Last night’s Fashion for Relief show to benefit Haiti began with Sarah Ferguson saying, “I know a great many of you are missing your friend,” and ended with a dramatic and moving tribute to Alexander McQueen. McQueen muse Daphne Guinness walked out alone in last season’s amazingly tall armadillo platform heels, a gold bodysuit, and a body-length swath of white chiffon. From there followed a parade of all the show’s most well-known models, many of whom had been close to McQueen, wearing his designs: Helena Christensen, Natasha Poly, Karen Elson, Amber Valletta, Sasha Pivovarova, and the show’s organizer, Naomi Campbell. The purpose of the show was to raise money via both ticket sales (they raised $100,000) and an online auction of the clothes. (The McQueen looks, however, are going right back to his estate, which is frantically trying to keep his legacy intact.)
That moment may have been the only time all night that the clothes seemed more important than the people wearing them. Styled by Rachel Zoe, the show featured designs by Dolce & Gabbana, Ralph Lauren, and Christian Dior. But mostly, the audience wanted to see their favorite stars walk the runway. Kelly Osbourne, Donna Karan, Diane Von Furstenberg, and Alan Cumming got big cheers, as did the now-rare runway appearances of past favorites Christensen, Elson, and Campbell — the last of whom walked three times, once in a floor-length teal gown, once in a fringed, sparkling black mini, and once in McQueen. Only Chris Brown seemed to provoke mixed reactions: The crowd cheered when they saw him, then went dead silent moments later. Is he forgiven? Not quite, it seems — but walking a runway for Haiti probably helps. Overall, the mood was fun and supportive. The crowd cheered on Agyness Deyn as she toppled over in her seven-inch Burberry platforms right in front of the photographers and then did it again, before cracking up, taking off her shoes, and giving the crowd an adorable curtsy. (Read what she later tweeted here.) Her next go-round on the runway, in a hot red number from the Blonds, was accompanied by Elson and Valletta. It seemed fitting. We all could use a little help from our friends.