You think you hate your job? Try being Aubrey O’Day’s dog wrangler. Or even her dog: The former Danity Kane singer and faux Paris Hilton showed up at William Rast on Monday night with blooming, barely clad cleavage that practically suffocated her pet — sad, tie-dyed, and clad in an offensive pink-plastic tiara — until she needed to do an interview sans pooch, at which point she tossed the mongrel to a woman seemingly standing by for just that purpose. It was hard to say who seemed more depressed. We’ve never seen a dog with such dead eyes, but the woman is Aubrey O’Day’s dog wrangler. That girl needs saving, or at the very least, some expensive therapy.
The real Paris Hilton, sitting directly across the runway from her clearance-rack doppelgänger, is tragically beyond our help — and not just because she wore shiny panty hose. Paris spent the duration of the runway show with either her nose buried in her BlackBerry (she texts like the wind with her right thumb), her face masked by a compact as she fixed her hair, or her hand rummaging through her purse — usually to reapply lip gloss, as though waiting ten minutes to primp would be the end of her. (If only.) Someone behind us actually burst out laughing quite loudly at her. Paris also laughed and whispered with her alarmingly thin sister Nicky, whenever she wasn’t focused on herself. In fact, we heard at least five people gossiping about how rude Paris was on the way out of the tent.
Aisha Tyler, on the other hand, was the model of decorum. The tall, dishy actress arrived early, and graciously gave extensive interviews to absolutely anyone who asked, generally gushing about how “ambitious and creative” she finds the William Rast line. Tragically, we didn’t hear Gerard Butler say anything in that dishy brogue of his, but we heard one of his Irish-accented handlers quietly requesting a seat for him, and that was balm enough to our spirits. Butler is exactly as deliciously craggy as we had imagined. The woman who got placed next to him had the luckiest night of her life, as Gerard was in an extremely chatty, giggly mood. That lady positively glowed. We are crushed our seat assignment wasn’t in his lap.
Justin Timberlake’s former bandmate and BFF, JC Chasez, sat directly opposite us. We almost didn’t notice him because he was so placid and relatively unnoticed by photographers, but he looked schoolboy dapper in a bright-blue sweater over a polka-dotted tie. But he’s still got a little of the costumey *NSYNC taste left in him, to judge by the way a heavily studded, light-wash denim shirt had him nodding approvingly (and possibly a bit covetously as well). We admit our inner girlish teenybopper — who is actually not that “inner” sometimes — gave a squeal of delight as he sat down and gently rocked out to the blues music being piped into the tent.
Obviously, other Friends of JT were in the house, but because the celebrities were so thoroughly spread out along the length of the tent and on both sides of the runway, the swarm of photographers and reporters — ourselves included — had a hard time keeping track of every arrival. We happened to be standing about a foot from JT’s girlfriend, Jessica Biel, when the mob realized she had arrived, at which point we became the very thin leaf of lettuce in a media triple-decker club sandwich, with cameras knocking and squeezing us from every side. We actually had to hold our arms over our heads to avoid being concussed.
Biel, sporting her typically messy-casual updo, looked cool as a cucumber throughout as she sipped on her booze from backstage and quietly chatted up actor Emile Hirsch — who appeared considerably more dazed by the flashbulbs and only stood up briefly for photos with a frightened gleam in his eye. Also spotted: Law & Order’s Anthony Anderson, Mad Men’s Alison Brie (presumably relieved to escape her character’s nightmare life of marriage to that weasel Pete Campbell), Ugly Betty’s precocious teen Mark Indelicato (perched next to Elle’s Robbie Myers and Joe Zee), and former MTV V.J. Damian Fahey, whom we spied two Septembers ago at John Varvatos with JC. Those boys must have bonded during the halcyon days of *NSYNC. We like to imagine that they’re all in a bowling league together.
If that league included Vogue’s Carine Roitfeld and A-Dubs, it would be worth any price of admission. The supposedly dueling editrixes were both in attendance Monday, the former wearing an extremely dramatic, if slightly muppety, white coat, and the latter hidden safely behind her hair curtain and those omnipresent black sunglasses. In truth, Wintour is the last person we expected to see at a denim-centric show like William Rast. Either her companion — daughter Bee Shaffer — dragged her along to the show, or she’s thinking a Timberlake cover is just the thing to boost sales. She might not be wrong. Especially if she can convince him to go shirtless.
Watch a complete slideshow of the William Rast collection.
See backstage photos of Jessica Biel, Bar Refaeli, Paris Hilton and more at the William Rast show.