Scene at New York Fashion Week: Spring 2008 Edition

It was a busy week in the Big Apple as the Spring 2008 New York Fashion Week collections kicked off in grand style in Bryant Park and various venues. As always, the week was full of celebrity sightings and strange moments. Here are a few highlights from the week…

Shining stars: The supposed demise of the front-row celebrity presence was, thankfully, a mere anomaly during last season’s brutal winter temperatures. Meniscus staffers spotted various stars from the A- to Z-lists, including: Anne Hathaway (Angel Devil); Heather Graham (G-Star);The Donnas and Bam Margera of “Jackass” (Entertainment Weekly/Bravo party for Tim Gunn’s new show); JoJo (a model in the Snoopy in Fashion show); Carla Gugino, Marley Shelton and Alicia Witt (Reem Acra); LL Cool J and Tori Spelling (Betsey Johnson); Jamie-Lynn Sigler and LeAnn Rimes (J. Mendel); Miss USA 2007 Rachel Smith, Miss Teen USA 2007 Hilary Cruz and Miss USA 2006 Tara Conner (Tadashi Shoji, whose wardrobe graces contestants in both pageant systems year after year); Pete Wentz of Fall Out Boy (Malan Breton); and even Dr. Ruth (at Gottex, a swimsuit line!). The Temperley London show alone had attendees such as Christy Turlington, Nick Rhodes and Simon LeBon of Duran Duran, Padma Lakshmi, Molly Sims, stylist Rachel Zoe and Demi Moore (who wore sunglasses throughout, even during the show). Let’s see what happens when the cold rolls through again…

Damage control too late for Tuleh: The scene inside the Bryant Park tents isn’t usually one of organized chaos – just chaos. However, even the security guards were more than a little miffed when the crowd gathered to check in for the Tuleh show…only to find that there was no one to check in with, forcing the exasperated guards to open the floodgates and let everyone through. That wasn’t all. The run of show – the term for the program typically listing the models’ names and the clothes that they are wearing – came in the form of a photocopied piece of paper with a front “cover” that looked like a child had taken a Sharpie and designed it. The list of looks – usually descriptions of the outfits that the models wear – tried to depict each model as an Italian actress or muse (“Linda as Lorenza”…you get the idea). The show itself? The music dragged down the funeral-like proceedings to an anticlimactic finale met with weak applause. Better not to handle this stuff in-house next time…

Where’s the agua?: “Reception” is a loosely-used term during Fashion Week. What passes as entrees under normal circumstances are reduced to Liliputian portions, if even that. Scribes have learned not to expect any favors, even when handed leftover fruit and veggie salads at the Arod Foundation fashion show benefit (and being reduced to watching attendees chow down an entire haute cuisine multiple-course lunch before the music even started). But as the saying goes, ‘Man cannot live on bread alone,’ and for the first time in recent memory, there was no water sponsor. Given the near-sauna-like conditions at some venues, the widespread, forced drinking disorder was finally tended to on the third-to-last day, when some Poland Springs bottles were unceremoniously dumped off at the Tents. Watch for a VIP hospital lounge next. On the flip side, kudos to A. Cicognani Communications for throwing a fabulous “I Love Italian Shoes” brunch at the Tents on Sept. 8!

Bryant Park ‘til 2010: Rumors of moving to Lincoln Center were quashed when IMG Fashion announced that New York Fashion Week would remain in Bryant Park for the next five seasons. The midtown location, however, is becoming less relevant since an increasing number of high-profile designers are opting to present their collections at nearby off-site venues that are smaller, showing the clothes in an up-close-and-personal light, and giving attendees more time to digest and dissect the designs.

Speaking of off-site venues…: One public relations firm sent an e-mail blast to its press list, blaming last week’s taxi cab strike for the lack of media coverage of a designer whom we shall not name (to shield both firm and designer from further embarrassment). Strike or not, certainly there are cons to throwing an event several avenues west of the main action…

Show me the money: Hot pink notices posted near the tents written by a man claiming to be the former managing director of the b. Michael line also claim that he was cheated out of his pay. He details all the dinero that he is owed and, on top of that, says that he lost his housing, and is suffering from “depression and sleep depravation” as a result. Maybe he should take a high-profile campaign cue from those anti-fur protestors.

Photo Gallery

Nick Rhodes and Simon LeBon of Duran Duran at the Temperley London show
photo by Yuan-Kwan Chan
Anne Hathaway at the runway show for Italian label Angel Devil held at the Bryant Park Grill
photo by Yuan-Kwan Chan
Demi Moore at the Temperley London show
photo by Yuan-Kwan Chan
LL Cool J at the Betsey Johnson show
photo by Bibs Teh
Padma Lakshmi being interviewed before the Temperley London show
photo by Yuan-Kwan Chan
Pete Wentz of the band Fall Out Boy at the Malan Breton show
photo by Christopher Bourne
Three past and current pageant winners attended Tadashi Shoji’s show, which closed New York Fashion Week: Hilary Cruz (Miss Teen USA 2007), Rachel Smith (Miss USA 2007) and Tara Conner (Miss USA 2006)
photo by Christopher Bourne
The Donnas pose on the red carpet at the Entertainment Weekly/Bravo party honoring Tim Gunn’s new show, “Tim Gunn’s Guide to Style”
photo by Yuan-Kwan Chan