THROUGH THE MODEL’S EYE: The British fashion magazine Fab — slated to bow this summer — boasts the comeliest backstage fashion photographers in the business. For the first issue, Fab secured top models to snap backstage pictures as well as edit the pages and give commentary. Mini Anden is in charge of New York, Karen Elson does the Paris shows, Erin O’Connor handles Milan and Liberty Ross goes to work in London. Anden snapped away all week at the likes of Imitation of Christ, Marc Jacobs, Bill Blass, Oscar de la Renta and Ralph Lauren.
FOOL ME ONCE…: And the Invite-Hoax-of-the-Week Award goes to…the Steven Klein/J.T. Leroy exhibition, held last Thursday at Deitch Projects in SoHo. The media alert promised guests would include Anna Wintour, Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake, Calvin Klein and Travis. Sundry editors and fashionistas took the bait, and the event drew a capacity crowd that waited patiently for the A-listers to arrive…and waited…and waited. A representative of Steven Klein insisted that Wintour and Klein did show, but just at times when no one would see them — like, before and after the posted time span of the show. “Anna arrived before practically anyone arrived, and Calvin showed up really late, after most people had left. But they were there,” said the spokeswoman. “As for Britney and Justin, they were supposed to come, but their people said they had a long day, and it just didn’t happen. We really feel bad about all the photographers and editors who showed up and didn’t get what they were looking for.” Meanwhile, guest-of-honor writer J.T. Leroy did attend, but many guests probably missed him: He was the guy in ski cap and dark glasses huddled upstairs at the champagne bar to avoid attracting attention at an event showcasing photos of…him. If the event’s no-show factor is any indication, maybe Leroy’s recluse act is starting to catch on. Leroy was also spotted making a late entrance into Jeremy Scott’s show on Friday.
ENERGY SAVER: Chalk it up to bad timing (it was Valentine’s Day, after all), but Jean Paul Gaultier’s Thursday night boutique opening uptown — followed by dinner and an after-party at Lotus — was far quieter than one might expect from a designer with so much voltage. Over a soundtrack of bird songs, Gaultier did say how happy he was to have his first U.S. boutique: “I’ve been dreaming about this for 20 years,” he said. “The idea of it is simple. It’s about seeing the clothes, about the clothes being totally clear.”
At Lotus, Gaultier spent most of dinner engrossed in conversation with Glenda Bailey, the biggest star in the room unless you count Dylan McDermott. (At least Juliette Binoche wasn’t around to turn Gaultier’s genius into weirdness.) Also at Gaultier’s dinner table were Hamish Bowles, Sally Singer and Paris Mode’s Marie-Christiane Marek.
Panic erupted in the club’s kitchen when the five heart-shaped cakes ordered from a French bakery for the evening’s dessert arrived with a typo — Gaultier’s name misspelled. With no time to send the cakes back for editing, Lotus’s chef, Richard Farnabe, performed confectionary surgery to repair the damage before sending the cakes out. Before calling it a night, Gaultier dropped in to thank the kitchen staff, putting his signature on the wall among the likes of Mick Jagger, Kate Moss and P. Diddy.
FIZZ FREE: On the subject of low-voltage parties, it seems Sept. 11 might have tainted the lure of New York’s Fashion Week bashes. After all was said and done, it was a week without a major blowout. The guilty aftertaste of Marc Jacobs’s extravagant perfume launch on Sept. 10 seemed to linger in everyone’s minds. Sure, there were some highlights: Diane Von Furstenberg’s motley mix at Indochine that included Derek Jeter, Cheryl Tiegs and Marie Chantal of Greece; Marc Jacobs’s decidedly low key Bleecker Street bash, and Anna Sui’s intimate perfume launch at the Cellar Bar. But where people thought big, they failed: Gaultier’s Lotus bash was a low note, as was the Ford Thunderbird Extravaganza at the Hammerstein Ballroom. New York nightlife, it would seem, is still in recovery.
GBH TO SF: Giorgio Beverly Hills, in its latest reinvention, is set to bow today, after a year-and-a-half remodel. Owned by Procter & Gamble’s P&G Prestige Beaute division and run by BCBG designer Max Azria, the 1,250-square-foot space at 329 North Rodeo Drive features a facade of sandblasted glass and an interior of limestone floors and soaring 20-foot ceilings. Three rounded yellow-and-white awnings with the Giorgio signature black crest recall Fred Hayman’s original retail mecca and its close ties to Hollywood more than 40 years ago. Azria once talked about designing a Giorgio Beverly Hills line exclusive to the store, but there’s no news on that front yet. For now, three Giorgio fragrances — Giorgio Beverly Hills, Red and G — as well as ready-to-wear and select couture from Herve Leger, another BCBG Max Azria division, will be offered at the store.
REVIVAL INSTINCT: Anne Klein New York’s opening party for its first flagship in SoHo on Wednesday night was a celebration for the store as well as for designer Charles Nolan’s success at reviving the brand. Among the guests were Town & Country editor Pamela Fiori, stylist Phillip Bloch and Andy Warhol photographer Christopher Makos, who has known Nolan for 20 years. Makos said he liked the interior and particularly the artwork upstairs, which includes works by Donald Sultan and Donald Baechler. “I remember this as Mary Boone’s gallery. But all these stores in New York have nine lives,” he said. “And if you’ve been around long enough, you see them reincarnated.”