03/03/2003 at 01:00 AM EST
Wet snow, slushy streets, arctic winds—none of it kept style-mad stars away from New York City's Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week. Braving the elements in skimpy outfits, bare legs and four-inch stilettos, intrepid celebs made a point of supporting their designing chums. Susan Sarandon said she turned out for Donna Karan's show because "Donna and I have been friends for years." Hilary Swank on Narciso Rodriguez: "I'm a big fan." Eve at Baby Phat: "I'm definitely here to support Kimora [Lee Simmons, Baby Phat designer]." What did style setters see from their front-row perches? Fall 2003, it seems, will bring lots of leg in major minis; fur, both real and fake; classy tweeds; big jackets with skinny pants; and—for evening—sumptuous satin. Aisha Tyler was jazzed by the extravaganza: "I love the craziness. You run around all day, sleep from 5 a.m. until noon and then go back to more shows." But Claire Danes
had her fill. She summed up the week with, "I'm a little bit fashioned out." (Until next season....)
Celebs owe a lot to the designers who dress them, but they give back by bringing their gurus' looks into real life. Looking smart off the runway: Hilary Swank in a Narciso Rodriguez that highlights her body in all the right places; Claire Danes
, in a quirky Zac Posen that reflects her personality; and Sarah Jessica Parker
, in a Rodriguez coat that she makes her own with a pink scarf, an exotic Fendi bag and sexy Manolos.
I Really Love My...
...colorful Louis Vuitton bag. Hip-hopping from show to show during last month's Fashion Week, rapper Eve proved that she has a handle on the luxe look, stepping out with several of Vuitton's Multicolor Monogram bags (with J. Mendel minks and shades by Christian Dior and Chanel).
It's All Relative
Following the trend of hitting the red carpet with family members in tow, some stars brought their nearest and dearest to catch the shows
Lorraine Bracco and daughter Stella Keitel at Diane von Furstenberg.
Sonia Braga and her niece, actress Alice Braga, at Carlos Miele.
Susan Sarandon and daughter Eva Amurri (in Donna Karan) at Karan.
The Front Row
The fashion-world equivalent of top billing on the marquee...
Travis Fimmel and Renée Zellweger at Calvin Klein.
at Matthew Williamson.
Alicia Keys at Baby Phat.
Drea de Matteo and Gina Gershon at Marc Jacobs.
Chloë Sevigny at Michael Kors.
at Marc Jacobs.
Patti LaBelle at Tommy Hilfiger.
behind the seams
STAR TREATMENT: With freebies as common as Louis Vuitton totes, Shu Uemura got creative during Fashion Week—handing out VIP bags for celebrities only. The Haves definitely took the bait: Popping into Shu Uemura's "boutique" were Eve, Kim Cattrall, Claire Danes
and Hilary Swank. Their $370 booty included lip rouge, nail polish and a (closeup-worthy) lash curler.....
SEEING RED: One New York City collection made more than just a fashion statement. To raise awareness of heart disease in women, designers—including Donna Karan—contributed scarlet dresses that went on display along with a red coupe from Fashion Week sponsor Mercedes-Benz. First Lady Laura Bush helped launch the Red Dress Project, which will travel across the U.S. before the frocks are auctioned off for charity in the spring. (Scarlet women, start your engines.)....
THE BOSS MAN: Evan Marriott (a.k.a. Joe Millionaire
) may be the bachelor of the moment, but he's not above getting embarrassed. At the Tommy Hilfiger show (where he was seated in the front row), reporters asked whose clothes he was wearing, and Marriott sheepishly murmured, "Hugo Boss." The hunk then turned to his neighbor Billy Bush and asked whether he should have worn Tommy to Tommy (now there's a thought).
Helena Christensen and Famke Janssen wore the same lace-and-silk dress from Marc Jacobs's 2002 resort collection to his Fall 2003 show, Christensen let the cocktail frock speak for itself, but Janssen made her Marc by adding a slinky scarf.
Makeover of the Week
Sex and the City's
Kim Cattrall did a playful switch between shows—trading her sleek look for '50s-style glam in an Ava Gardner wig and posh fur.