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JUST DOING WHAT HE’S TOLD: Proenza Schouler landed a front row full of its loyal socials: Amanda Brooks, Tatiana Santo Domingo and Vanessa and Samantha Traina, whose mom, Danielle Steel, flew in from Paris to join them) as well as a few big Hollywood types. “It” girl Amy Adams was between film sets, having just wrapped “Doubt” and not yet started “Julie & Julia,” and took in the sartorial sights with boyfriend Darren Le Gallo.
Dylan McDermott, meanwhile, added himself to the list of celebrities who have no idea what or who Proenza Schouler is, let alone are able to pronounce it. “It sounds like an antianxiety drug,” said the actor, who was seated next to Brooke Shields. So why show up at all? “My publicist said I should come,” he said candidly. But the “Big Shots” star is not a total fashion neophyte. He’s attended shows in Milan, he said, and, “I used to sell Ralph Lauren T-shirts for $15 on the street,” he added, not mentioning exactly how he procured such goods.
This story first appeared in the February 6, 2008 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
Meanwhile, Rihanna took her seat between Elle editor in chief Roberta Myers and the magazine’s creative director, Joe Zee. “I wish I could go to more shows,” the singer said, before adding that she is working on her performance for the Grammys and getting ready to tour with Kanye West in the spring. “I am busy, busy, busy.” Lucky for the Proenza boys, she had an opening on Monday night. “I love Proenza Schouler,” she said. “Their stuff is very edgy. Like me, edgy and sexy.”
SINGIN’ IN THE RAIN: The next day, Rihanna kept up her busy pace, stopping by the Totes Isotoner showroom in New York to mark her second umbrella collection with the accessories firm. “We ladies hate walking around with clumsy umbrellas all the time,” the singer said. “So my size is perfect and I love the colors.” The partnership began in April when Def Jam, Rihanna’s label, approached Totes and asked it to make a special umbrella to help launch her hit single, “Umbrella.” Within six weeks, Rihanna had her first collection. Some special pieces will be on stage with her at the Grammy Awards Sunday, where the starlet, up for four awards, will perform the song, which is contending for Record of the Year. “The umbrellas go with the theme of the performance, but I can’t say what that is yet,” she said.
As for why the Elle group seems to be escorting her everywhere, there’s an easy explanation: The singer is a guest blogger on the magazine’s Web site.
SUPERHEROES: “Lipstick Jungle” star Brooke Shields has been hitting the shows the last few days, but on Tuesday morning she made some time for a dream fulfilled. “Tommy Tune interviewed me this morning for Interview,” said the actress, who met with the theater icon in his studio. “I think I was in heaven for a minute.”
Meanwhile, next to her was co-star Kim Raver, who admitted she was still adjusting to the high-fashion impact of her new “Lipstick Jungle” lifestyle. “It’s definitely different from wearing all black and running around on ’24’ with Kiefer [Sutherland] and guns,” she laughed, referring to her former gig. Certainly the quick-change routine is keeping her busy. The actress changed from Monique Lhuillier earlier that morning into Dennis Basso in time for the 1 p.m. J.Mendel start time. “It’s a Superman thing,” she shrugged.
ONCE STUNG: Kate Hudson and Matthew McConaughey headline “Fool’s Gold,” but rising star Alexis Dziena was doing what she could Tuesday to plug the film before its Friday release. Backstage at Badgley Mischka, she recalled how during filming she floored a Jet Ski and accidently jettisoned McConaughey off the back. It wasn’t all fun and games in the water, though. Repeated run-ins with Irukandji jellyfish forced the crew to finish filming in the Bahamas, Dziena said.
The 23-year-old caught up with another showgoer, Marcia Gay Harden. The pair appeared in the Lifetime movie “She’s Too Young.” Harden, who has three films in the cooker — “Christmas Cottage,” “Home” and “The Lonely Maiden” — said Mark Badgley and James Mischka have kept up with her changing roles. “They dressed me when I was young and lean, and when I was pregnant and imitating a condominium, they made me look beautiful, and now as a mom-actor on the run.”
Now they could even dress her home. The designers have teamed up with Town & Country Living to create their first home collection: seven bedding ensembles that will bow in stores this fall. Bath items are in the works and the two would love to try their hand at furniture, too. “We designed our showroom furniture,” Mischka said.
