VALLEY GIRLS: "Take echinacea now," Zani Gugelman advised at the postshow dinner she cohosted for Alvin Valley Monday night. "There's something going around, and with all the kissing going on ... ," she continued, procuring her solution to staying healthy and upright through the long week. The quarters were definitely close at Olives in the W Union Square, where Gugelmann and co-hosts Emilia Fanjul Pfeifler, Olivia Chantecaille, Alexandra Lind Rose and Allison Sarofim packed themselves like sardines into the bar. Fortunately, the dining room offered a bit more room for everyone to move around. And move they did. After nibbling at the shellfish paella served family-style, Tinsley Mortimer began to dance down the aisles of the tables, her sister-in-law, Minnie, following close behind. Gwen Stefani's "Hollaback Girl" and Nelly's "Hot in Here" pounded through the stereo speakers, causing one guest to remark, "I feel like I'm at a fashion bat mitzvah!" When the DJ switched to salsa, Valley and actress Zoe Saldana did an impressive merengue. Valley's flare and moves were enough to provoke Garcelle Beauvais to cut in and show off some steps of her own. So how did everyone learn to dance like this? "I'm Cuban," Valley said. "I'm Haitian," Beauvais explained. "My mom's Lebanese," Saldana said. "Growing up, we ate Puerto Rican and Dominican food and danced to Latin music."
PEACE OFFERINGS: Hilary Alexander, fashion editor of London's Daily Telegraph, was spotted climbing into a Bentley with fellow Brit Suzy Menkes of The International Herald Tribune after Monday night's Marc Jacobs show. The car belonged to Diane von Furstenberg, who had lent it, along with a driver, to Alexander for the duration of New York Fashion Week as an apology for the accident at von Furstenberg's show the previous evening. Alexander was one of several people struck by a track of lights that collapsed into the audience; other victims included Teen Vogue editor in chief Amy Astley; Karl Treacy, a reporter at the Daily, and Karen Larrain, fashion market director at Cosmopolitan. A spokeswoman for von Furstenberg confirmed the designer had lent Alexander the car. She also replaced Astley's Prada sweater, which was torn, and sent flowers and notes of apology to everyone involved. "Everyone's been very understanding to date and very appreciative of Diane's reaching out to them," said the spokeswoman.ENTERING THE FRAY: It looks like Kim Fields will be the next celebrity fashion designer. Fields, most famous for her role as Tootie on the Eighties sitcom "Facts of Life," said she, too, is on her way to becoming a designer. At Harlem's In Vogue fashion week event at the Marriott Marquis Hotel in New York on Monday night, Fields divulged her plans. "I'm from Harlem, so people will know that I'm a true Harlem honey," she said of the collection, called Harlem Honey. In just 20 days, she said, the line will be available for sale on her Web site, harlemhoney.com.
OFF THE FARM: Some celebrities dread personal appearances, but Ashley Judd isn't one of them. In fact, the actress said Tuesday morning that one of her favorite moments during the year she's been representing American Beauty — the Estée Lauder Cos.' BeautyBank brand sold in Kohl's — was a Los Angeles-area appearance in March.
"I live in splendid isolation on a farm," Judd cracked to a crowd of regional press who had assembled to see Wonderful, American Beauty's first fragrance. "I don't get out much."
Afterward in an interview, Judd turned serious when she explained why she finds meet-and-greets so invigorating. "I see people in extremes," said Judd, who travels and speaks on behalf of YouthAIDS when not making films. "I see them in hospitals and slums. On the other end, I see highly creative people on movie sets. At public appearances, I'm around normal American people."
Judd has just finished postproduction on one indie film, "Come Early Morning," and is currently filming another, "Bug," a drama adapted from the Tracy Letts play of the same name. She's also about to head down to Washington to cohost a YouthAIDS gala with Desmond Tutu.
Even Judd's fashion choices Tuesday were influenced by her charity work. "I'm wearing Anthropologie," she said, gesturing to the sleeveless, V-necked burgundy print sundress she was sporting. "They're my favorite socially conscious retailer."
FIRST TIMER: Anna Kournikova made an unprecedented appearance at the tents on Tuesday morning for Monique Lhuillier. "This is my first show," she said, a revelation which made seatmate Jamie-Lynn DiScala, a Monique regular, clap her hands in anticipation. Kournikova, clad in a little black dress courtesy of the designer, also was planning an appearance at the Y3/Adidas show Tuesday night. Adidas was her sponsor when she was still a star on the tennis courts, not the red carpet.It seems her first foray into fashion was a success: Kournikova was gushing with praise. "It was amazing. The clothes were so gorgeous. I'll definitely be wearing her dresses," she said. Fifteen-love Monique.
