The first thing we heard walking into DKNY in the tents this morning was one PR girl saying to the other, “Winona is back there — she just wants a Diet Coke before she comes out.” So it turns out we have something in common with Winona Ryder: the inability to be seen by other people before we’ve had our sweet, sweet caffeinated elixir.
Sadly, that’s about all we share with Wino Forever. She gets the gamine haircut, the broken engagement to Johnny Depp and his subsequent famous tattoo alteration, and front-row seats next to her Mermaids co-star Christina Ricci (if only Cher had been there, we could have gotten the trifecta). Ricci was a total bombshell in an adorable black-and-white polka-dot dress, but got trapped behind the pushing, screaming pack of photographers all going apeshit over one Ms. Nicole Richie, who was already in her seat. Christina nervously eyed the throng while we all got jostled and tried not to fall on our asses; a reporter with an Elle microphone tried to ask her a question, but Christina politely demurred, sincerely concerned about getting herself to safer territory with a minimum of bruises and all her toes intact. “It’s okay,” the reporter said. “Save yourself!”
Richie looked lovely in a cleavage-tastic blue dress and a bun. The extra weight in her chest really suits her; there was a time when we never thought we’d say she appeared healthy. When Wino emerged to take her seat, security pushed back the lensmen to create a small halo of personal space for the trio as they posed for pictures, then hunched over to listen to Wino tell a story — punctuated with flustered hand-flapping — that seemed to be about her attempts to avoid being trampled.
Petra Nemcova may have been watching that somewhat wistfully. Despite sitting in the front row across from Richie & Company, Petra seemed sweetly perplexed by the fact that almost no one recognized her in her new bangs — and as she exited with the rest of us plebes, she walked slowly and looked around her, as if expecting somebody to pounce on her for a photo or an interview at any moment (it took ten minutes before a journalist for one of the Asian glossies obliged). It’s just a theory, but we suggest Petra leave the twee, quasi-bowler hat at home if she wants more people to come up and chat.
It was fortuitous that, instead of the usual swag bags of random makeup or perfume, DKNY distributed full-size bottles of sparkling wine to celebrate its twentieth anniversary, because after fighting our way past the enormous crush caused by Richie-Ricci-Ryder — perhaps the tiniest trio of front-row celebs we’ve seen — we needed a drink. Also possibly in need of a tipple after their big morning were the PETA protesters, who actually managed to burst onto the runway toward the end of the show. They had a brief, glorious moment waving their “DONNA DUMP FUR” signs at the photogs in the pit before the cops — or security, we couldn’t quite tell — raced in, pounced, and dragged them out. André Leon Talley, who had the best seat in the house to witness the shenanigans, seemed to find the entire thing incredibly amusing. Or maybe he was just laughing at a protestor’s shiny leggings.
At the end of the show, in a rare move by any designer, Donna Karan came back out into the tents as everyone was filing out so that she could pose for photos. When she saw model Esther Cañadas (whose naturally lush lips almost look fake in person; she must hate the inventor of Restylane, because surely everyone thinks she’s been augmenting), Karan threw up her arms and wrapped her in a long, tight, emotional embrace. She was still on the runway posing for pictures when we left. She may be there still. It takes more than a few protesters to rain on her DKNY birthday parade.