Entertainment behind the scenes
By Jan Paschal
Forget about eating for two. Reality TV star Bethenny Frankel was walking the runway for two, showing off her baby bump in a short ruched dress during the Red Dress Collection 2010 Show on Thursday night at New York Fashion Week.
The DJ played “Baby Love” by Diana Ross and the Supremes while Frankel strutted down the runway. But she had to keep tugging at the hem of her tight red dress by designer Isabella Oliver in a vain attempt to keep her black Spanx shapewear from being seen. The crowd in the Tent in Bryant Park didn’t seem to mind. (Frankel’s best known for her role on Bravo’s “The Real Housewives of New York City.”)
By Jan Paschal
Even Meryl Streep gets stage fright, or so she joked to the
star-studded crowd at amfAR’s New York Gala. Streep,
a two-time Oscar winner and an Oscar nominee for best actress
in “Julie & Julia,” wowed the black-tie audience at the American foundation for AIDS research by singing
a capella solo — after Lady Gaga’s dramatic performance.
“It really takes guts to get up and sing after Lady Gaga ,”
Streep said, warming up the room full of A-listers, who braved
a New York blizzard to get to the gala on the eve of Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week . “We’ve got the sacred and the profane right here.”
That was a nod to Lady Gaga’s star turn in a white bikini
at the white baby grand piano, which she played while
belting out a bluesy romantic ballad, with a few expletives. Streep sang an Irish song called “The Parting Glass” in
tribute to her friend, the late Natasha Richardson , the Tony
Award-winning actress and amfAR trustee, who died
last March after a skiing accident.
Streep’s clear contralto voice rang out over the hushed room
and prompted many to brush away tears, including Natasha’s
mother, the actressVanessa Redgrave , who is perhaps the
best-known member of Britain’s theater royalty.
Redgrave told Reuters that she had asked Streep to sing as
part of the gala’s tribute to her daughter, who had
raised millions for AIDS research over the past decade by
dreaming up events such as a charity auction of Oscar dresses.
“It was lovely, wasn’t it?” Redgrave said, adding that Streep
chose the song.
The event raised between $1.1 million and $1.2 million for
AIDS research, a record for a single amfAR gala, an amfAR
Among the guests: The Duchess of York, Sarah Ferguson , who
told Reuters she’ll be keeping an eye out for “a bit of madness”
on New York’s fashion runways; actress Zoe Saldana of Oscar-nominated film “Avatar “ in a
Louis Vuitton dress with a short full skirt and open back;
actress Sigourney Weaver of “Avatar” in a black turtleneck
evening look; actor Alan Cumming sans tux jacket, madly
working his BlackBerry after the house lights came up; actor James Gandolfini (late of “God of Carnage” on Broadway and HBO’s “The Sopranos”) and IMG Fashion’s senior vice president Fern Mallis , the woman
who runs the tents in Bryant Park, gamely snapping a
couple’s picture on their camera, as the evening wrapped up.
Designer Jason Wu was already a rising star of American fashion, but when Michelle Obama chose to wear a gown he designed to the balls on Inauguration Day, Wu’s career soared.
And when he showed his collection for spring and summer 2010 on Friday at New York Fashion Week, the industry elite — including Vogue Editor Anna Wintour — turned out in force for the show at the St. Regis hotel on Fifth Avenue.
New York Fashion Week kicked off on Thursday with designers showing collections for spring and summer 2010. Here’s the view of the journalists and department store buyers from the front row at the Ports 1961 show at Fashion Week headquarters – the Bryant Park tents in Midtown Manhattan.
And here is what it is like for the photographers…..
Listen up, all you Oscar fashion watchers.
Black is back in a big way because “it’s practical,” New York designer Francisco Costa told Reuters after his fall Calvin Klein Women’s runway show at New York Fashion Week, which ended on Friday. Black is also among the “in” colors for gowns on the red carpet this year and will very likely make a major appearance at the Oscars on Sunday. Kate Winslet already has been showing a penchant for black during Hollywood’s awards season.
Actress Kate Beckinsale, in a skintight black leather dress, was among the celebrities who packed the Calvin Klein showroom this week to see Costa’s fall collection of tailored coats and sculptured dresses. Many had asymmetrical hems. The horsehair boots and shoes featured high rectangular heels that were open in the middle.
Diana Ross, the Motown star who favors sequins and silk for her concert wardrobe, gave her friend, designer Diane von Furstenberg, a rave on Sunday for her fall 2009 collection of cozy knits and funky hats shown during New York Fashion Week.
“I loved the knits, and I absolutely loved the hats,” Ross said in a backstage interview after the runway show on Sunday afternoon in the Tent at Bryant Park in midtown Manhattan.
Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour, famous for her chilly demeanor, surprised the black-tie crowd at amfAR’s New York Gala with her warm introduction of New York designer Donna Karan, an amfAR honoree, on Thursday night. The event packed Cipriani on 42nd Street on the eve of New York Fashion Week.
Wintour recalled how years ago, “Donna enlisted the Calvin Kleins and the Ralph Laurens” and the rest of the Council of Fashion Designers of America to band together to fight AIDS, the disease that devastated the fashion industry in the 1980s. Out of that came the Seventh on Sale benefit and other work to raise money for AIDS research to find a cure.
“Everyone refers to Donna as an earth mother,” Wintour said. “When we go to visit her, she feeds us, drapes us in fabric and tells us about her latest cause.”
Actress Natasha Richardson told the crowd how touched she was by “hearing Anna speak with such heart and passion, this so-called ice queen of fashion.”
Karan, in a one-shoulder black gown, said thatafter seeing “all these designers dropping right in front of us” more than 20 years ago, she had to do something.
Liza Minnelli, also honored by amfAR, got a standing ovation after she sang. She wore a brown sequined tunic and leggings designed by amfAR chairman Kenneth Cole. Among the celebrities there were Harry Belafonte, Dick Cavett and Mario Cantone.
A Louis Vuitton vanity case, designed by actress Sharon Stone, was among items auctioned for amfAR by Jamie Niven, chairman of Sotheby’s North and South America. “Not much room for underpants,” he joked, holding up the case — a wink to Stone’s star turn in “Basic Instinct.”
Fashion week is defined as much by the music on the runway as it is by the clothes, and several designers in New York this week have moved from DJ’s spinning tracks to live performances for their shows.
Canadian alternative country music and rock band Cowboy Junkies played hits “Misguided Angel,” “Blue Moon” and “Sweet Jane” at the Ports 1961 show, while Brazilian singer Seu Jorge serenaded models on the runway at the Carlos Miele show.
The entrance to the tents at Bryant Park in Midtown Manhattan, where designers are showing their spring/summer 2009 collections, are painted with large campaign-like badges that read “Declare your Style,” “Fashion = Change,” “Vote Fashion, “Super Model Delegate,” and “Accessorize for Democracy.”