For the Humane Society and Animal Fair magazine’s dog-fashion show at Area last night, celebrities and socialites were asked to coordinate outfits with a pooch (either their own or a rescue dog) and strut down the runway together. The outfits would be auctioned on eBay to raise money for charity. Lauren Conrad was flown out first-class by the Humane Society and Animal Fair to close the show, but, in a dramatic twist of events, refused to walk.
Conrad didn’t appear to dig the scene from the get-go. When she emerged on the red carpet wearing a belted red dress from her own floundering clothing line, the sweaty mass of paparazzi and random fans erupted into a thundering roar. “What’s up with you and Heidi? Did you cry when you heard about Audrina’s nude photos?” a man yelled.
“What kind of dog is it?” one reporter asked about the blue-and-red-outfitted dog in Conrad’s arms. She looked over at her publicist helplessly, unable to answer. A few steps later, Conrad accidentally slammed the pooch into the lens of a video camera. Hard. (The dog was fine.)
As she fielded questions about her workout routine and love life, a group of male fans began screaming her name. After two minutes, her publicist pulled her inside because the men clamoring for photos were getting louder and louder. When she turned to leave, one shouted, “Don’t dis your fans! Lauren, I’m your number-one fan. I came out here to see you! Are you stuck up or what?” She begrudgingly took a photograph with him, flinching when he put his arm around her.
Inside, celebs like Law and Order’s Richard Belzer, Real Housewives of New York’s Ramona Singer, and Hairspray’s Nikki Blonksy strutted down the runway with their pups to the tune of Snoop Dogg’s “Woof!,” announced by Robert Verdi. At the end of the show, Verdi announced Conrad was backstage, but would not take her walk. “She’s on The Hills,” he said. “And she’s not coming out. You don’t want to believe the shit that happens with these girls. Anyway, that was it! Thanks for your support!” The crowd, who paid from $100 to $5,000 for tickets, murmured in confusion.
Conrad and her posse headed for the exit the moment the show ended. We confronted her, Heidi-style, at the door, but she declined to comment. “She’s got a bit of an attitude,” one PR person working the event whispered to us.
Wendy Diamond, the editor-in-chief of Animal Fair magazine, who invited Conrad that evening, was annoyed. “Her publicist didn’t tell her it was a fashion show,” Diamond said. “That’s what she said. I just think it’s really rude. [The Humane Society] spent probably $10,000 in bringing her here. If you’re going to fly here first-class and get a suite at a hotel for you and your assistant, then that’s what you deal with. There’s no cats here, so we didn’t need any catfights.”
Diamond met Conrad at the White House Correspondents’ dinner and put Conrad and her pup, Chloe, on the cover of Animal Fair this month. “I personally don’t care about Lauren Conrad nor The Hills show — never watched it,” Diamond said, sighing. “I’m disappointed for the animals.” Poor bitches. —Maridel Reyes