By  on October 19, 2007

NEW YORK — Rather than get lost in the melee of fashion weeks in New York, Milan, London or Paris, Hugo Boss preferred to wait until the fashion crowd had taken a breather and pulled together an event for 1,000 Wednesday night at the Cunard building here — including the likes of Julianne Moore, Kate Winslet, Maggie Gyllenhaal and Kristin Davis.

After a runway show for the Boss Black label, waitresses in French maid uniforms wheeled across the runway silver carts loaded with glasses of Champagne as guests shuffled into an adjoining room for pickled beets and other eclectic hors d'oeuvres. More surprising was the toe-tapping performance by Woody Allen — who did just that in his grandfatherly brown button-down shirt and khakis — and his New Orleans band.

Moore's critique of Boss Black's New Moderns collection was rooted in personal preference: "Actually, I like purple a lot. It was very clean and very nice. I liked the cropped jacket and the blue patent leather bag."

Dressed in a white blouse and poufy black skirt, Davis said that, as of now, Hugo Boss pieces have not been shot for the "Sex and the City" movie. Costume designer Patricia Field still has the final say, but input is welcome from the cast, Davis said. "We'll see. We're not done shooting some scenes. I know she would love some of those shoes, the blue patent leather ones. And that white suit with a big white belt looked like something Samantha [Kim Cattrall] would wear."

Hugo Boss executives weren't about to put a price tag on the extravaganza, explaining the investment demonstrates how the brand is pushing its women's business in the U.S., its second-largest market. This year global sales for the women's collections — Boss Black, Hugo and Boss Orange — are expected to exceed $285 million, according to André Maeder, a board member who is also responsible for retail, licenses and the Hugo brand. Overall, the company's wholesale volume hovers near $2.1 billion and a 10 to 12 percent gain is planned for this year, he said.

Instead of being beholden to any one city's fashion calendar, the German-based company randomly selects dates and destinations for its shows. The last Boss Black show was held in New York in 2002.

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