FLASHBACK: Legendary fashion photographer Lillian Bassmon turned up Monday at Joanna Mastroianni's fashion show to catch her first one in almost 60 years. And things have sure changed, she said — take the runway, for starters. "The last show I was at was Christian Dior's first show after the war. It was a little room with chairs and all. There was no runway. The girls walked in and out with little cards."
The designer has a collection of Bassmon's photographs, "a gallery," in fact. The former Harper's Bazaar photographer — an early mentor to the young Richard Avedon — is planning for two upcoming exhibitions in real galleries, one in Los Angeles in December and another at the Staley Wise Gallery in New York in January.
In Bassmon's eyes, designers make fashion interesting, more so than photographers. "The designer is the one who chooses the fabrics, the colors, the textures and the designs. Certainly, the photographer adds a lot to it."
DOUBLE TAKE: It's not unusual for magazine editors to be clamoring for the same pieces each season, but a note of advice to Harper's Bazaar's newly minted market director, Nicole Fritton: Please check in with the team before leaving the house each day. At the Dana Buchman show Monday morning, Fritton and Bazaar's market editor, Amanda Tisch, were wearing the same Derek Lam blouse, with two top buttons undone and the silk bow detail dangling. Tisch was seated in the second row directly behind Fritton, creating a visual effect worthy of a "Parent Trap" remake. Fritton doesn't seem to mind that her junior colleague has the same taste level. At the afternoon DKNY presentation, Tisch was still sporting the same look.
KERRY FEVER: Kerry Washington of "Boston Legal" clearly knows the much-neglected fashion etiquette when it comes to attending fashion shows: Wear the designer that is showing. At Oscar de la Renta, she proudly sported an Oscar skirt, then changed into a Proenza Schouler outfit for the duo's afternoon presentation (which she beautifully accessorized with Roger Vivier flats)."I love the boys," she said from the front row at Proenza. "My personal stylist is Samira Nasr, who also styles their show."
FRIENDS INDEED: Drew Barrymore's attendance at Rag & Bone's first fashion show Sunday was a friendly gesture. Makeup artist Gucci Westman and her beau, David Neville, Rag & Bone partners, are her pals. "This event was important to me because they're my friends. I love their product," Barrymore enthused, gesturing toward her cuffed jeans worn with stilettos. "These are beautiful clothes people would wear. A lot of fashion is very extravagant."
ALMOST DUNNE: He is two-thirds of the way through completing his novel, "A Solo Act," but Dominick Dunne is not about to give up any of the juicy details. When pressed, the author allowed, "Like all my books, it's based on the rich and powerful in a criminal situation in New York high society," after attending the Donald Brooks memorial service last week. Asked if it was based on anyone in particular, Dunne said, "Of course," with a smile and walked away to greet a friend.
PASTIES ANYONE?: Ivan Kane's Forty Deuce — which boasts a club in Las Vegas and the original on Melrose Avenue in Los Angeles — launched its first retail boutique during MAGIC at its location in Las Vegas inside the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino. "All women want to do a striptease for their man," said Champagne Suzy, a former burlesque dancer and Kane's wife. "It's the lost art of flirting. But we wanted to do costume pieces that would not only work in the boudoir, but as outerwear, as well." Pieces available for purchase include everything from Forty Deuce branded merchandise such as baby-doll Ts and trucker hats to a $770 dragon-motif silk dress — a replica of the first dress Suzy danced in — as well as corsets, easy-to-shimmy-off tasseled bras and silk gloves for $23. The decision to launch the retail arm was almost a no-brainer, said Kane, since the club draws a 65 percent female clientele. The pair said they hope to launch additional boutiques, and also are scouting to open a new club in New York.DINNER HOSTESS: Gwen Stefani threw a private dinner for some of her closest friends at Perry Street on Tuesday night, including Tim and Helen Schifter. After making a few appearances at events earlier in the week, Stefani has been holed up preparing for the first runway show of her L.A.M.B. collection on Friday. But, hey, a girl has to eat.
AN AMERICAN IN PARIS: Despite the packed party night Monday, a gaggle of social and fashion types, including Fabiola Beracasa, Dayssi Olarte de Kanavos, Anne Grauso, Lauren duPont, Zani Gugelman, Tinsley Mortimer and Alexis Bryan, managed to stop by Saks Fifth Avenue to fete Paco Rabanne designer Patrick Robinson, in town from Paris. As the DJ spun Gwen Stefani hits, the crowd chattered amidst the third-floor boutiques. Nina Griscom perused the Rabanne racks, inquiring, "What do you think of this?" as she fingered a blouse. "Paco was very go-go, but this is very sophisticated."
