This story first appeared in the February 5, 2007 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
PROENZA SCHOULER ON TARGET: Proenza Schouler for Target’s private debut at Opening Ceremony on Friday was packed with fashion editors and other style-worthy folks invited either by the giant mass chain or the owners of downtown boutique. “I’ve never seen crowds like that up and down Howard Street, even in good weather,” said one guest, complaining about the low temperatures. “People were holding tons of stuff. It was phenomenal. But all the small sizes were gone.”
Some of the bestsellers at the pop-up shop, which closes today, appeared to be the bubble-print cropped-sleeve jacket in showgirl purple for $44.99, the bubble-print gore skirt for $24.99 and the palm print silk wrap dress, $39.99. At 11 a.m. on Saturday, when the boutique opened to the public, a line had formed from Howard Street to Lafayette Street. Opening Ceremony made the most use of its space, even displaying the collection on the mezzanine and adding dressing rooms. The Spring Street subway station saw more fashion-forward women than usual. “Most of the people at Opening Ceremony were New Yorkers,” said one shopper. “They knew where Howard Street was.”
WITH A LITTLE HELP FROM…: The Elise Øverland presentation at Milk Studios on Saturday night was a lesson of sorts in how a new designer gets a line off the ground. “I’m the charity CEO,” said former Calvin Klein executive Kim Vernon. “I’m just doing it because I love Elise.”
“I’m here with Gina [Gershon],” said Ron Perelman.
“I met her through Hope,” explained Gershon, referring to the artist and downtown social Hope Atherton.
“I’ve known her for almost 10 years,” said Atherton of the former costume designer/rock ‘n’ roll stylist whose clients included Aerosmith’s Steven Tyler. “We saw each other around and just drifted closer and closer.”
Now Atherton barely wears anyone else and has turned into the unofficial muse/celebrity wrangler and publicist for the fledgling designer.
“I don’t know how to wear anything else anymore, really,” Atherton continued. “There’s just this artistic, sexy, powerful thing about her clothes.”
Others in the crowd included Julia Restoin-Roitfeld and Bergdorf Goodman’s Linda Fargo and Roopal Patel.
BRITNEY GETS PHAT: Tabloid fodder Britney Spears didn’t seem to want publicity at Kimora Lee Simmons‘ Baby Phat and KLS show Friday night. Spears took her seat just as the lights went down, and photographers and reporters were shooed away by massive security guards — with one photographer who got a shot of her literally being kicked out of the Roseland Ballroom. But did Simmons show her sense of humor in the seating? Directly across from Spears was one of her tormentors: Star editorial director Bonnie Fuller, seated with her daughter. Fuller watched Spears like a hawk through the entire production and seemed especially interested as Justin Timberlake‘s hit “My Love” came on. Spears didn’t seem to notice — she was too busy applying a new coat of lip gloss before a Baby Phat publicist whisked her out just before the close of the show, which also drew the likes of Alicia Keys, Nicky Hilton (clearly forgetting her vow the day before that she wasn’t going to hit any shows), Vivica A. Fox, Ice-T and Damon Dash.
TALKING HEADS: Anderson Cooper and Charlie Rose kept a running commentary Sunday at Diane von Furstenberg‘s show. “What do you think models think about when they walk?” was among the questions they tossed back and forth to each other, Rose said postshow. “It was nothing consequential,” he said.
There was even the perennial fashion week query, “Where are you going next?”
But Rose’s version referred to the CNN commentator’s next overseas assignment. Out of respect to Cooper, Rose kept that destination under wraps, but the PBS talk show host was happy to talk about the subjects he is chasing down. Rose is gearing up for this week’s Iraq debate. Having just interviewed French presidential candidate Nicolas Sarkozy, Rose is eyeing his opponent Ségolène Royal for a sit-down. Beleaguered Tony Blair is also on his check list.
Models aside, the two newsmen did discuss how they would go about covering global warming in light of last week’s reports from Davos. “There is a developing consensus that we have to do something,” Rose said. “We can’t stop what’s happening, but we can slow it down and maybe reverse it 100 years.”
ALBERTA’S ARRIVAL: Befitting the first New York Fashion Week presentation of her Philosophy collection, Alberta Ferretti will have a gathering of the girls. The label’s poster girl for spring, Paz de la Huerta, as well as Byrdie Bell, Olivia Palermo, Alexis Bryan and Sylvana Soto-Ward, will host Tuesday night’s informal affair at 548 West 22nd Street. Jaime King, Becki Newton of “Ugly Betty,” Nina Clemente, Fabiola Beracasa, Luigi Tadini and Barbara Wilhelm are said to be in, too.
