RUDY’S FASHION MOMENT
Byline: Eric Wilson
NEW YORK — The “M” in millennium must stand for marriage.
At least it looked that way on the giant runway constructed in Times Square for Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani’s public fashion show Monday night, where 90 designers presented their vision of the millennium before a crowd of 18,000. So many went with white that it could have been a bridal show.
Runway nuptials notwithstanding, it certainly was Bodyguard Central, with The Donald, Vendela and Police Commissioner Howard Safir mixing it up with Oscar, Donna, Shoshana and Nicole. Call it kitschy chic — fashion for the civic-minded fabulous-in-training under Broadway’s giant Budweiser and Cup of Soup signs, with a laser-red news zipper racing along in the background bringing the latest on Waco, Kenneth Starr and Hurricane Floyd.
The show was simulcast on two of Times Square’s jumbo television screens, one on the new ABC studios and the other on the old Times Tower, and it pulled major support from designers, both in the audience and on the runway. Donna Karan arrived and sat next to Giuliani; Nicole Miller was on his other side. There was Oscar de la Renta with Eliza Reed; Dennis Basso with Ivana Trump (The Donald chaired the event), and a startled-looking Thierry Mugler wandering around with nonagenarian model Carmen Dell’Orefice.
Victor Alfaro couldn’t even get a seat.
“This is so bizarre,” said Douglas Hannant, watching one white look after another, concerned that his navy blue number might look miserably out-of-place. “It’s like a parade.”
The show went off, surprisingly enough, without a hitch. But with 90 models — including Lauren Hutton, who walked in a black Giorgio Armani pantsuit, Mya and Jordan Knight in plaid ensembles by Tommy Hilfiger, Kristen Johnston in a nearly nude number by Randolph Duke and Angie Harmon in Marc Bouwer’s black imitation leather gown — the show was still a little long. Three wailers by Trisha Yearwood amounted to a mini-concert. And meanwhile, Aurelie, who modeled for Mark Eisen, started begging cigarettes from audience members, then made a gesture to get a lighter, which was subsequently tossed from the bleachers onto the head of a young member of the Housing Authority Youth Chorus who had performed during the show.
After the event, Thierry Mugler said of the silver dress and plastic breastplate he had created, “Yes, that was my vision of the future.” He then ventured onto 42nd Street, only to be greeted by curious tourists yelling, “We love you! Who are you?”
“I’m Thierry Mugler,” he spat. “No more questions!”
Later, Giuliani — who some designers confided was a bit uneasy about the more revealing outfits and almost eliminated them — made an appearance at a party at the Viacom Building, where he greeted some of his big supporters, both the creative and financial types. He applauded the industry and noted that it brings $19 billion in revenue to the city each year.
“That went better than I thought it would,” added the mayor. “They were all beautiful, but my favorite is this Nicole Miller suit I’m wearing.”