SUPER SUNDAY: What do body-hugging bandage dresses and football uniforms have in common? Not much, except that thanks to the scheduling gods, the two vied for attention at Sunday morning’s Hervé Leger show (the first formal one for the label since the mid-Nineties). Team Leger drew an impressive line-up of front row ladies wearing their creations: Joy Bryant in bright orange; Emily Deschanel in black, and Melissa George in snow white. And many of them pleaded ignorance to the sporting action going on later that evening. “I had no idea who was playing [in the SuperBowl] until a few days ago. I thought it was the Jets and then someone corrected me. I’d rather watch a UFC fight than football,” said Mandy Moore. Joss Stone, bedecked in a strapless rainbow number, was equally disinterested, claiming her only post-show plans were to see friends and sleep. “It’s sooo early,” she said of the 11 a.m. call time. “I’m a musician. We stay up late.”
But a few girls admitted they’d soon be donning more comfy ensembles to take in the big game. “I’m going to throw on sweats,” said Sophia Bush. “I have a lot of friends in town so we’re going to pick a bar and go watch and eat chicken wings…I’m rooting for the Giants. I always root for the underdog.”
Perhaps she and Ginnifer Goodwin should go head-to-head. The actress, who said she was there to “window shop,” will also be glued to a TV screen—but not in support of NYC. “I went to school in Boston, so I’m definitely rooting for the Patriots,” she smiled.
CROWD CONTROL: Conventional wisdom suggests that front row at the Rag & Bone show isn’t the best place to catch some R&R. Alas, many of the A-list guests at Friday’s show such as Gisele Bundchen (who had yet to join her beau Tom Brady at the SuperBowl in Arizona), Julianne Moore and Ellen Pompeo seemed unprepared for the frenzied atmosphere. “I thought it was going to be a lot different,”remarked a surprisingly shell-shocked Moore as she surveyed a calvalcade of photographers and reporters. “I thought it was going to be a lot quieter.”
For her part, Pompeo (who arrived with hubby Chris Ivery), managed to avoid most of the media mayhem thanks to a strategically placed handler. “Ellen would like to take a break,” her make-shift body guard announced to a crowd of eager shutterbugs and journalists. Still, other celebs seemed willing to put up with the excitement for the rest of the week. Becki Newton of “Ugly Betty” reported that she was most excited for Wednesday’s dinner hosted by Gucci and Madonna. “We want to see Madonna because she owes us lots of money,” joked Newton’s husband, actor Chris Diamantopoulos.
THE BIGGER PICTURE: The SuperBowl isn’t the only American event conflicting with New York Fashion Week, as viewers at the Charles Nolan show reminded the fashion set with buttons supporting Barack Obama. Nolan’s partner, Democratic party big shot Andrew Tobias, brought in a bevy of his fellow faithful, including Peggy Kerry, sister of John.
“We’re wearing the buttons because it’s two days before the primary, and it’s an important statement: There are Obama supporters in New York,” Kerry said. She and Lisa Gans, an international lawyer back in New York for a few months before returning to Afganistan in March, both walked in Nolan’s show last year, and Gans gave her approval to the First Lady-friendly collection. “Back in Afganistan, everything has to be long,” she said. “I was very excited to see outfits that I could take back with me and wear without being stoned.”
PULVERIZED: Rock & Republic’s runway show on Saturday night was billed as a two-act performance according to the program notes, but it was more like a three-ring circus. After being herded through the throngs in the Bryant Park tent’s lobby, bypassing a fist fight between two rival photographers, and almost tripping over an Associated Press reporter while trying to find his seat, photographer Mick Rock exclaimed, “This is worse than the Stones concert in ‘72!” The chaos didn’t prevent the likes of Tyson Beckford, Russell Simmons and Jack Mackenroth from this season’s “Project Runway” from attending. Simmons said he also planned to make Tommy Hilfiger’s, his friend Sean Comb’s and, of course, Marc Jacobs. As for a recession, he was having none of it and pointed to the apparent high production value of Rock & Republic’s show as reason not to. “Recession, no one cares in the fashion business, do we?” said Simmons. “We shouldn’t. We should be inspired and keep producing what we’re doing till we go under.”
PICTURE THIS: Her mother, Jayne Mansfield, might have been an iconic pin-up, but Mariska Hargitay is camera-shy. While sitting front row at the Lela Rose show on Sunday morning, the actress brushed off a crowd of eager shutterbugs. “I find this part a bit unnerving,” Hargitay confessed. Eventually, though, the star took a cue from Jennifer Creel (who was seated next to her and was happy to oblige the snappers). “Well, if Jennifer does it, then I guess it’s OK,” the actress said before standing for a few photo-ops.
SCHOOL DAZE: At the Erin Fetherston show Friday evening, Anne Hathaway added some star wattage to an otherwise straightforward front row. And the actress handled the paparazzi flurry like a pro (after all, she was in “The Devil Wears Prada”). “OK, now we do this,” she said, gamely removing her coat and posing for the barrage of flashbulbs as boyfriend Rafael Follieri looked on. Despite the poise (and lots of practice as part of Valentino’s party posse last summer), the actress admitted she still wasn’t accustomed to all the attention. “There’s something about this that always transports me back to the seventh grade,” laughed Hathaway, who has met Fetherston a few times. “And it’s silly because there shouldn’t be any pressure. But it’s always like, ‘Are my hair and makeup right?’”
A few sections down, model Irina Lazareanu was taking a break from the catwalk-and suffering from a guilt complex. “I feel really lazy watching a show and not working in it,” she admitted.
ROCK ON: The writers’ strike has, as expected, freed up some TV stars’ time-and perhaps their inhibitions, too. Spotted at the Elise Overland presentation at Milk Studios Friday night was Taylor Momsen of “Gossip Girl,” sporting a new chopped ‘do. With her straight blond locks shorn to shoulder length, Momsen sported Overland’s gold leather strapless mini dress and a black shag fur jacket, looking every inch the rock star as she rode the elevator up to the penthouse. What will her sweet schoolgirl TV alter ego Jenny do when shooting returns? “I may have to wear extensions,” shrugged Momsen. Look for her at the Philosophy di Alberta Ferretti presentation Tuesday evening where, word is, she’ll have ditched the rock ‘n’ roll edge.
A BLONDE, BRUNETTE AND A REDHEAD WALK INTO A SHOW: Julianne Moore and Maggie Gyllenhaal showed up in the front of Sari Gueron’s show Saturday night not so much for the designer, but for their stylist, Leslie Freemar, who styled the show. While Moore is a Gueron fan, Gyllenhaal said she’d never worn the designer before.
Across the aisle, Melissa George wore a mini Sari Gueron navy dress with a long strand of pearls (she discovered the designer during her Vogue shoot). The actress on HBO’s “In Treatment” has been relaxing at her home in Argentina.