MARC’S FRONT ROW: When the scant celebrities arrived (promptly, thank you very much) to Marc Jacobs’ show on Friday night, they were met with buckets full of mini-champagne bottles, setting something of a celebratory tone.
“I’m tempted, but no one else is drinking,” said Gretchen Mol. “I don’t want to be the tacky one.”
No worries, since the actress didn’t even have time for a tipple. By 7:15, Jacobs was striding across the stage telling no one in particular, “Let’s start this.”
After the show, Victoria Beckham marveled at Sonic Youth’s live performance. Its sound isn’t much like the Spice Girls’ groove, but the show may have made a fan out of Posh. “I didn’t listen to them before,” Beckham said, “but now I might start.”
Selma Blair was more in awe of her friend’s design skill. “Marc’s the young wunderkind who never stopped and made young girls want to dress up again,” she said, sounding a little like a press release.
New to the scene was rapper M.I.A., who had never been to Jacobs’ show but appears in the current Marc by Marc Jacobs ad campaign. “I tried to go to his party in London a year ago, but I couldn’t get in,” she recalled with irony. How times have changed. This year, the petite stunner DJ’d Jacobs’ after party at 24 Fifth.
LET IT OUT: Susan Sarandon sat front and center at the Donna Karan show on Friday. Famous for her outspoken views on politics, the war and just about everything else, Sarandon also shared her opinion on the possible ending of the writers’ strike soon. “It’s a rumor,” she said. “I think it’s something that’s been circulating, but it’s not true. It would be great, though. We all need to wait it out and work together and stick together. It’s so important for them to keep going.” And does Sarandon agree with good friends Graydon Carter and Diane von Furstenberg — both of whom pulled the plug on their celebrated pre- and post-Oscar festivities? “It’s the only appropriate thing they can do,” Sarandon said.
FRIENDS HELP: Some designers make friends with a celebrity when they dress them for a red carpet, or accompany them to the Met Ball or the CFDA. But for Lyn Devon, she got lucky — her childhood best friend is actress Lake Bell. The starlet, who just wrapped “What Happens in Vegas…” alongside Cameron Diaz and Ashton Kutcher, took the red-eye all the way from Los Angeles just to be there for Devon’s presentation on Thursday night. She was headed back to Hollywood in the morning for meetings and work. “But this is a big deal,” said Bell of her 24-hour trip. “Lyn is amazing and we grew up together.”
CHANCE MEETING: Instigated by a scheduling snafu for the same showroom space, Natalie Chanin of Alabama Chanin found a new collaborator in accessories brand Henry Beguelin. The two shared a space last week at the lf8 showroom on lower Park Avenue and decided to collaborate on a bag for next season. The two share a similar artisanal homespun feeling, so the union seems natural. “Cristina [Nicoletti of Henry Beguelin] said that her leather crafters can do the stitches similar to ours,” Chanin said.
Henry Beguelin also will carry some pieces from her Alabama Chanin line, which this season took inspiration from famed civil rights photographer Charles Moore. When his pictures were shown in Life magazine starting in 1958, “it really brought awareness to the rest of the country that this was happening, and for that I feel he helped champion a revolution for change,” Chanin said.
Regarding the dwindling manufacturing in the U.S., she added: “There are just factories [in Alabama] sitting empty that could be working. I am tired of people saying we can’t.” She shares Moore’s passion for change as well as a zip code — the two are neighbors in Alabama. His photographs can be seen on display at the Howard Greenberg Gallery in New York City.
WHAT HAPPENED TO THE LADIES?: It was only about an hour before show time when Sean “Diddy” Combs decided he would definitely not be showing any women’s wear on the runway at his show on Friday. “It just didn’t come together in time and I wasn’t going to show what I wasn’t happy with,” Combs said backstage post-show. Combs, who just ended his junior women’s sportswear licensing agreement with G-III Apparel Group Ltd., said the women’s line will still be produced in-house — at least for now. “We are in discussions with other potential partners to do the women’s line. The women’s business is the craziest business in the world and it’s been hard for us to get out of the gate, but we’ll get there. When we do, it’s going to be big.”
