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This season’s party machine wasted no time kicking into high gear.

On Wednesday, the Rainbow Room was the site of a Couture Council of the Museum of FIT luncheon honoring Alber Elbaz, in town especially for the occasion (and then, he said, he’s back on a plane “to face the blank sheet of paper once again and try to create something beautiful”). The room was awash in his designs as guests including Chloë Sevigny, Tiffany Dubin, Iman, Charlotte Moss and Lauren Davis enjoyed lobster and risotto.

“I met him at his L.A. trunk show. I felt like I’d known him forever,” enthused Demi Moore. “And he’s not too attached to his creations. He once cut off a hem right in front of me!”

Elbaz accepted his honor with a moving paean to the strength and beauty of women, calling himself “a dream maker.” Most in the room would agree, although co-chair Linda Evangelista did have a few choice words for the designer when he tried to puff up the collar on her blouse. “Alber, you don’t know anything about fashion!” she chided with mock reproof.

The night before, the Champagne-hungry were out en masse. Van Cleef & Arpels pulled out all the stops for its Une Journée à Paris affair, drawing a crowd that spanned from the farthest stretches of old-school socials (Audrey Gruss) to the nearest reaches of up-and-coming starlets (Lake Bell). Held at the Hammerstein Ballroom, the evening included a fashion show, a performance by Lido cabaret dancers and a mini concert by rocker chicks The Plasticines.

Too bad the narrow entryway and overwhelming guest response had people such as Susan Fales-Hill, Liz Goldwyn, Kate and Laura Mulleavy, Jamee Gregory and Irina Lazareanu bottlenecked at the entrance or locked out altogether as celebrity photo ops for Mischa Barton, Vanessa Carlton and Ashley Olsen took precedence.

This story first appeared in the September 6, 2007 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

Eve sported her own fashion statement, an anklet alcohol detector. “It comes off on Sept. 8. It will have been 45 days,” said the singer, who was ordered to don the accessory after pleading no contest in July to a DUI. “I think I’m going to have it bronzed.”

The chaos continued on Madison Avenue as art investors flooded into the Roger Vivier store for a private preview from Christie’s and Tom Ford’s boutique to celebrate the publication of Marilyn Minter’s first-ever book of her works.

While the artist was drowning in accolades and requests to sign the tome — “You know about everything,” one guest told her. “Well, I know about sex,” Minter shot back — crowds followed Ford from room to room.

As Yvonne Force Villareal, Jeanne Greenberg Rohatyn and Amy Sacco sought respite from the crush downstairs, Ford escaped upstairs with his pals Bruce Springsteen and Patty Scialfa. But it was Jeremy Piven’s arrival that really got the designer going. “It’s my alter ego — my evil twin brother,” Ford cried.

Down in SoHo, the mood was more genteel at Glamour’s Fashion Gives Back bash. Ginnifer Goodwin arrived on the arm of Peter Som (“We bonded over burgers at Balthazar a few months ago,” Som explained); Catalina Sandino Moreno represented Jovovich-Hawk (the pregnant Milla Jovovich was at home on bed rest); Joy Bryant came to party with Erin Fetherston, and Emily Mortimer mingled about wearing Marchesa. And, while the celebs were game to be used as walking billboards, Amanda Peet, supporting her pal Thakoon Panichgul, approached the evening a tad reluctantly. “I say to myself, ‘I’m only going to stay for 10 minutes,’ and then this happens,” she said, sounding a wee bit exasperated by the reporters with recorders and blinding flashbulbs.

Welcome to fashion week.

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