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Costume Institute Gala a Relaxed Affair with Oprah at Helm
Sarah Jessica Parker Oprah Winfrey & Oscar de la Renta Sienna Miller & Jude Law
Sarah Jessica Parker
Oscar de la Renta & Oprah Winfrey
Sienna Miller & Jude Law
L'Wren Scott & Mick Jagger Taylor Swift Donatella Versace
L'Wren Scott & Mick Jagger
Taylor Swift
Donatella Versace
Marion Cotillard Liv Tyler, Stella McCartney, Kate Hudson Jessica Biel & Justin Timberlake
Marion Cotillard
Liv Tyler, Stella McCartney & Kate Hudson
Jessica Biel & Justin Timberlake

New York, May 3, 2010 – “Oprah does represent to me the complete American woman, an incredible work ethic, energy, she loves philanthropy; I mean, she’s just everywoman,” Anna Wintour told reporters as she entered the Metropolitan Museum’s Costume Institute gala on Monday.  This year’s exhibition is American Woman: Fashioning a National Identity, so Oprah Winfrey was the perfect gala co-chair.

Oprah arrived on the arm of Oscar de la Renta, who designed her dress for the ball.  “Being able to celebrate the American woman with the quintessential American designer is the most fun,” a beaming Winfrey said.  “I feel like Pretty Woman.”

And Oprah’s trademark warmth seemed to permeate this very chic evening.  The famous attendees seemed to be more relaxed than in previous years, laughing and air-kissing as they made their way up the museum’s steps.  Eva Longoria Parker joked about her tight-fitting dress.  Maggie Grace laughed about the sticky East Coast weather.  “It’s very English weather.  It can’t make up its mind if it’s really going to rain or not," she said.

Emma Watson told Burberry designer Christopher Bailey that she wanted her dress for the gala to be white and off-the-shoulder.  “Christopher did the rest and brought it to life and made it cool and young,” the Harry Potter star said. 

Michael Kors recalled the first time he’d met Oprah.  “The first time I did Oprah’s show, I almost had a heart attack,” Kors said, laughing.  “The audience made me crazy, but she’s one of a kind.”

Oprah really does seem to put everyone at ease, and perhaps most telling, even celebrities who normally avoid the media completely joked and schmoozed with the reporters lining the museum stairs.  Kirsten Dunst chattered about her Rodarte for Gap dress, which was to be auctioned off along with others to benefit the Costume Institute.  Mariska Hargitay was unusually easygoing; she’d just met Oprah a couple of weeks previously at an awards luncheon.  “That was a thrill,” Hargitay gushed.

And Katie Couric, who arrived a bit late, and who is normally unapproachable at red carpets events, was relaxed and gracious and laughing; and no, she told us that she didn’t wear her designer gown on the CBS Evening News broadcast; she changed into afterward.

Scots & Scotch at Dressed to Kilt
Sean Connery Joan Jett Mike Myer
Sir Sean Connery
Joan Jett
Mike Myers
Alan Cumming Kyle M Kellie Pickler
Alan Cumming
Kyle MacLachlan
Kellie Pickler

New York, April 5, 2010 – Hot Scots and wannabe Scots donned tartan at the Dressed to Kilt fashion show, one of our favorite events each year.  This year’s theme was “Mad for Scotland,” celebrating eccentric style and individuality. 

Looking mad (and having fun) on the runway were Joan Jett in a cone-shaped bra and feathered headdress, Mike Myers in a kilt with sneakers, and model Marcus Schenkenberg, who covered his legs with a floor-length garment, but made up for that by going bare-chested.  Scottish footballer Thom Evans showed off his soccer ball on the runway, while fellow Scot Alan Cumming wore a kilt-suit with tall boots.  Kellie Pickler and Kelly Bensimon both opted for short plaid dresses. 

Not all the models dressed eccentrically.  Kyle McLachlan paired a traditional kilt with a turtleneck, and Al Roker, Sam Waterston, Olympic speed skater Shani Davis and Eric Trump (the Donald’s son) all wore traditional blazers over their kilts – must be what guys wear to the office in Glasgow. 

