FASHION SHOW: Should Karen Elson decide to quit the catwalk, she’s got a fallback career: cabaret. The redheaded model wowed the crowd with her vocal performance Sunday night at Harper Bazaar’s party for CFDA International Award winner Alber Elbaz at Show near Times Square. “She’s amazing,” Francisco Costa said. “I had no idea.” Mid-performance, Elson and the other female members of the Citizens Band took their show offstage to flirt with Elbaz, who was sitting with Glenda Bailey. Elbaz delightfully humored the girls and the audience with a quick boogie, much to the amusement of Linda Evangelista, Jacqui Getty, Missy Rayder, Tara Subkoff, Julie Gilhart and Robert Burke. But it was the evening’s second act, Mother Inc., whom Burke’s boss Jim Gold got a real kick out of.

After the shows were over, Elson confirmed she did recently wed Jack White of The White Stripes, but that he didn’t give her any tips for the stage. “Nope, it was all on my own,” she said.

To prepare for his role in the affair, emcee Alan Cumming brushed up on his Elbaz trivia by Googling him. He found out that the designer “loves chocolate but he doesn’t like buttons,” he said. Who knew?

ROBINSON, NEE RABANNE: Patrick Robinson sure knows how to pull in a crowd. Wednesday night’s Bergdorf Goodman party in honor of the designer and his first collection for Paco Rabanne attracted the likes of Helen and Tim Schifter, Marina Rust, Aerin Lauder, Renee Rockefeller and Jennifer Creel.

“It speaks to Patrick’s talent that so many have come out,” said Robert Burke, senior vice president of fashion office and public relations at Bergdorf’s.

Robinson, who had just flown in for the party with Paco Rabanne managing director Frederick Lukoff, seemed tired, but was clearly elated at being back in New York. “I woke up in Paris this morning. We launched a perfume there last night, and I was at a party until 3 a.m.”

This story first appeared in the June 7, 2005 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

The party was hosted by Anne Grauso, Sophie Dahl and Lauren du Pont. Grauso and Helen Schifter were busy trying to guess the songs the DJ was putting on. “I think it’s Terence Trent D’Arby, but I am just going to ask the DJ,” Grauso quipped. Two minutes later, she was back, looking somewhat abashed. “It’s Mario. God, I am so uncool.”

HOUSEBOUND: For a designer who supposedly retired from fashion four years ago, Kenzo Takada is busier than ever with his new Gokan Kobo label. Hot on the heels of designing an affordable collection for mail-order giant 3 Suisses, Takada has been selected as a guest of honor for the September edition of the Maison & Objet design show, where he plans to showcase his latest designs for the home.

LITTLE NUMBER: It’s no secret the fashion faithful have converted to a jeans-and-T-shirt way of life in recent years, but the ladylike frock is born again in the form of the Little Black Dress event, returning to Los Angeles this year. Its premise? Enlist the help of 36 California designers, a diverse list including Billabong, Eduardo Lucero, Grass, Kevan Hall, Single and Sue Wong, and ask them to contribute their version of the classic number to the silent auction fund-raiser. Models will parade the looks in a choreographed moving exhibit. Taking place today at the W Hotel in Westwood, the event, which began two years ago in Los Angeles, is expected to draw 600 attendees, including Jada Pinkett Smith and Heidi Klum, said founder Emmy Cortes. Last year, she held it at Diane von Furstenberg‘s studio in New York’s Meatpacking District. “We wanted to make a leap internationally with the event and plan to expand it to Manchester, England, on Sept. 10,” she said. To date, Little Black Dress has raised $100,000 for charities, Cortes said. Proceeds for the Los Angeles event will benefit Stop Cancer, a nonprofit organization committed to funding cancer research and chaired by Sherry Lansing, who recently stepped down as chairman of Paramount Pictures.

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