FRONT ROW FRIEND: Wasn’t that Calvin at the Tony Melillo show? You bet. While his fashion week appearances have become rare in recent years, Calvin Klein made an exception on Friday when he dropped by the show of his and Kelly Klein’s friend.
DANCING QUEEN: Donna Karan has runway shows for DKNY and her main collection this fashion week, but she won’t let that stop her from having some good old fun. On Thursday, DKNY Jeans sponsored the screening and after-party for Charlize Theron’s “East of Havana” documentary. Damon Dash, Meredith Ostrom, Bernadette Peters and Fall Out Boy band member Pete Wentz dropped by the post-bash at 205 Chrystie, where Karan boogied to the tunes of Deejays Obah and Sabo well past 1 a.m. But those concerned about the late night partying shouldn’t worry: Karan was back in her studio bright and early on Friday to work on her collections.
GIVE AND TAKE: Glamour helped kick off Fashion Week Thursday night with its “Fashion Gives Back” party for which it enlisted six, young female designers – Jenni Kayne, Rachel Roy, Rodarte, Sari Gueron, Vena Cava and Thread Social – to create limited edition T-shirts to be sold on shopbop.com with proceeds going to their favorite charities.
A crowd of Pretty Young Things swilled Champagne in the Milk Studios Penthouse, where each of the designers was joined by “muses” like Mia Maestro, Anna Paquin, Liz Goldwyn and Lydia Hearst, who is one busy girl: Next week, she will walk for Heatherette. “It’s inspired by the Wizard of Oz. I get to be Dorothy!” she gushed.
Meanwhile, One Scottsdale, the latest luxury mega-mall, celebrated Fashion Week far from its Arizona home – like any good tourist – with drinks at Amy Sacco’s Bette. Amongst the crowd, co-hosts Tinsley Mortimer and Theodora Richards greeted friends like Annie Churchill and Claire Bernard (taking a night off from doing homework for her MFA at Columbia).
After pulling a quick change from her J. Mendel dress into a glittery Dolce & Gabbana number, Mortimer and Richards trekked down to new Lower East Side hotspot, The Box, for the official Mercedes Benz kickoff to Fashion Week. There, designer Carlos Miele was making the rounds with girlfriend Alex Kramer, who admited she’s been a kind of unofficial adviser for his latest collection. Adrien Brody brought his current squeeze, actress and former Playboy model Elsa Pataky, who was only in town for the weekend.
AZRIA’S BANQUET: Max and Lubov Azria are in an artsy mood. On Saturday night, the couple is hosting “The Artists Banquet” at the Deitch Projects Wooster Street Gallery at 18 Wooster St. in honor of the 131 artists photographed by Jason Schmidt for his new book, Artists, published by Edition 7L. The Azrias are joining art writer Dodie Kazanjian and gallery owner Jeffrey Deitch, also hosts. Company executives are being mum about the VIP-only guest list, but did say the event, which begins at 9 p.m., coincides with the recent opening of the MaxAzria boutique at 409 West Broadway in New York, which was heavily inspired by art and individual style. The banquet will also feature a performance/installation entitled Bunter Abend by the Austrian collective, Gelatin.
HILTON TAKE TWO: Nicky Hilton’s first attempt at designing may be flopping, but that isn’t stopping her from making another go with a new contemporary line, Nicholai, debuting at Project next month. Her junior line Chick by Nicky Hilton, which was introduced in 2004, may be struggling at retail, but perhaps the younger Hilton’s confidence has been bolstered by her recent hotel designer hotel venture, Nicky O, or by sister Paris Hilton’s new contemporary line, also launching for fall. “I am used to doing my juniors line, so it’s fun to do something older for me and my friends to wear,” Hilton said Thursday night at Loft 11, where she hosted Macy’s Presents Kiss & Tell benefit for American Heart Association’s Go Red for Women. “Project Runway” season two winner Chloe Dao had the bad luck of showing up for the event at the same time as Hilton, and Dao waited in the heated awning of South American restaurant next door so as not to waste her dress (her own design) while Hilton posed for a 10-plus minute stint inside on the red carpet. That might be Hilton’s only Fashion Week face time this season, though. She said she is forgoing shows for the Superbowl. “I’ve just done it so many times,” Hilton explained. Indeed.
THAT OTHER EVENT: New Victoria’s Secret Angel Selita Ebanks was loving the humid air in Miami’s South Beach Thursday evening, where she and an all-star roster of sports stars and celebrities gathered at Casa Casuarina for a pre-Super Bowl dinner hosted by basketball heavy Shaquille O’Neal. Ebanks, who is filming a movie for HBO in Los Angeles and is missing New York Fashion Week this season, said she preferred the sticky, warm climate to the West Coast, even though the air moisture wreaks havoc on a girl’s hair. “When my hair frizzed up, I was like, ‘yes!” she said excitedly, though Ebanks kept her look frizz-free by sporting a French braid. Other attendees included Kanye West, New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, Taye Diggs, Matt Leinart of the Arizona Cardinals, Ludacris (a.k.a. Chris Bridges), Kelis, and Andy Roddick, who said he was “hopeless” when it came to fashion, though he was one of the more stylish athletes in the room in a fedora, worn t-shirt and relaxed jeans.
MIAMI OR BUST:The crowd at Douglas Hannant’s Thursday night show was a mere gathering for Marlee Matlin, who will sign the National Anthem while Billy Joel sings it at Sunday’s Super Bowl in Miami. Not the least bit nervous, “The L Word” actress said she is excited to do the honors. And her “very hot” outfit is ready to go – a red fitted shirt, skinny jeans, boots and a big jeweled peace sign belt. Designer names escaped her but the belt buckle is what she aims to brand people with. “It’s my little message that I want to pass on to viewers.” she said. More than 141 million are expected to see what she has to say. But the Windy City native wasn’t holding back about which team she is gunning for. “Chicago- all the way.”