Sir Sean and Lady Micheline Connery hosted, and the crowd grew more and more rowdy thanks to copious amounts of Glenfiddich. 

Calvin Klein's Star-Studded Fashion Week
Kate Bosworth, Francisco Costa, Naomi Watts Kerry Washington, Whoopi Goldberg Ryan Phillippe, Kellan Lutz, Mehcad Brooks
Kate Bosworth, Francisco Costa & Naomi Watts
Kerry Washington & Whoopi Goldberg
Ryan Phillippe, Kellan Lutz & Mehcad Brooks in front row
Chace Crawford Helena Christensen, Carine Roitfeld Jared Leto
Chace Crawford
Helena Christensen & Carine Roitfeld
Jared Leto

New York, February 14-18 – Calvin Klein really brought out the stars this Fashion Week, at both their men’s and women’s fashion shows.  While none of the brand’s famously sexy underwear was on the runway at Sunday’s menswear show, three of the models featured in the newest Calvin Klein underwear ad campaign graced the front row: Twilight’s Kellan Lutz, True Blood’s Mehcad Brooks and Japanese soccer star Hidetoshi Nakata. We quizzed some other studly guys at the show who have not been fortunate enough to land an underwear campaign.  Ryan Phillippe didn’t hesitate when we raised the specter of appearing in billboards in his skivvies.  “I would consider it, yeah,” he said.  “It’s a great company, and they seem to take care of the people that they hire, so, um, yeah,” he said.  “I like them; I like Calvin Klein a lot.”  Lanky Lee Pace just laughed when we asked if he’d drop trou for an ad campaign.  “It’s so not on my stratosphere, the idea of doing one of those ads,” he said.  “I mean, they would never ask, it’s never crossed my mind.  Ever.”

Thursday’s women’s show was equally star-studded with Kate Bosworth, Kerry Washington, Helena Christensen and the stunning Isabel Lucas in the front row.  Actress Naomi Watts told us that for her, essentially all photo shoots, no matter the state of undress, are awkward.  “I prefer to move around in front of a motions camera, not a stills camera,” Watts said.  “So I always feel a bit frozen.”  Surprise guest Whoopi Goldberg insisted she’s never been uncomfortable in a photo shoot.  “Nobody’s ever asked me to be anything but myself,” she said.

On Thursday evening, Calvin Klein capped Fashion Week with a glamorous party at the meatpacking district space owned by the late Robert Isabel. 

Photos: Luisa Johns/PKI

Celebrities at New York Fashion Week
Gwen Stefani Heidi Klum & Faith Hill Tommy Hilfiger & Rosario Dawson
Gwen Stafani at L.A.M.B.
Heidi Klum & Faith Hill at Project Runway
Tommy Hilfiger & Rosario Dawson farewell toast to Bryant Park tents
John Legend Adam Lambert Liv Tyler
John Legend fromt row at G-Star
Adam Lambert backstage at G-Star
Liv Tyler at G-Star
Sean Lennon & Charlotte Kemp Muhl Pamela Anderson & Richie Rich Alexander Wang
Charlotte Kemp Muhl & Sean Lennon
Pamela Anderson & Richie Rich
Alexander Wang

New York, February 11-18, 2010 – Though February’s New York Fashion Week is usually much lighter on celebrities than in September, we managed to run into quite a few as we ran from show to show to party to party.  First, there are the handful of celebrity fashion designers: Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen showed The Row collection, Victoria Beckham showed her dresses, and then appeared at Bergdorf Goodman to unveil her new line of sunglasses and relaunch her jeans line.  And, of course, Gwen Stefani brought her blondness to her L.A.M.B. showing.  Kim Kardashian launched a line at Bebe.  Kelly Osbourne was ubiquitous (and adorable) gracing catwalks and front rows all week. 

