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Vogue Magazine Now Has a Hip Little Sister

September 27, 2000|BOOTH MOORE

NEW YORK — There are some people in this world who are difficult to imagine as parents. Vogue magazine editrix Anna Wintour, a.k.a. "The Ice Queen," is one of them. But Wintour is a mom, and her 13-year-old daughter, Bee, has inspired a new magazine: Teen Vogue, on stands in New York, L.A. and Chicago this month.

Wintour and her daughter launched the first spinoff of Conde Nast's 108-year-old fashion jewel Friday with a nonalcoholic party for more than 300 teens at the midtown club Exit. Brazilian bombshell Giselle Bundchen kicked off the evening, introducing a runway show of studded jeans, satin pants, motorcycle jackets and sequined tube tops by Guess, DKNY, Helmut Lang, Marc Jacobs and Dolce & Gabbana.

"This is the best day of my life!" screeched a camera-toting Pam Lachman, 13, who was watching her first fashion show.

Platters overflowed with caramel popcorn and Gummi Bears, French fries and mini-hamburgers, but there was very little eating. After all, there were models to watch, and pop sensation Jessica Simpson (who graces Teen Vogue's first cover) was going to play a set.

The crowd was made up mostly of private school students--boys and girls who inhabit a rarefied world where cars and drivers and Louis Vuitton logos for kids are a matter of course. "I live vicariously through my daughters. Their closets are full of Prada," said Gail Federici of Wilton, Conn., who accompanied her twin 14-year-old daughters to the party.

Still, Wintour, dressed in red sequined pants and a cream wool coat, insisted the magazine will be price-conscious and scoffed at the notion that Teen Vogue might sexualize young girls and contribute to their insecurities.

"They already are interested in fashion," she said. "That was brought home to me by Bee. I didn't see one teen magazine in the market that covered fashion the way Vogue would."

*

Downtown, at the SoHo branch of the Guggenheim Museum, Paris-based couturier Azzedine Alaia known for his signature body-conscious creations, was being feted by Steve Martin, Sigourney Weaver, Naomi Campbell, Iman, Veronica Webb, Diane von Furstenberg, Kate Betts, Simon Doonan, Robert Wagner and many others, who gathered to see a retrospective of his work. The installation of 50 gowns, dating from 1980 through the present, on display through Nov. 15, includes a gold-beaded dress made for Tina Turner and a wedding gown designed for model Stephanie Seymour, who hosted the party Friday with her husband, Peter Brant.

"There's nothing like clothes that fit every curve of your body and enhance what you want to enhance and hide what you want to hide," said Seymour, poured into a black hourglass Alaia gown. (Seymour will make her acting debut later this year in "Pollock," Ed Harris' film about modern artist Jackson Pollock.)

A 1980s revival is in full swing in the fashion world, and it's been a good month for Alaia: His work was referenced in Helmut Lang's spring collection here last week, and he recently formed a partnership with Prada to help establish an archive of his work. And still, when asked how all the attention makes him feel, the notoriously shy Alaia, who stands just under 5 feet tall, responded with a shrug: "Good, I guess. I like the idea that people recognize my work."

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