ANOTHER PERSPECTIVE: The crowd at Yigal-Azrouel’s show on Monday included a diverse bunch, from model Carmen Kass to Janice (Puffy’s Mommy) Combs to a new girl group called “S*Cool Girlz” made up of 14- and 15-year-olds Kirsten, Heather, Sheelee, Stephie and Dreama, who, dressed in outfits by Vincent Longo, offered an impromptu performance backstage after the show.
This was something new for Kass, who hadn’t been in a front row before. “It’s a little weird, because you can see how you might look yourself through somebody else’s eyes,” she said. Combs, meanwhile, was grooving on the fashion and apparently unaware of both the controversy provoked by her son’s liberal use of fur at his Sunday night runway show, as well as the photo that appeared of her, fur-clad, in Monday’s New York Post. But Combs has become pretty adept at dealing with media attention lately, so she brushed off a question about it with a shrug of her shearling-trimmed shoulder. “Everybody’s gotta wear fur,” she said.
THE BLOND BRIGADE: Diane Von Furstenberg’s show was replete with front-row blondes looking to raise their fashion profiles. Candy and Tori Spelling were in one corner; mom was wearing a brocade suit with a deep gray fur collar, which she said came from “an Italian designer,” named Mario Brasato, while daughter was sporting a black DVF dress with a Chanel snakeskin tote. The pair said they’re vacationing in New York this week and taking in a few fashion shows, “but we’re not sure yet which ones.” Paris and Nikki Hilton, on the other hand, have their fashion week schedule precisely mapped out; if they’re not sitting in the front row of various shows, they’ll be walking the runway. “We’re doing Anne Bowen, Lloyd Klein, Anand Jon, Catherine Malandrino and we’re going on a couple of other casting calls,” said Paris on Sunday night. How do the pair decide which shows to go out for? “The clothes,” they answered in unison. “Instead of getting paid, we get clothes. And then we have them before everybody else.”
FEMININE HIJINKS: There’s no way actress Angie Harmon could have known that she would be among the celebrities spoofed in a cartoon that kicked off Kenneth Cole’s Monday morning runway show for her friendship with 7th on Sixth honcho Fern Mallis. But Harmon had other things on her mind when she was spotted the evening before at Von Furstenberg’s show.
The actress was so impressed with the celebrity performance of “The Vagina Monologues” at Madison Square Garden the previous evening that she wore a T-shirt from the show and sang its praises to several guests, saying she had “learned so much about my body, about women and other cultures that I truly woke up about certain things.”
As for her pending nuptials to New York Giants cornerback Jason Sehorn, Harmon has selected a gown from Vera Wang, but she’s desperately searching for a band for the ceremony, planned for June. “Please tell anyone they can send me their demos, care of ‘Law and Order,”‘ the actress said.
DIDN’T MISS A BEAT: “I never got to take a day off. I didn’t plan my pregnancy very well,” quipped Elizabeth Saltzman, whose son turns three months old today. Saltzman, who has relocated to London, is in New York this week covering the shows, but said she’s been working on Vanity Fair’s Hollywood issue since giving birth last November. The issue’s cover was styled by Polly Mellen.
Saltzman, fashion director of Vanity Fair, is splitting fashion duties with Anne McNally, a Vanity Fair contributing editor, who was hired to fill in for her during her maternity leave. Saltzman said they’ll be divvying up the fashion coverage.
MUSICAL CHAIRS: The shows of independent young designers tend to attract a roster of up-and-coming musicians. This season, Matchbox Twenty lead singer Rob Thomas showed up for Moet & Chandon’s Designer Debut to support his wife, model Marisol Thomas of Wilhelmina.
“This isn’t something I would normally wake up at 10 in the morning to go to,” he said. “But fashion shows are interesting in that once you go, you’re glad you did.”
Mark Montano drew three of the four members of the urban vocal group Allure, the first band signed by Mariah Carey’s label. “Clothes say everything for us, so we don’t have to speak,” said one member known as Lala. Added co-vocalist Hem-Lee, “I like the fact that anything goes.”
TEAM BRULE: Wallpaper editorial director Tyler Brule has been making the Fashion Week rounds with a staff of five editors who are working on his new biannual fashion magazine, code named “Project Palma.” That includes its new editor-in-chief, Anne Urbauer, who came from the German publications Stern and Die Woche.
“New York saddens me right now,” said Brule, during a cocktail reception for the Wallpaper Group on Sunday night.”It’s sad that there is no sense of discovery in the stores here. When people ask me where to go in London, I tell them Copenhagen. They’re only going to Paris or Milan, and that’s a problem because you’re all going to have Diptyque candles and the same perfumes in the stores.”
ROLE CALL: “Saturday Night Live’s” Molly Shannon swears she’s not becoming a hard-core fashion follower, despite showing up at a number of the spring shows in October. Of course, the fact that she said that while sitting at Thomas Steinbruck’s first solo presentation Sunday morning made her statement a bit questionable. But Shannon said she came because she’s a fan and has worn his clothes on several occasions. “He is just really talented; that’s why I’m here,” she said. So will this be her sole appearance during this round of shows or does she have more invites pending?
“Maybe Marc Jacobs,” she admitted.
Former Supreme Mary Wilson, who is currently doing a gig at the B.B. King Blues Club & Grill in Times Square, was also there. “I came out for my friend and neighbor,” she said of Steinbruck. “The glamour is back. For a while it had disappeared. This is what we wore in the Sixties.”
FORD’S FOCUS: Everyone wants a piece of the fashion action — especially motor companies — but Ford has topped them all. Sunday night, the car manufacturer held a fashion show in honor of its Focus car by 10 designers who created clothes out of the car’s parts. Seat belts, carpets, wires, reflectors — the whole nine yards — were used to create these one-of-a-kind looks. A drawing will be held on March 30th, and the winner will receive a Focus to call their own.