LEAVIN' ON A JET PLANE: What does a New York socialite do if she's fudged some of her past and is busted on the front page of The Wall Street Journal? If you're Genevieve Jones, you get out of town. According to Journal reporter Teri Agins, who wrote the story, Jones hopped a plane and flew home to Baton Rouge, La., rather than face New York's chattering classes. "What's the big deal?" said Agins, who spent quite a bit of time researching Jones' past — even going to her family's home. "So she lied about her age? Lots of people do that." No word on whether Agins planned to disclose any others who may have found a way to otherwise embellish their life experiences. PREGNANT PAUSE: Maggie Gyllenhaal braved the crush at Calvin Klein on Thursday afternoon for one of her last outings before her baby is due — except, that is, for the after party she was cohosting that night with Drew Barrymore at 7 World Trade. "I'm going to rest after this," said Gyllenhaal, who was dressed in a cozy black Calvin Klein sweater. "Right now, I just really care about being comfortable." As for why the pregnant Gyllenhaal made the effort, the actress said: "They asked me to and Francisco is interesting because he's trying to do something different." GODFATHER IN THE BUILDING: Diesel chief executive Renzo Rosso likes fashion week surprises. Two seasons ago, his runway show at the Hammerstein Ballroom ended with a round of pyrotechnics. Last year, Grace Jones scarily sprang from her front-row seat to take the final turns down the catwalk. While there were no such theatrics at the Diesel show Wednesday evening — which drew Heather Graham, Avril Lavigne and Petra Nemcova — the after party at Gotham Hall was another story. At the stroke of midnight, the lights dimmed and the spotlights were trained on the balcony where a youth gospel choir clad in white robes set the stage for James Brown. At age 73, the "Godfather of Soul" proved he still has the power to get a crowd on its feet. Brown opened his hourlong set with "Living in America" and, of course, couldn't rob any audience of "I Feel Good" or "Sex Machine."LOST IN TRANSLATION: Beyoncé Knowles would perhaps blush — or, should we say, flush? — if she knew what a kick French radio announcers are getting out of her album's new title, "B-Day," which sounds like the French word for bidet. Even if the songstress might not appreciate the play on words, she's hardly going to loose any sleep since she's topping the U.S. charts. As R&B's reigning queen, she's certainly entitled to a throne. EVERYBODY WANTS IN: Model-turned-actor Tyson Beckford wants to add "designer" to his multihyphenate. At the Y-3 show, he said he plans to start a women's denim line, is in talks with manufacturers in China and has decided to use Japanese denim "because it's the best.""I am always hearing past girlfriends complain that they can't get jeans over their butts," Beckford said, not naming names. "I want to help them out with that."
Adidas athlete Laila Ali, the boxing daughter of Muhammad, said she is in talks with the athletic giant about a line. The conversation is preliminary, but Ali wants clothes that can be worn in the gym, as well as while dashing around on errands. "I love everything they have done with my father's line," she said.
And Mena Suvari said she would like to add her own label to the runways some day. "I've had that desire for a really long time," she said. "It's a huge undertaking, so I want to do it right when I do it."IN HIS SHOES: It seems fashion types would need respite from their heels during breaks from the shows during fashion week, but not when Manolo Blahnik is in town. The designer made an appearance at Bergdorf Goodman's second-floor shoe salon on Thursday, autographing shoes, catalogues and his own sketches — for customers who spent $1,500 or more on styles from his fall collection. Blahnik chitchatted with guests such as Sarah Michelle Gellar and scores of die-hard fans while waiters passed around mojitos and empanada to the tune of one of Blahnik's favorite Cuban bands, Mo'Guajiro. "This is quiet for me," said Blahnik of the crowd who came to meet him. He said he is far too busy to attend fashion shows this week as he is on a short trip to New York, but highlighted Thakoon Panichgul, designer of Thakoon, as one with promise. "He is the only one that I see with any talent now." LOVE L.A.M.B.: Tennis champ Roger Federer may get a reputation as a fashion groupie. First he accompanied Anna Wintour to the Oscar de la Renta and Marc Jacobs shows, and then he dropped in on a design meeting with Gwen Stefani for her L.A.M.B line. As it turns out, Federer and his girlfriend, Mirka Vavrinec, are close pals with Stefani and her husband, Gavin Rossdale, who accompanied the couple to the showroom.PIT STOPS: There are still a few celebrities for whom fashion week is not one runway show after another. At Michon Schur Wednesday night, Kirsten Dunst said that would be her one and only trip to the tents. "My friend styled it," she said. "I think her clothes are beautiful and very elegant, but young."Thursday morning, Kyra Sedgwick said her show appearance would be limited to J.Mendel, the designer who provided her with a dress for this year's SAG Awards. "The Closer" actress will play a sports agent opposite Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson in Disney's "The Game Plan." Johnson's former WWF status hasn't made Sedgwick self-conscious. "I feel pretty strong," she said.FASHION D-LISTED: Backstage at Badgley Mischka, comedian Kathy Griffin joked, "I thought all the models were fat compared to me. I didn't realize this was a plus-size show. They were sparkly, shiny and pretty for sparkly shiny models."
Dressed in jeans, a Badgley Mischka jacket, Stuart Weitzman shoes and Michael Wan oversized pearls, she said her own approach to fashion thrives on codependency. "Robert Verdi chooses what I wear. I was going to wear my Forever 21 shoes and he made me wear these. I don't know if you have ever been to Forever 21 but they have beautiful shoes," she said. "And did you see my pearls? They cost a fortune — in the thousands."