One standout was denim line G-Star, who stocked their show at Hammerstein Ballroom with a slew of celebrities, including Liv Tyler, John Legend, Adam Lambert, Gossip Girl’s Matthew Settle, Mena Suvari and Estelle.  At a Champagne reception before the show, Hunky British actor Toby Kebbell, who co-stars with Nicolas Cage in the upcoming movie The Sorcerer’s Apprentice, told us he was there because he’d starred in a couple of G-Star ad campaigns.  He said they posed him in very tight jeans. 

We couldn’t figure out why Pamela Anderson arrived so late at Richie Rich’s fashion show – it couldn’t have taken her long to get dressed, she was hardly wearing anything! 

Justin Timberlake’s William Rast show was calm and mostly celebrity-free; of course his lady Jessica Biel prettied up his front row.  The highlight of the William Rast after party was when Timberlake took the stage for a song. 


Additional photos by Caroline Torem Craig

New York Fashion Week's Big Start
Naomi Campbell Vanessa Paradis, Patti Smith
Naomi Campbell walks the runway at Fashion For Relief Haiti benefit
Vanessa Paradis & Patti Smith at Chanel Rouge Coco party
Joan Collins William H. Macy, Felicity Huffman
Joan Collins models at Heart Truth Red Dress Collection
William H. Macy & Felicity Huffman backstage at Red Dress fashion show
Kate Bosworth Chris Brown Agyness Deyn
Kate Bosworth at Chanel Rouge Coco party
Chris Brown models at Fashion for Relief Haiti
Agyness Deyn takes a spill at Fashion for Relief

New York, February 9-12, 2010 – The beginning of New York Fashion Week saw three extraordinary events.  Chanel kicked things off with a party celebrating Vanessa Paradis as the face of its Rouge Coco lipstick.  Guests at the dinner, at the yet-to-open restaurant in the Mark Hotel, included Patti Smith, a friend of Paradis and her longtime love Johnny Depp, Kate Bosworth and more fashionistas than you could count. 

At the always delightful Heart Truth Red Dress fashion show, a heart health awareness campaign, famous women like Joan Collins, Jordin Sparks, Kim Kardashian and Felicity Huffman not only walked the runway, they flew in from all over the country and spent hours backstage getting made up, fitted and talking to reporters.  The only ones with actual modeling experience were Heidi Klum and Kimora Lee.  The dresses, all in red, were created by designers like Oscar de la Renta, Marchesa, John Galliano and Badgley Mischka, and will be auctioned off. 

On Friday, Naomi Campbell rallied her famous friends to raise funds to benefit Haiti after that country’s tragic earthquake.  Among those joining Naomi on the runway were Diane von Furstenberg, Sarah Ferguson, Donna Karan, Karen Elson and Fran Lebowitz in her trademark men’s suit.   Highlights were Agyness Deyn taking a spill on the runway and Alan Cumming modeling a kilt.  Daphne Guinness managed to stay upright despite having her face covered with a scarf and sky high platform shoes.  Chris Brown made an appearance as well. 


Additional photos by Caroline Torem Craig

Patti Smith & Steven Sebring: Objects of Life Opening
Albert Maysles, Steven Sebring, Michael Stipe Patti Smith
Albert Maysles, Steven Sebring & Michael Stipe
Patti Smith
Zac Posen, Jessica Lange Kellt Cutrone
Zac Posen & Jessica Lange
Kelly Cutrone

New York, January 6, 2010 – Patti Smith and Steven Sebring collaborated for eleven years on the documentary Patti Smith: Dream of Life, which aired on PBS on December 30.  The two artists just put together an exhibition, Objects of Life, consisting of a range of works, some collaborative, some individually executed, in a celebration of the odyssey that the filming itself was.  The installation at Chelsea’s Robert Miller gallery includes significant objects belonging to Smith - her childhood dress, her Land 250 Polaroid camera, and a tambourine made by Robert Mapplethorpe - along with Sebring’s monumental photographs of these objects.

