OPENING NIGHT

Believe it or not, not every Hollywood starlet depends on a crew of stylists to get dressed for a big night out. Claire Danes walked herself into the new Tocca store in SoHo the day before the MTV Music Video Awards to pick out a new dress to wear that night. And when she slapped down a credit card (yes, she even paid retail) for the dress, she became Tocca’s very first customer at its new location — which had opened about five minutes earlier.
One week later — Wednesday night — 400 equally enthusiastic fans of Marie-Anne Oudejans’ creations mobbed the shop on Mercer Street to celebrate the grand opening. The crowd included downtown royalty like Anne McNally and Keith McNally, Ahn Duong, Christy Turlington and Helena Christensen and a bevy of Upper East Side beauties — whose endless affection was guaranteed when Oudejans whipped up dresses for them to wear to Samantha Kluge’s spring nuptials.
The waiters trying to circulate with champagne and hors d’oeuvres never had a chance.
“I thought this was a big space,” said Oudejans, “but I guess it’s not big enough.”
Just as the crowd began to spill out onto the street, the first American Atsuro Tayama boutique was filling up a few blocks away. Tayama, who spent 10 years working for Yohji Yamamoto, turned the opening into a true New York downtown do.
D.J. Spooky spun the tunes, Carter Smith hung the walls with his photographs and special lights bathed the whole store in blue.

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