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Old fans, new fans and those seeking an audience with Alexander McQueen turned up at his boutique Thursday evening for the designer’s first New York trunk show. The most serious shoppers hardly noticed when McQueen entered the shop and made for the stock room. But when the notoriously shy designer emerged, he was cornered in the dressing room by Lillian von Stauffenberg, Renee Rockefeller and Helen Schifter, all gussied up in his fashions. McQueen beat a quick retreat to the stock room again, then sailed out of the shop after clocking a full 20 minutes on the sales floor.

“He’s so British,” said Schifter.

This story first appeared in the June 2, 2003 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

“He kept telling me it needed to be tighter,” said von Stauffenberg, examining her McQueen corset.

But if McQueen himself couldn’t bear to stay, local fashion types made the sales for him. “He’s one of our real talents,” Daryl Kerrigan proclaimed. “He’s to be cherished.”

With designer Bryan Bradley at a Tuleh trunk show in Dallas, Amanda Cutter, the label’s creative director, snuck out in McQueen. “Tuleh is not a cult!” she reported.

Earlier in the day, Nathalie Kaplan and Kalliope Karella sat bent over a Christie’s jewelry catalog as members of the Valentino cult, including Jennifer Creel, Dayssi Olarte de Kanavos and Tara Rockefeller, arrived at the auction house for a luncheon and fashion show to kick off the jewelry sale.

“I’ve found a very big diamond,” Karella announced.

No doubt.

At lunchtime on Wednesday, those Memorial Sloan-Kettering philanthropists Eugenie Niven, Tory Burch, Anne Grauso, Hilary Dick and Alexis Waller were at it again. This time, Calvin Klein hosted an elegant lunch and fashion show, putting in a quick appearance at his Madison Avenue boutique and topping it all off with a $20,000 donation to the cancer center.

But Muffie Potter Aston recalled meeting Niven, the associate committee’s chairman, at a decidedly less venerable event — a wild high school party thrown by her 14-year-old stepdaughter. “I was 26 and married to my first husband,” said Aston. “We’ve all come a long way since then.”

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