By  on October 23, 2007

Reporters for, People and In Style frantically scanned the front row at the Heatherette show in Los Angeles last week looking for major stars to interview. This being the center of the film world, was there an Uma? A Nicole? A Julia Roberts?

No. But there was Cat Deeley, the host of "So You Think You Can Dance" — or they always could have grabbed heiress Lydia Hearst, daughter of Patricia, and reformed porn starlet Jenna Jameson after they walked the runway in between grease-stained male models clad in swimsuits or denim.

Then there was "The Hoff" himself: David Hasselhoff made the show rounds during the week, leading one Web commentator to say he was "almost a daily fixture" after he was photographed clowning around with Steve-O, best known for appearing on "Jackass."

Welcome to Los Angeles Fashion Week which, after four years at Smashbox Studios in Culver City, Calif., seemed to be a maelstrom of the once-was, might-be and never-will-be. The week was one where Jaime Pressly was treated as a major designer (and she showed off-site), and even local retailers — let alone major national ones — couldn't be lured to the shows.

"I couldn't sit through another show if you paid me," said John Eshaya, vice president of women's wear at Ron Herman, which is renowned for fostering local talent.

"My team just got back from Europe and we've been seeing shows since the second week in September," said Ron Frasch, president and chief merchandising officer of Saks Fifth Avenue. "It's now the end of October. To pick up and go to's not going to happen. We have a business to run."

Frasch was even in town, as was Pete Nordstrom, executive vice president and president of merchandising at Nordstrom. But neither attended any fashion shows — the Saks executive was the host at a cocktail party for Christian Louboutin at S Bar in Hollywood and returned to New York the next day. Nordstrom appeared at a party in Venice, Calif., on Oct. 16 to celebrate the launch of a T-shirt designed by Edun's Rogan Gregory and Ali Hewson for the One campaign. Soon after, he flew to Denver for the opening of the company's third store there.

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