsen; we want to know THAT trick.