Fashion often finds its way into her comedy routines. "I would not say I'm deferential or reverential. I just make fun of it."
The star of "My Life on the D-List" was also keeping a close eye on a handler, who was leaning on a rack of dresses. "Look at that girl. She's going to steal that dress," Griffin kidded and then jokingly considered doing the same.
"What would you do with it?" Verdi asked, referring to the copper-colored chiffon gown.
"I'd roll it up in a ball and stick it in my bra," Griffin said.BUSY BLOCH: It's nothing new when celebrity stylist Phillip Bloch is seen at the shows. This season, however, Bloch is going with a new career objective in mind: He is launching his own high-end shoe collection for fall 2007. He declined to name the company with which he has a deal, but said it was "comparable to a Manolo or Choo," and the line would comprise "everything from ballet slippers to boots and evening shoes."At the other end of the price spectrum, Bloch divulged he's also working on a full lifestyle brand and just inked a deal with Kaiser America to produce a fashion collection for the masses, similar to what Isaac Mizrahi and Mossimo have done at Target. While the venture is still in the early stages, Bloch said he hopes to have a complete line ready for holiday 2007.
"Hollywood glamour for the masses — from the ballroom to the boardroom," he said. "Who doesn't want to feel good, look better and not spend a lot of money? That's my objective."SHOW SWAP: Martha Stewart took a break from taping her own show Thursday to attend Cynthia Rowley's. "I was free for a couple of minutes," the home and garden guru said. But is Martha's empire expanding even further? Stewart taped a segment with Rowley about fashion that will air Wednesday on her ABC show, and she will present a piece on July's couture collections on "Martha" this fall.EL PRESIDENTE: At a media breakfast Thursday at the Gramercy Park Hotel, incoming CFDA president Diane von Furstenberg talked up the need to do a better job of mentoring young designers and exporting American design. When the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette's Lamont Jones raised the point that designers need to show some consideration for out-of-state media, von Furstenberg agreed, adding her salad days taught her the importance of regional markets. "I personally know. I went to Pittsburgh and Denver and Des Moines. That's how I learned the map of the U.S. I could list the states alphabetically in five minutes." ALL IN THE FAMILY: Two days after her 20th birthday, Emmy Rossum was still celebrating Thursday at Vera Wang's fashion show. "This is the first fashion week I've ever been to and I just turned 20. I'm having a birthday week," the wide-eyed actress said, clutching a Vera Wang shopping bag. "Vera is my cousin. This is my birthday present from her."
Eager to open the loot, Rossum was then ushered to her seat.HAVE A SEAT: None other than Peter Arnold was helping guests at Cynthia Rowley's show find their seats Thursday. A spokeswoman for the designer would only say Arnold is a friend who was helping out. She declined to say whether he is consulting for the company. Arnold could not be reached for comment."Oprah" fans might have recognized another face in the crowd — James Frey, who admitted to fabricating portions of his bestseller, "A Million Little Pieces." A friend of the designer and her husband, Bill Powers, Frey watched 37 little pieces walk down the runway.ON A WHIM: Bruno Grizzo may have just shown his dress collection in the Gen Art show last Friday, but the Brazilian designer has another iron in the fire: New York-based cashmere firm Whim has hired him as design director. He will introduce his first line for Whim at next week's Fashion Coterie at the Show Piers. Grizzo moved to New York in 1998 after working in Paris for Lanvin.SCARLETT SQUARED: Actress Scarlett Johansson's jewelry collaboration with Imitation of Christ made its debut during fashion week, and Reebok is hoping her Scarlett [Hearts] Rbk line will be unveiled with samples at Coterie next week, according to Reebok chief executive Paul Harrington, who said he just saw first samples of the sportswear line this week. Harrington hadn't heard about Johansson's other venture, but said he was excited about the early debut of Reebok's venture with the actress. Reebok previously had thought samples might not be ready for another month or two. PASTA, ANYONE?: Food and fashion rarely mix, so needless to say it was a surprise seeing a top Italian cook in the front row of Matthew Williamson's show Wednesday. Giada De Laurentiis, host of the Food Network's "Everday Italian" and granddaughter of film producer Dino, is in town from Los Angeles filming a travel show and chose to attend Williamson's show "because I actually wear his clothes," she said. The last time she was at such an affair was as a child when she accompanied her grandmother, Italian screen siren Silvana Mangano, to Oscar de la Renta's and Yves Saint Laurent's presentations.
Now, what wasn't a surprise was Victoria Beckham being trotted out just before the show began and led to her seat next to Glenda Bailey. The two greeted one another as if they hadn't seen each other in ages. RUNNING WITH RUDY: Many are inquiring, but Judith Giuliani isn't saying whether her husband, Rudy, plans on making a presidential bid. After the Douglas Hannant show Wednesday, she said, "My parents have been married for more than 50 years and my mother has always said, ‘Whatever will make him happy.' If he decides he wants to run, I'll be there to support him."The Giulianis already have visited 35 countries together and plan to hit Latvia, Poland, Russia, Iceland, Argentina, Italy, Germany, China and India (twice) before this year folds. Most of their journeys are due to the former New York mayor's speaking engagements and business, and "just to further your experiences." she said. Meeting Lee Kuan Yew in Singapore would be among them.
"I was driving back on Saturday afternoon from the beach, and I just saw this sign saying 'Skydiving for $95.' And I was like, I can't not sky dive for $95," says Tom Bateman about a moment in Hawaii while shooting "Snatched." #wwdeye (📷: @victoriastevens; Interview by @ktauer; Styled by @thealexbadia)