By  on August 25, 2005

NEW YORK — As college campuses across the country gear up for freshman rush, the Council of Fashion Designers of America welcomed its newest members with a party at Vera Wang's home here on Tuesday night, and the rookies proved they can hold their own.

Roll call was thankfully never taken, but the CFDA's student body was well represented, from Alice Roi to Yeohlee. Guests made themselves right at home in Wang's perfectly appointed Park Avenue pad, with more than a few wondering aloud, "Can we see the bedrooms?"

Wang's husband, Arthur Becker, was unfazed by the onslaught from Seventh Avenue. Asked if he had any reservations about hosting the bash, Becker deadpanned, "Nah, we rent this out on weekends."

As the night wore on, the only ones who showed any signs of wear and tear were the hosts' two young daughters, keeping a smile on despite a few boisterous guests and the snap-happy photographers.

In line with most of the crowd, Doo-Ri Chung, a CFDA newcomer, was up for the party.

"For them to welcome me into this feels like a big, huge fraternity," Chung said. "It kind of kicked up what I'm doing to the next level. For me as a student, this is the most amazing thing."

She was not the only one left a little starstruck by the occasion. Derek Lam, another freshman, said, "It's very humbling to be in a room with all these incredible designers and to still know I have a huge way to go."

Carolina Herrera, Francisco Costa, Italo Zucchelli, Nicole Miller, Marc Bouwer, Oleg Cassini, Jill Stuart and Stan Herman were other designer minglers. Herrera enthused about the newcomers, "The first thing people ask about fashion is, ‘What's new?' So new faces, new energy, new everything is good — I love it."

Costa said the shindig was better than a class reunion.

"Celebrating the people who are joining this group is good," he said. "Broadway artists have their union. With the CFDA, we feel that we're protected."

Miller surprised her dinner companion Richard Mishaan by wearing a chartreuse shirtdress he designed in the Eighties. "I've been waiting for the right moment to wear it," Miller said.

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