Meanwhile, front-row guests such as Phylicia Rashad, Kevin Federline (who arrived with a bodyguard to shoo away reporters) and Roberto Cavalli all turned out in support.“The only reason I’m still in New York is for Puffy,” Cavalli said. “He is an artist and always puts on a real show. Maybe someday he will come to my show.”
BETTER LATE THAN NEVER: David Remnick, aka “Mr. Fashion,” joked that he’d been to 40 shows last week, but then fessed up that Ralph Lauren’s was the only show he’d been to. “How often do the swallows go to Capistrano?” he said. Asked how he enjoyed Lauren’s show, The New Yorker’s editor said: “What’s not to enjoy compared to what I’ve been doing?”
THE SHAKEOUT: Salt-n-Pepa’s Sheryl James and Sandy Denton were ringside at Carmen Marc Valvo Friday. The rappers-turned-reality stars said they are shoppers through and through. “What girl isn’t into fashion, especially in the music business? Fashion and music go hand in hand,” James said.
“I’m always at the mall — it’s disgusting,” Denton added.But that doesn’t mean they don’t appreciate the occasional freebie. Denton raised the faux fur coat Kimora Lee Simmons gave her to illustrate the point. “Custo [Barcelona] gave us some clothes yesterday to wear on our show,” she said. “But we want more, so put it out there. People can go to vh1.com if they want to donate clothes to Salt-n-Pepa.Across the way, Katrina Bowden of “30 Rock” said she’s been keeping up her acting game by finessing “A True Story: Based on Things That Never Happened and Some That Did.” Once financing is secured, she and co-star Malcolm Goodwin plan to appear in the off-Broadway play.
IN THE HOUSE OF TONCHI: Fashion is the medium of choice for Isabella and Stefano Tonchi, but they don’t exactly talk shop. The T editor did drop by his sister’s showing Friday at the Lehmann Maupin Gallery, and one observer said he smiled broadly. While the designer said she and her brother talk about fashion all the time, “in the end, we never talk about the work he does at the magazine and what I’m working on. Like most families, we don’t want to talk too much about work.”
GIORGIO’S SONG: Alicia Keys will don Giorgio Armani’s designs during her upcoming “As I Am” world tour, which kicks off in Glasgow on Feb. 25. A crocodile embossed leather vest accented with Swarovski crystal buckles paired with lacquered jeans, which the designer has named after the Grammy-winning performer, is one of Keys’ custom-made looks. “Alicia is a performer we will justifiably be comparing with the great Aretha Franklin in years to come,” said Armani, who has a long-standing friendship with Keys. The designer has dressed her for red-carpet events and the two have partnered for a number of charity events, such as last year’s Fashion Rocks.
ART FOR FASHION’S SAKE: If Bergdorf Goodman’s Fifth Avenue windows look a little more artsy than usual, it’s because they’re filled with works by Andy Warhol, Jeff Koons, Richard Prince, Takashi Murakami, Damien Hirst, Fischli & Weiss and cutting-edge contemporary artists Rudolf Stingel, Terence Koh, Anselm Reyle, Eric Bulatov, Piotr Uklanski and Angelo Filomeno. Pieces by the Campana brothers and Ron Arad also are featured in the windows, which coincide with fashion week and will remain in place until Tuesday. No, the store hasn’t suddenly discovered a hoard of masterpieces in some cranny: Phillips de Pury & Co. supplied the art from its spring sales, with estimates ranging from a low of $500 to a high estimate of $2 million. In one window, a fuchsia jacket and pants by Jil Sander pick up the same shade of pink in Prince’s “Surfing Nurse,” 2003. Other fashion in that window from Chloé and Rachel Roy relates to works by Hirst and Reyle. Yves Saint Laurent, Fendi, Prada, Narciso Rodriguez and Marc Jacobs are also in the windows.
“This season, designers wore their art on their sleeves,” said Linda Fargo, senior vice president, general merchandise manager and women’s fashion director of Bergdorf Goodman. “Between painterly brushstrokes directly on the fabrics to illustrate pictorials and splashes of color, this was the most synergistic moment in years between the fashion and art worlds.”