SCRIBES AT SMASHBOX: Los Angeles Fashion Week has often wrestled with the dilemma of how to attract the same caliber of stellar celebrities, retailers and journalists who perch in the front rows at runway shows in other fashion capitals. Over the past few seasons, the local front rows haven’t exactly had the star power L.A. is known for — David Hasselhoff, anyone? — but on Sunday, the shows at Smashbox Studios in Culver City managed to attract New York-based editors of magazines such as Vogue and Vanity Fair. Making his first visit to L.A. Fashion Week, Vogue editor at large André Leon Talley observed the sporty looks at Orthodox and Whitley Kros from behind dark shades, his arms crossed over his crocodile-skin jacket. Checking out shows through Wednesday, Talley said he preferred to reserve judgment until “after I see clothes.” Vanity Fair fashion and style director Michael Roberts, on the other hand, was quick to offer his assessment of Julia Clancey’s black-and-white frocks dripping with jet beads. “I liked it for the younger set to go on the red carpet,” Roberts said, noting he’s out West for a shoot but opted to come a day early to check out the shows, his second tour of L.A. Fashion Week.
THE BIRD CAGE: On Friday evening, designer Erin Fetherston, accompanied by Satine’s Jeannie Lee and Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes’ stylist Jeanne Yang, hosted a screening of the short film “A Dreamy Wander,” directed by Ellen von Unwerth, inside the aviary-like Villa nightclub in West Hollywood. In the eight-minute movie, actress Zooey Deschanel, clad in Fetherston’s fall collection, portrays a runaway orphan in an enchanted forest who nibbles on some magic mushroom with hallucinatory results. Deschanel, who was shooting a feature in New York, didn’t attend the soiree, but fellow actresses Rosario Dawson, Leelee Sobieski and Angie Harmon came out to toast the 26-year-old New York-based designer. “She is a lovely human being,” gushed Dawson, wearing a short shimmering white Fetherston number, adding that she and Fetherston had initially met at a charity event. Fetherston confessed she caught the filmmaking bug after her first collaboration with von Unwerth on the short “Wendybird,” starring Kirsten Dunst, in 2005. “I intend to make more,” she said.