The front row at Z Spoke by Zac Posen on Saturday night was a study in contrasts. First, there was 90210 starlet Shenae Grimes, perky and thrilled, toting a camera she was using to snap pictures of the shows for a blogging project (though we couldn't hear for whom she was doing it, she was arm-in-arm with Teen Vogue's Andrew Beven). To her right, there was the very slim recent Emmy winner Claire Danes, watching the show as if she were an alien dropped onto Earth from the planet Furrow: Her eyes were wide but slightly blank, and she wrinkled her nose as she studied every outfit that came down the runway, as if either they were the keys to solving a quantum physics quandary or she was trying desperately to stifle a sneeze. She didn't say a word to Shenae nor seem to acknowledge her existence — despite swiveling to share a joke with Beven — but Shenae took it in stride, twisting herself into a pretzel to try to get clear photos without violating Claire's personal space. It only partially worked; at one point, we thought she was going to clock Danes in the ear with her elbow, but that collision course with mayhem never came to pass. Can you imagine? But at least the shocking "Important Actress Bloodied by Canadian's Errant Limb" headline would keep those poor Teen Mom kids off the cover of Us Weekly for a bit.
Russell Simmons squeezed through the crowd with director Brett Ratner in tow — whose attendance we heard was a surprise to event organizers, who scrambled to figure out where to put them. "Just grab any front-row seat right now, because we're just not sure where she's going to be sitting," one harried PR girl said to Simmons. Who was the "she" in question? None other than Russell's ex Kimora Lee Simmons, who sashayed in wearing an electric blue harem-pants jumpsuit and hot-pink heels, looking sixteen-feet-tall and reminding us just how sad we are that she's no longer creating one of her lively Mail-Order Bride in Vegas spectaculars for Baby Phat. "Kimora, Kimora, Kimora," was Jay Manuel's greeting to her, complete with an affectionate shake of the head. He read our minds. Maybe he's a psychic, and that ever-more-silver coif is actually just a toupee turban.
Down the way, a platinum-bobbed Jaime King — preparing to debut her new show, My Generation — talked animatedly with model Devon Aoki, while wearing such terribly wee bottoms that we kept thinking she was totally pantsless. Carmen Electra sported an extremely tight dress and held court among a very excited passel of reporters and photographers, who were so stoked to be in the presence of one of Dennis Rodman's exes (we're just sure that was the appeal) that they totally ignored singer Estelle, perched nearby in a geometric red and black Z Spoke blouse and her usual bowl cut. And after the show ended — and to the tune of Katy Perry's "Peacock," which goes, "I want to see your peacock, cock, cock, cock" — we noticed Michelle Trachtenberg squeezing past us toward the exit. "He was supposed to close with a song by Nicki Minaj. She's really bummed," Michelle told her companion in a low voice. "But that peacock song was fine, I guess." We presume by "fine," Michelle meant, "subtle and nuanced, with sensitive overtones," and she was just employing word economy.
Oddly, with all those names and faces in the building, the one that garnered the most attention belonged to Kristin Cavallari. She was besieged by reporters from the moment she arrived, and it didn't let up until the venue staff ripped the plastic off the runway from beneath the feet of the people quizzing her. Kristin talked at length about the shoe she's doing for Shoedazzle next May, the proceeds of which are going to charity, before being silenced momentarily by a question about whether she would ever do another reality show. "Um, I never say never," she eventually said, "but I think I'd like to stay away from reality TV for a while." Somewhere, a Real Housewife of Wherever just buckled at the knees and called for her smelling salts.
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