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The official start of fashion week may have been around the corner, but hemlines were not on the minds of those at MoMa on Wednesday night, when Alternative Apparel hosted the premiere of “The People Speak,” a documentary based on the writings of liberal historian Howard Zinn.

Two members of the film’s celeb-heavy cast ­ Kerry Washington and Matt Damon (who, incidentally, grew up next door to Zinn in Boston, narrates the author’s books on tape, and even gave him a plug in “Good Will Hunting”) ­ were on hand for the event, which also featured an hour-long panel discussion after credits rolled.

This story first appeared in the February 14, 2009 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

And while the upcoming collections at Bryant Park didn’t come up once during the talk, at least one guest still had style on the brain.

“[Damon and I] know why the press is here,” said Washington, who stood out amid a sea of tweed and elbow patches in a rainbow sequined mini dress. “So if I wear something cute it means this event might get even more attention.”

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