updated 03/01/2004 AT 01:00 AM EST
•originally published 03/01/2004 AT 01:00 AM EST
New York Pretty
Femininity for fall was the message at Olympus Fashion Week in Manhattan's Bryant Park Feb. 6 to Feb. 13, and the streets bustled with the wares and prayers of nearly 100 designers. The end result? A four-tent circus with 63 shows, 126,000 attendees, to-sigh-for clothes and a few runway-model falls. The stars were out too, including Holly Hunter hunting for Oscar gowns at Vera Wang's show; Eve, who "loved picking out the clothes-seeing stuff I want"; and Katie Couric, who had high praise for the models: "They're very tall and beautiful. I come up to their navels. I'm not kidding!"
•Ladylike glamor: Clothing was feminine and evoked a retro '50s Mona Lisa Smile chic.
•Tweed, tweed and more tweed: The stuffy fabric got a flirty makeover.
•Fur: Appeared in every form, as did fancy finishings like feathers and velvet.
•Shrugs and oversize cardigans: Back in fur and luxurious wools.
As important as the shows' clothes are the fetes that follow. The Feb. 10 opening of the world's largest Louis Vuitton store could barely contain the 1,200 revelers, including Melanie Griffith, Antonio Banderas and Angie Harmon. On Feb. 11, M.A.C introduced their new Viva Glam spokes-peeps, who were in full attendance: Missy Elliott, Chloe Sevigny and Christina Aguilera, to name a few-treatment-after all, darling, the only thing better than seeing the fashions is being seen at the fashion shows.
Style-savvy stars command front-row treatment—after all, darling, the only thing better than seeing the fashions is being seen at the fashion shows.
ONE TO WATCH...
FOR PERRY ELLIS
The 37-year-old Southern California native designed for Giorgio Armani and Anne Klein before joining Ellis less than a year ago.
WHY HE'S HOT
After two seasons, Robinson is reinvigorating the venerable 26-year-old line with his fun, fresh and affordable designs. "Optimism is my inspiration," he says of his "eclectic" line. "Perry Ellis was a charming, optimistic man, so I felt that's what the collection had to be grounded in-and the one thing that I brought forward." As for his runway-free show, where models stood among the crowd: "It made people smile. And you know the fashion world-we're not big smilers!"
THE BLING REPORT
It don't mean a thing if it ain't got that bling. Designers sent more than $40 million in diamonds down the runways.
SINGLE BIGGEST BLING
The 160-carat, $1.75 million Riviere necklace from Fred Leighton at Zac Posen.
Fusha's, with $20 million in ice from Jacob the Jeweler. (Six armed guards escorted the pieces.)
Hefty right-hand diamond rings showed up at 15 shows including Oscar de la Renta, Vera Wang and Badgley Mischka.
Behind the Seams
BEST IN SHOW
What's Fashion Week without fledgling fashionistas making their tent tours? This season, Monet Mazur gets the nod for coming out of the gate a winner in casually elegant Michael Kors at his show. The Torque star, who attended several shows, says, "It's great fun, but I can't take it all day, every day." Spoken like a true veteran!
Baby Phat founder and designer Kimora Lee Simmons (married to rap impresario Russell Simmons) debuted her dazzling jewelry line in conjunction with her fall collection; the diamond baubles are available by special order later this spring. Guess Baby Phat is just having a little bit of phun....
Pink-rose ring, $1,500; earrings, $5,000; pendant (right), $4,000; 212-554-9794.
Hard to imagine supermodels even have pores, but when the superest of the models-including Gisele, Erin Wasson and Naomi Campbell-needed a quick complexion fix before hitting the runway during Fashion Week, they called on celebrity aesthetician Chin and her $180 deep-cleaning microdermabrasion facial. Celebrity clients include Penélope Cruz and Hilary Swank. Buried deep in downtown New York, Chin's a real beauty secret....
Eve's J. Mendel knitted fox fur jacket didn't make the designer's runway cut, but it did make the front row. The rapper and actress, who's a fan of Mendel hon-cho Gilles Mendel, took in his fashion show wearing her vote of confidence. "Eve wears a luxurious sable coat as easily with a tank top as with a gown," says the designer. "It's a modern approach to fashion, and I love to dress her because we share that aesthetic." Mendel, who presented his first clothing line at Fashion Week, says, "When the show started and I saw those 18 beautiful girls with my outfits, my head was in heaven."...
THEY'VE GOT HIS NUMBER
The digits SNL's Jimmy Fallon shouted to the models as they pranced by at John Varvatos's Feb. 11 show weren't scores. They were his cell-phone number. Fortunately Varvatos approved of the brazen tactic: "I heard Jimmy was giving out his number to the models as they went by," he says. "You know, a guy's got to do what a guy's got to do!"