The opening night was a revolving door of celebrities and artists.  We noticed Sam Shephard wandering around the gallery, later on, his lady Jessica Lange joined him.  Filmmaker Albert Maysles, artist Ryan McGinley, Zoe Kravitz and fashion designers Calvin Klein, Zac Posen, John Bartlett, Reed Krakoff, Nicole Miller and Nanette Lepore all popped in.  Kelly Cutrone waltzed in with photographers Mary Ellen Mark and Roxanne Lowit.  Once Patti’s dear friend Michael Stipe arrived, she led him through the entire exhibit, and the two remained inseparable for the rest of the evening. 

Photos: Caroline Torem Craig

On the Scene: 2009 Glamour Women of the Year Awards
Rihanna Serena Williams Amy Poehler
Serena Williams
Amy Poehler
Maria Shriver Stella McCartney Lisa Ling & Laura Ling
Maria Shriver
Stella McCartney
Lisa Ling, left, & Laura Ling

New York, November 9, 2009 – Glamour magazine’s 2009 Women of the Year Awards were as thrilling as ever, honoring distinguished women like Maya Angelou, Amy Poehler, Stella McCartney, Rihanna, Maria Shriver and Michelle Obama.  Presenters included Bill Clinton, Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta-Jones.  Each speech was more moving than the last, and comic Amy Poehler had everyone laughing, but Tyra Banks took the cake when she introduced tennis great Serena Williams with the following anecdote:

“A couple of days ago I went to the Madame Tussaud’s Wax Museum here in New York City.  So I’m walking around, checking everything out and this one figure caught my eye; and I know the real person and have even broken bread with her before, but I never really felt comfortable enough to, like, really just, like, stare at her and, like, admire her strong biceps.  And, like, I wanted to grab her biceps when I was at dinner with her, and I wanted to just kind of like pull her dress up and really, you know, get a close up of those amazingly taut legs and…the booty.  You know, I wanted to…really, like, damn, mine are nowhere near that toned!  And of course I wasn’t going to touch her at dinner, but here I am at the Wax Museum.  So my dream came true: I started to squeeze the biceps and squeeze the legs and squeeze the booty, and I was, like, oh my god, I was in heaven!  And then these little girls actually came up to me, and they were like, ‘Tyra, what are you doing?’  They were like, you’re so not cool, you’re not supposed to be touching the exhibit.  And I was, like, you guys, I can’t help it.  This woman is so amazing, and she’s so powerful, I cannot help myself.”  

FGI Night of Stars Honors Storytellers
Evan Rachel Wood Gwen Stefani & Dita Von Teese
Evan Rachel Wood
Gwen Stefani & Dita Von Teese have a chat
Iman & Michael Kors Frida Giannini & Mary J. Blige Jon & Dorathea Bon Jovi
Iman & Michael Kors
Mary J. Blige & Gucci's Frida Giannini
Jon & Dorothea Bon Jovi

New York, October 22, 2009 – Fashion Group International’s annual Night of Stars gala lived up to its title, as usual, with a bevy of A-listers from the worlds of fashion and Hollywood at the awards dinner, this year honoring "The Storytellers."

Gwen Stefani, Michael Stipe and Jon Bon Jovi were among those who presented awards to fashion luminaries like Kenneth Cole, Diesel’s Renzo Ross and Coty’s Catherine WalshDita Von Teese wore a glittering hat designed by Stephen Jones, one of the evening’s honorees.  Mary J. Blige and James Franco presented Gucci’s Frida Giannini with an award.  Blige gushed that Giannini had accompanied her earlier that day when she opened her first Mary J. Blige Center for Women in her hometown of Yonkers, NY. 

Legendary Oscar de la Renta received the Superstar award from Vogue’s Grace Coddington and Hamish Bowles, and the Bravo channel was honored as a “fashion oracle.” 

Also floating around Cipriani Wall Street at the gala were Iman, Evan Rachel Wood, Vera Wang, Tommy Hilfiger, Emmy Rossum, Michael Kors and Eva Mendes, who stopped by briefly on her way to the National Design Awards uptown.

With Caroline Torem Craig

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