Robinson was constantly surrounded by admirers, eager to chat up the line's hot new designer.
"I'm leaving tomorrow morning — I'm getting out of here as quick as I can," he said, itching to get back to work in Paris.
His wife, Virginia Smith of Vogue, seemed equally inundated with her job responsibilities.
"At 5:45, my wife gave me two minutes," joked Robinson.
MODEL CITIZENS: Naomi Campbell, Linda Evangelista and Iman headlined a news conference Tuesday at the tents to plug Fashion for Relief, a fashion show and charitable initiative to help Hurricane Katrina victims afflicted with AIDS and HIV. Campbell came up with the idea a few days ago and turned to John Demsey, president of MAC Cosmetics, who wrote a $500,000 check on behalf of the MAC AIDS Fund.A Fashion for Relief runway show will be staged Friday night in Bryant Park and is open to the public. Sales of the $100 tickets will benefit the cause and the donated designer clothes will be auctioned on Yahoo.com starting Sept. 22. In addition, Ralph Lauren has designed a Fashion for Relief T-shirt that will be sold at Polo.com and at Ralph Lauren stores. Among those expected to join the three hosting supes are Cindy Crawford, Jay-Z, Lindsay Lohan, Nicole Richie, Molly Sims and Janice Dickinson.
The news conference marked Iman's first trip to 7th on Sixth since 1989. "The only person who could get me back in the tents was Naomi. I've seen what she's done in South Africa," said Iman, referring to Campbell's philanthropic efforts with Nelson Mandela. "Now it's America's turn to witness this hurricane called Naomi."
Dressed in a vintage Courrèges dress, Evangelista said as much as she loves modeling — and she has been at it for 20 years — being a MAC Viva Glam spokeswoman is more fulfilling. She has been helping MAC raise $1 million in charitable donations each month. As for her notorious comment about only willing to get out of bed for $10,000 a day, she said, "I have done a lot of dumb things in my life. But I'm here today getting better messages across — hopefully."
PHOTO FUND-RAISER: There may be plenty of photographers at the Bryant Park tents, but at least one of them is working for charity. Timothy Greenfield-Sanders on Monday photographed Serena and Venus Williams, Mary J. Blige, Courteney Cox and David Arquette, Eva Longoria, Jesse Metcalfe, Brandy, Sarah Ferguson, Michael Lucas, Rosario Dawson, Richard Branson and Patti D'Arbanville as part of an auction to raise money for the Entertainment Industry Foundation's National Colorectal Cancer Research Alliance, the organization cofounded by Katie Couric.The auction on eBay, which began last Friday and will continue through Monday (bidding closes that day at 10 a.m.) features portraits of designers and celebrities taken backstage during fashion week in February by Greenfield-Sanders. Betsey Johnson, Carmen Marc Valvo, Carolina Herrera, Heatherette, Heidi Klum, Michael Kors, Oscar de la Renta, Diddy and Zac Posen are among those who signed their own earlier portraits to support NCCRA.
"I never thought I'd come back to the tents again," said Greenfield-Sanders, whose next book will be portraits from the last 25 years, to be called "Face-to-Face."
GLENDA'S GETAWAY: Glenda Bailey will have to skip out on fashion week a little early Friday to jet off to the wedding of Bernard Arnault's daughter, Delphine, in Bordeaux, France. But the Harper's Bazaar editor said she has already lined up previews with Donna Karan and Gwen Stefani, and her willing-and-able staff will cover those shows.
Bailey also secured exclusive coverage of Arnault's upcoming Saturday nuptials to Vallarino Alessandro Gancia, and she's not about to give away the bride's chosen designer. "I could only guess it's Dior." As for Bailey's wedding attire, she will be sporting the Arnault coat of arms — Dior and Louis Vuitton.
IN A LONE STAR STATE: As much as Ellen Barkin liked the white palazzo pants and little blue eyelet dress her friend Diane von Furstenberg showed on Sunday, it is unlikely that she will wear them in her upcoming flick "Texas Lullaby." But is a story about turmoil and angst something Ron Perelman's wife can relate to? You bet. "Yeah, why not? I'm somebody's mother."
Alberta Ferretti's "Rainbow Week" sweaters are back. The designer closed her #MFW show with a few day-of-the-week sweaters, which first debuted on the catwalk last January as part of the pre-fall 2017 collection. #wwdfashion (📷: @delphineachard)