It’s a tough call as to which was the more outstanding beginning to Fashion Week: seeing Liza Minnelli burst into “New York, New York” at the Heart Truth’s Red Dress Collection event or being handed a free Diet Coke in a frosty bottle after we fought our way out of the tents. Both are bubbly; neither are suitable for a hangover. But in a pinch, we might just hand it to the former Mrs. Gest, because her performance gave us enough goose bumps that we almost didn’t notice the massive thread hanging from her glittery jacket. Almost.
After a speech from First Lady Laura Bush — something about cardiovascular something or other — the usual horde of celebs strutted down the runway in specially designed gowns. Sara Ramirez of Grey’s Anatomy got a loud ovation (and looked better than she ever has on the red carpet), Rita Moreno cha-cha’d the catwalk in a giant tulle hat, and Molly Sims appeared demonstrably cranky at having to tug up her strapless dress every ten seconds. A seriously tanned Lisa Rinna and her demi-human lips took their sweet time in a fringed number, shimmying all the way to the end of the catwalk and then pausing to give a special shake for hubby Harry Hamlin — whose majestic and surprisingly well-preserved hotness we must note, out of respect for journalistic integrity. Camryn Manheim, who has never looked better, whipped lip gloss out of her cleavage at the end of the runway and then brought her thrilled son Milo onstage at the end, while Jenna Fischer took that moment to wave gleefully at Office-mate Angela Kinsey, who sat in the front row (presumably for moral support). A barefoot Joss Stone, on the other hand, barely managed to drag herself halfway down the runway before slumping backstage. The only message we could glean from this is that she doesn’t care if our hearts explode with disease or not.
Unlike Liza With a Z, who sang hers out, bless. As a whole, the Heart Truth show approaches being so corny it has a cob all its own, but you would have to be heartless to be unmoved by one of our national institutions. Even sexy Nigel Barker approved, although he gifted Maria Menounos with the most favor: a sloe-eyed grin and a slow-clap during her walk in Marchesa. Nigel was equally kind to the attendees, posing for no fewer than nine pictures with fans. At this rate we’ll have to keep a running tally — hey, any excuse to stare at him, right? —The Fug Girls