ZOE ON HALSTON: Rachel Zoe’s absence from the Halston front row and after show had many fashion tongues wagging, with some saying that her role there has been vastly diminished, and others that she was fired. At the Marc by Marc Jacobs show Tuesday, Zoe was initially hesitant to comment, but then had this to offer: “I have five clients in town and my television show, and my day job comes first. This was Marco [Zanini]’s show. I am still a shareholder and on the creative advisory board of Halston.”
OBAMA GOES GUCCI: Susan Fales-Hill was toting the Democratic party line Tuesday, having taped a photo of Barack Obama to her Gucci handbag. She pulled the image from the current Ebony magazine cover, and made sure to keep the headline, “In Our Lifetime.” “When my parents were married 50 years ago, their mixed marriage was illegal in many states. In my family, we used to ask, ‘Will we see a black president in our lifetime?'” she said. “The fact that this is happening in our lifetime is amazing.”
COCKTAIL HOUR: Her Bryant Park show may have taken place at 11 a.m. on Tuesday, but that didn’t discourage Monique Lhuillier from outfitting the celebs in her front row in her signature evening dresses. While most of the crowd had just finished their morning cups of coffee, the likes of Brittany Murphy, Becki Newton and Sophia Bush took their seats sporting slinky frocks and demonstrative eye makeup. But Newton, for her part, didn’t feel out of place. “I think everyone should wear cocktail dresses at all hours of the day,” the actress said.
BASSO DELAY: Dennis Wong, a freelance publicist, suffered an epileptic seizure prior to Dennis Basso’s 25th anniversary show Tuesday at The Promenade at Bryant Park. Wong was treated by a doctor and a nurse who happened to be on the scene before the paramedics arrived. Gigi Mortimer also stepped in with instructions about how to help. Anna Wintour and a small group of editors were seated in the tent, while guests such as Olivia Palermo, Candy Pratts Price and Jennifer Creel waited in a holding area for emergency assistance to arrive. The paramedics arrived 20 minutes after they were called, leading some observers to question why an ambulance is not stationed at the tents during the show, as is the case with other major Manhattan events. Zani Gugelmann offered a sober view: “This brings some reality to fashion week.”
REMEMBERING WHEN: Actress Lindsay Price has been taking in a few shows this week, such as Peter Som, Dennis Basso and most recently, Barbara Tfank at the Carlyle Hotel on Tuesday. There, she dished about the fashion community, her new “Lipstick Jungle” character, Victory Ford (a fashion designer herself) and, of course, her role as Janet on the latter seasons of “Beverly Hills, 90210.” “I still talk to some people,” Price said of the cast. “I talk to Tiffani (Thiessen), Luke (Perry) — everyone’s doing really well. It’s funny because now, thanks to TiVo, I can watch all these episodes on the Soap Net channel that I never got to see because I was working. I think right now, my character is having a baby. And I remember at the time, I was 20 years old and couldn’t even keep my plants alive. They had automatic water timers.”
BAG LADIES: Alvin Valley is giving disposable fashion new meaning. The designer will unveil the “eco-tote” he designed at the Duane Reade on Broadway just west of Bryant Park. New Yorkers for a Green New York founders Amanda Hearst, Annie Churchill, Tony Cummings and Billy Gilbane, will be on hand today from 3 to 5 p.m. to help sign the first 250 bags.
HELLO, ROW: There’s something to be said for a celebrity, one with a clothing line, no less, that resists the idea of press. Case in point: Ashley Olsen and the presentation of her and sister Mary-Kate’s latest The Row collection, which they — or their public relations firm, rather — declined to have photographed or formally reviewed. No matter, really, as the collection, the duo’s fourth, looked wonderful. “We’re still a small company,” commented Ashley as she went through the racks of body-skimming, yet sophisticated, day and evening dresses, cozy alpaca pullovers or the leather leggings that were such a hit for spring at retailers including Barneys New York and Bergdorf Goodman. Retail prices range from $195 for a T-shirt to $4,800 for a kangaroo coat. “The thing is,” said Ashley, “we have everyone from our friends to their moms try on the clothes. We want them to look great on a really wide range of women.” And, in fact, they do. Ashley, who is 22 and just over 5 feet tall, was representing The Row in a scarf, slouchy T-shirt and leggings combo. As for Mary-Kate, who’s been pursued by the tabloid hounds over Heath Ledger’s death, she was nowhere to be seen.