The runway rectangle may be the focus of New York Fashion Week, but discovering next season's go-to trends is just the tip of the Swarovski crystal when it comes to the doings of the style tribe that descends on the Big Apple. And since we've had our stylish boots on the ground here for eight frigid February days, we thought it only fair to share some of the fashion folderol.
Ashley Dupre's Yigal maneuver
Dupre, the aspiring singer who was at the center of the Eliot Spitzer call-girl scandal, turned up unexpectedly in the front row of designer Yigal Azrouel's runway show, which set flashbulbs popping, tongues wagging and, ultimately, heads rolling. Azrouel, who had not invited Dupre, promptly canned PR firm People's Revolution, which had given her the spot.
Tabloids rumbled that People's owner Kelly Cutrone, fresh off a stint on "The Hills," with a recently inked deal to develop her own reality show, had somehow orchestrated it all -- for the sake of publicity. (Cutrone, in the colorful language of sailors and longshoremen, denied the charge.)
The funny thing is, the brouhaha has given the designer more name recognition than an uneventful runway show ever could have.
Fashion all a-Twitter
Where's Anna Wintour? Who sits where, what starts when and who's wearing what? From sightings of Benicio del Toro reading poetry to reports of flyaway footwear on the runway ("We have a Loub[iton] down!" read one post), the fashion flock turned the micro-blogging phenomenon known as Twitter into a weeklong wire service for the wardrobe set, firing off 140-character missives (that's called "tweeting") from front rows, after-parties and presentations. And those weren't just press thumbs flying either, with retailers such as Nordstrom and Bluefly joining the Twittersphere. Alas, no Twittering model types -- and they're the ones with all the down-time in hair and makeup.
Armani takes Fifth (Avenue) on celebs
The biggest constellation of style stars on either side of the Bryant Park tents this season gathered inside a 43,000-square-foot, glass-clad, futuristic-looking temple of Italianate luxury at the corner of 56th Street and Fifth Avenue, where Giorgio Armani himself hosted the likes of Victoria Beckham, Leonardo DiCaprio, Alicia Keyes, Mayor Michael Bloomberg -- not to mention the PETA protesters dressed as rabbits outside -- at the opening of his new four-floor flagship store. Becks, Bloomberg and bunnies -- who could ask for more?
Early-bird Marc Jacobs tweaks the tardy
At Fashion Week anywhere in the world, a show starting "on time" means the plastic is pulled off the runway anywhere from 20 to 40 minutes after what's printed on the invitation. The perennially unpunctual Marc Jacobs proved himself the master of time, space and dimension this season by unexpectedly starting his show two minutes early, with a handful of seats still empty.
This season seemed to bring an inordinate number of mishaps and near misses to the catwalk clique. In addition to jettisoned shoes and missed cues, there were some nearly vaudeville-worthy performances.
One was at Trovata, where, on a candle-lit runway the size of an average living room, two male models managed to get utterly lost and nearly collided in the center of the room, causing one to arch an eyebrow in a rare display of emotion.
And the Herve Leger by Max Azria show hosted a two-model pileup when a pair of long and talls managed to topple off their snakeskin stilettos on the wooden runway.