A TRUMP IN THE OVEN: A very pregnant Vanessa Trump was all smiles Friday afternoon in the front row of BCBG, where she sat with her brother-in-law, Eric, her husband Donald Jr.‘s younger brother. Vanessa admitted she was a fan of the brand’s signature Empire-waist silhouettes and flowy tops, and with good reason. “I try not to wear maternity clothes, just really large sizes,” said Trump. “And hopefully, I’ll be able to make them into smaller sizes soon.” And will Grandpa Trump be making any special appearances at New York Fashion Week? “I can’t imagine he wouldn’t be,” smiled his son. “He obviously loves women, so I’m sure he’ll be here.”
IT’S THE DETAILS THAT COUNT: With intricate embroidery, hand-sewn pleats and the finest silks, Rodarte designers Kate and Laura Mulleavy aren’t ones to scrimp and save, and it looks like nothing has changed for fall. For their collection, which they will show Tuesday at the Beryl Ross Theater, the sisters were inspired by a priceless Van Cleef & Arpels brooch and imperforated it into a dress. Flown in from Paris especially for the event, the Orchidee brooch was made in 1938 and is part of the house’s private collection — i.e., it’s not for sale; the dress will be, though. This is the second time the Mulleavys have partnered with Van Cleef for their show.
HARMONIOUS SHOW: Erin Fetherston‘s Sunday runway presentation at the tents in Bryant Park started on a melodious note. Zooey Deschanel, wearing Forties makeup and a short gray chiffon tulle dress with a dusting of glitter — some remarked that she looked like Tinkerbell — opened the show singing “Dream a Little Dream” into the microphone. When she stopped singing, the models began their parade down the runway.
A HOLLYWOOD CHILL: Rock & Republic’s show on Saturday night was a spectacle even before the doors opened — and not because of Sienna Miller, seated in the front row. Throngs of invited guests queuing up outside Cipriani an hour ahead of time were only allowed in five minutes before the scheduled start. Scores of guests tested the show’s security in an effort to avoid the line and the frigid temperatures, to no avail. Even Andrew Rosen, president of Theory, and Mary Lynn Rajskub, who plays Chloe O’Brian on Fox’s “24” and had just come from a front-row appearance at Sass & Bide, were initially told by Rock & Republic’s security to head to the back of a line that stretched more than a block. Rosen and Rajskub both eventually made it to the front row, along with Brandon Davis and Carson Kressley.
JUST WANNA HAVE FUN: A platinum-blonde Cyndi Lauper took in the Nicole Miller show on Friday night and had nothing but accolades for the designer. “Everything was so elegant, and it was great fun. I loved what she did with the derbies. I was reminded of South America,” Lauper said, referring to the round hats Miller paired with a handful of looks. “I also loved the mix of shiny materials,” she said, referencing her own shiny ensemble. “It reminded me of, well, the Eighties.”
MOORE TO GIVE: Julianne Moore and Lacoste are trading favors. Lacoste is sponsoring the April 12 gala at Chelsea Piers for Tuberous Sclerosis Alliance, which Moore is hosting for her favored charity, and Moore sat in the front row at Lacoste’s Saturday show in the tents. Moore sported a fitted Lacoste jacket for the occasion, but the true fans in her family are her children. “My kids wear it a lot,” said Moore.
Meanwhile, “Entourage” star Kevin Connolly sat in the front row as though Vincent Chase and the gang were waiting outside. “I think Lacoste is great,” he commented. “I would wear it clubbing or golfing.” Sounds like his hit HBO show is realistic.
AS THE EAGLE FLIES: Friday night of Super Bowl weekend had both football fans and celebrities scrambling around South Beach from party to party, with Maxim, ESPN, Nike and the National Football League hosting parties simultaneously. The one place where most were shut out — including the media — was the heavily guarded private dinner at Casa Casuarina hosted by Washington Redskins owner Dan Snyder. The 200 guests included Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes (who looked “thin as a bird” in a black dress and jacket, according to one observer). TomKat had more public fun Saturday at the Ocean Drive and Marketamerica.com beach concert, featuring DJ AM, Fergie and Jennifer Lopez and Marc Anthony. Anthony dedicated one of his songs to “his friends” the Cruises, who, along with Cruise’s son Connor , enjoyed the concert from the side of the stage and were spotted dancing along to Anthony’s rendition of “Hotel California.”
TWINKLE, TWINKLE: Before checking out Saturday night’s high-profile Super Bowl events — which included Sport’s Illustrated party with a performance by Wyclef Jean and the Playboy Super Saturday Night Party (where Kanye West Jeremy Piven, Taye Diggs, Alyssa Milano, Jermaine Dupri and Johnny Knoxville mingled among the Playmates) — celebrities picked up the obligatory swag at the Ocean Drive’s Sprint Style Villa. The most practical offerings among the goodies were Swarovski-crusted Sharpie pens. The blinged-out markers retailed for $250 to $500, depending on size, but certain top names received them for free, which at least will help add some sparkle as the celebs sign autographs for the football fans gathered at South Beach.
