There’s nothing like bookending day one with a pair of genuine national treasures: Liza Minnelli at breakfast time, and come supper, that deeply understated legend of Lycra-blend we call Kimora Lee Simmons. Tonight’s Baby Phat show was everything we’ve come to expect from the exceedingly subtle model turned designer, right down to the feathered hot pants, visible garter belts, and getups that felt inspired by Atonement via a few head injuries and maybe a martini.
Even better than the clothes, though, were the camp classics in attendance, and the boys who fawned over them. As we stood in the lobby of the Roseland Ballroom trying to figure out if Tyra Banks was wearing a long dress, a shirt and pants, or — gasp — a jumpsuit, a young man nearby caught sight of Miss Tyra and stopped dead in his tracks, mouthing a thrilled, “OH. MY. GOD.” Maybe he really approved of her kicky new wig? Even more effusive was the star-struck lad we saw greet a trim-looking Star Jones and her accessory Al Reynolds by gasping and stammering, “Um… I… um… I always tell people my style icons are Prince William, Prince Harry, um, and Al.” We can’t deny the nonplussed Al was nattily attired, but we had no idea he was considered iconic yet. Wills and Harry no doubt will be firing up Google this time tomorrow.
Actual icons at the show included André Leon Talley wearing a giant fur hat, and … well, that’s about it (as icons go, we mean. We would dearly love to start a rumor that ALT streaked the Baby Phat show, but we don’t want to get arrested for Disturbing the Fabulous or something). Singer Christina Milian brought her BCBG bouffant, some skintight leather pants, and her abs, but sat largely unnoticed across from the Banks posse. Before taking her seat next to Russell Simmons, Joss Stone and her very short skirt giggled through the press line, cooing about how she loves Fashion Week because she gets to see “all these funny people,” although she foundered somewhat in attempting to explain to the reporter exactly what she meant by that. We also spotted America’s Next Top Model winner Jaslene Gonzalez, who looked adorable hanging out by the bar (our kind of girl); Top Model non-winner Keenyah, who somehow procured a front-row seat for her trouble while poor Jaslene languished in row two; Top Model judge Miss J.; and a whole bunch of people who presumably watch Top Model, like singer Amerie and How Do I Look’s Finola Hughes, who looked — you know, since she asked — like she wanted to punch Olivia Palermo in the face when O.P. posed for photos in front of the photographers’ pit for approximately ten minutes, holding up everyone who was trying to get to their seats.
But the photo pit is where you hear the best dish, and this was no exception. As we passed, two photographers were grumbling that Vivica A. Fox “isn’t doing pictures tonight … for anyone.” So naturally, about ten minutes later, Vivica and her enormous frizzy ponytail posed for about 90 of them. Perhaps the healing glow of the flashbulbs snapped her out of her funk. Our spying ears heard Vivica gush that she was there to derive inspiration from Kimora, announcing, “I’m not a hater; I’m a congratulator,” and adding that she may be starting her own line. Because we are trying to follow her lead, we have only congratulations to offer her.
The real winners of the night, though — aside from Kimora, who presumably went home with dishy boyfriend Djimon Honsou — were the front-row dwellers, whose seats bore gift bags stuffed with a Kimora Lee Simmons doll clad in a pink outfit, pink thigh-high boots, a matching pink purse, and a floor-length gray fur coat with a pink animal-print lining. In other words, exactly what we ourselves wore to the show. Awkward! —The Fug Girls
Browse a slideshow of the Baby Phat collection.
Watch video of the Baby Phat show and backstage interviews with Tyra Banks and Vivica A. Fox.
Watch backstage video of the nails and makeup for Baby Phat.