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Designers may still be making last-minute adjustments, but for the party people, fashion week has begun.

Photographer Ben Watts unofficially got things started Tuesday night with the MAC-sponsored opening of his Milk Gallery exhibit “Big Up!” As hipsters and models checked out Watts’ shots of worse-for-wear wrestlers, punks and rappers, the artist’s friends retreated upstairs for a sedate, candlelit dinner. Sean Avery, Cornelia Guest, Maxwell, Damon Dash, Angela Lindvall and Joshua Jackson mingled with Watts’ sister, Naomi, and their mom, Miv, in town from England. Note to stargazers: Don’t expect to see the pregnant Naomi around the tents next week — she’s off to see family in Australia.

This story first appeared in the September 4, 2008 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

The next afternoon, Isabel Toledo received the 2008 Couture Council of the Museum at FIT Award for Artistry of Fashion at a luncheon at the Rainbow Room, before a 500-strong crowd, including Narciso Rodriguez, Cecilia Dean, Matthew Modine and the ever-elusive Helmut Lang. It certainly was a long road, according to her proud husband, Ruben Toledo. “I’ve been telling her to quit for years,” he said. “It’s so hard, fashion.”

Thankfully, his concerns were to no avail. “It would be like telling me never to speak again,” explained Isabel.

On Saturday, music lovers like Calvin Klein, Isabella Rossellini and Daphne Guinness filled the lawn at the Watermill Center in Water Mill, N.Y., for the Last Song of Summer concert with Rufus Wainwright and special guest Jessye Norman to benefit Robert Wilson’s performing arts foundation.

For the grand finale, Wainwright was joined on stage by his folk-singing family, including his mother, Kate McGarrigle; his aunt, Anna McGarrigle, and his sister, Martha. One offering was a hearty group sing-along of Martha’s song, “Bloody Mother F—ing A–hole,” which they helpfully explained was about their father, singer Loudon Wainwright 3rd.

“We rehearsed — this morning,” said Wainwright as he received well-wishers after the show, explaining that his family has performed together since his childhood. “Give us three hours and we’ll give you a show.”

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