PLAY IT AGAIN, SAM: Director Sam Mendes knows a thing or two about black comedy, as his Oscar-winning movie “American Beauty” shows. So it isn’t surprising that, when he hosted the Grand Classics series sponsored by The Week at New York’s Soho House on Tuesday, he chose “Kind Hearts and Coronets,” which starred Alex Guinness, as the film that has had the most influence on him. In the crowds at the two showings were Donna Karan, Alvin Valley and, of course, Mendes himself. Mendes noted before the first presentation of the film, in which the virtuoso Guinness plays eight roles, “My dad showed me a lot of movies as a child, and I remember very clearly him quoting lines from the film to me or, as he was known to do, talking along with the film in an incredibly annoying way while I was watching it.”
Later, he said of Guinness’ performance, “Probably the only people I can think of these days who could [duplicate it] are Alan Cumming and John Leguizamo,” who, naturally, were also there that evening. Remake, anyone?
EVERY VOTE COUNTS: Anna Paquin has a busy year ahead, but she took a breather to catch Sari Gueron‘s show Sunday. She will appear in HBO’s “Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee,” will star with Matt Damon in “Margaret,” will laugh her head off in the horror flick “Trick or Treat” and coproduced the political satire/romantic film “Blue State” with her brother Andrew. Born in New Zealand and raised in Canada, the actress has dual citizenship, but has never voted. “I’ve never been especially political or an activist, but I have plenty of opinions,” she laughed.
One opinion of hers being that “young designers are so interesting and cool. [They] have a very clear sense of what people want to wear, especially young people,” she said. “Not to dis people who have been around for a real long time. Obviously, there is a lot to be said for longtime talent and expertise.”
Gueron got a vote of confidence from Kim Gordon and Michelle Williams, who also turned up to see her new collection. Williams wasn’t pulling any punches about her individual style. Asked if she prefers to choose her own pieces or to work with a stylist, she laughed and pointed to her seatmate, stylist Kate Young.
EILEEN’S GREEN: Eileen Fisher is hosting a socially responsible take on fashion week this season. She’s flying in the five recipients of her third annual business grant program for women entrepreneurs, which recognizes females who run small businesses with a social conscience. The recipients get a $10,000 grant, plus a day and a half of programming next week, which includes a lunch Fisher is hosting at her house, a cocktail party at the Eileen Fisher store in SoHo, and a meeting with Eileen Fisher executives about the challenges of running a mission-driven company. Anna Cohen, a Portland-based design company, was the sole apparel firm selected. (Others include a chocolatier and vegetarian caterer-chef). Cohen worked at MaxMara and Patrizia Pepe in Italy before launching for spring 2006 an eponymous sportswear line that incorporated green fibers like bamboo and now does about $100,000 in wholesale volume. “Toward the end of my time in Italy, I was thinking, ‘Where is the healing? Where is the integrity in what I am doing? How can I make what I love have meaning and affect people in a positive way?'” Cohen said. “Eileen Fisher started her business with less than $500 and wants to support other women who are starting their business with hardly anything but intention behind the work. It’s inspired me to do the same when I become more established.”
RUNWAY GIRL: With her Uniqlo ad campaign all squared away, Jessica Joffe is already on to the next thing: the runway. The redhead hit the catwalk Sunday for Tadashi Shoji‘s first New York show, and other designers have inquired about her availability for later in the week — but Joffe was buttoned up about who they might be. At least seven years have passed since her last turn on the runway, but she didn’t try to brush up on her legwork over the weekend. “I was just hoping for the best — against all reason,” she said. “The dress was a little too long, so I did pull it up at one point, rather unprofessionally.”
But the former Banana Republic poster girl isn’t considering a career switch. “I don’t think this is taking away from my writing. It’s just something else to occupy my time. I’m still thankfully able to write.”
Fallen-from-grace Miss USA Tara Conner, someone who is no doubt unthankful for all that has been written about her in recent weeks, held her head high when she and Miss Teen USA Katie Blair, whom she reportedly once kissed in public, escorted the designer out for his final bow. But as another guest, Miss Universe Zuleyka Rivera, knows, it takes a lot of pluck to be a winner. “A lot of people think it’s just a beauty contest, but you need to have your personality come through.”
THE THIN LINE: If fashion week is all abuzz about models being too skinny, the hoopla didn’t seem to extend to editors. This season’s official fashion week press bag, available to showgoers in the press room, featured the ubiquitous knick-knacks, including a 90-capsule box of Relacore dietary supplements and a 60-capsule box of NV rapid weight-loss beauty pills. However, after a call questioning inclusion of the items, they were removed from subsequent versions.