NEW YORK — The Rainbow Room isn’t the typical fashion week venue, but it drew its share of star power for the Marchesa presentation and cocktail party on Wednesday night.
As waiters proffered champagne and nibbles from Cipriani to guests milling about the 65th-floor space, Nicole Richie and Anne Hathaway took it all in from their table, both clad in Marchesa dresses pulled from the fall collection. “This was actually the first one I tried on,” said Richie. “But then all the models came in for fittings, and I was like, ‘No, I want to wear that one, no, I want to wear that one.’ They were like, you have to decide because we need to fit the models.”
The blonde pixie has been shopping from the front row this week. “I saw this one Oscar [de la Renta] sequined dress that I want to wear for, well, Oscar night, actually,” she confided.
While Josh Hartnett hid in a corner, across the way Margherita Missoni was giving an Italian lesson at her table to Maxwell and Karolina Kurkova. “I don’t know why everyone says ‘March-esa,'” she puzzled. “They say, ‘ch,’ when it should be pronounced ‘Marquesa.’ It’s a royal title. ‘Marcho’ in Italian means ‘old,’ like food that’s been left out too long.”
As for the designers of the fledgling house, Georgina Chapman and Keren Craig, they were just happy their first show was over. “I feel like a rabbit in headlights,” exclaimed Chapman breathlessly. “I think I am going to find my boyfriend and have a drink.”
The boyfriend in question, of course, is Harvey Weinstein, who was busy glad-handing friends and generally brimming with pride. “I’m just a civilian tonight,” he proclaimed, although he did have at least one discernable effect.
“I’m here because of Harvey. He told me about it,” said Nicollette Sheridan, adding it was her very first fashion show, squeezed into a 48-hour whirlwind trip to New York. “I wish I could see more shows, but life is crazy right now,” she lamented. “That’s just what it is.”
This story first appeared in the February 10, 2006 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
Life has been crazy for the socialites, too, who arrived at 489 Fifth Avenue to fete Peter Som‘s new interiors for the building’s residences. Co-hosts Amanda Hearst and Sarah Wynter, Lisa Airan, Rachel Roy, Allison Sarofim, Coralie Charriol and Dennis Paul were joined by scores of real-estate-developer types. Euan Rellie, for one, had not expected such a mass of people. “I thought I was coming to an intimate dinner party,” he said. “That’s what it said on the invitation, and then I tell them my name at the door, and they go through 30 or 40 pages.” Welcome to fashion week, Euan.
As waiters passed bites of chicken tikka, guests checked out the spacious digs, many congregating in the bathroom to marvel over the open stall shower built for two — or three, or four. “I like the bathroom the best,” Wynter said. Som, whose parents — both architects — flew in from San Francisco for the event, had predicted it would be a conversation piece. “I do what I can,” he said, smiling mischievously.